Why is feminism becoming the new ‘F word?’

Shailene_Woodley_March_18,<em>2014</em>(cropped)” width=“216” height=“300” />Shailene Woodley, lead actor in the recent and popular movie “The Fault in Our Stars”, was asked if she considers herself to be a feminist. <a href=She replied,  “No, because I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance … And also I think that if men went down and women rose to power, that wouldn’t work either. We have to have a fine balance. My biggest thing is really sisterhood more than feminism.”Really, Shailene?As a young woman myself, it has recently begun to bother me when various talented women whom I very much admire have made statements showing their lack of knowledge of what feminism means and why it is important. It’s not only imperative to understand, consider and support the concepts of feminism as we go through our daily lives as young women, but it’s crucial to recognize the struggles women have endured before us in order to continue paving a better and fairer way for future generations of women to be treated.It seems that feminism is misunderstood as a warped idea of women coming together to be a man-hating and totalitarian force. I’ve theorized that this stems from media inaccuracy and the subsequent stigma that has been placed upon even the idea of being a feminist. In reality, feminism seeks to empower women so they understand they have just as much value and ability as a man. Men should not receive higher wages than the woman who holds the same position and women should have full rights over their own bodies, careers and home lives. This has nothing to do with hating men or being discriminatory; it is merely a movement that seeks to push for a gender equitable society. As Seinfeld would say, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”Lana_Del_Rey_Releases_Music_Video_For_New_Track_'Burning_Desire'6cropOne of my favorite female vocalists, Lana del Ray, addressed the issue in an interview with Fader. “For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept. . . Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, God. I’m just not really that interested.” She continued, “I’m more interested in, you know, SpaceX and Tesla, what’s going to happen with our intergalactic possibilities.” When asked what she believed account for a true feminist, she said it is “a woman who feels free enough to do whatever she wants.”Lana certainly fits her own definition of a “true feminist.”Katy Perry, whose vibrant, candy colored music videos can always make me smile, was named Billboard’sWoman of the Year in 2012 and told Billboard magazine, “I am not a feminist, but I do believe in the power of women.” However, this utterly contradictory statement was eventually understood by Perry herself. She told Time in March that “I used to not really understand what [feminism] meant, and now that I do, it just means that I love myself as a female and I also love men.”It is worrisome when talented women in the media do not know enough about this apparently scary “F word” and instead rail against it – creating an air of misunderstanding, especially when so many people, such as myself, admire their artistic abilities.Part of Me - Katy PerryEveryone deserves the right to speak his or her mind, but there is an intense fault in doing so if you do not understand the principles of the concept you are speaking of. No matter what political background she is, each woman should understand what it means to be a feminist. My definition is someone that fights for the equality and empowerment of the female gender, which has been subject to abuse and inequality throughout history.If more individuals, especially those in the spotlight with countless female fans, took the time to understand what the term “feminism” means, it would become far less taboo and understood as an encompassing issue of human morality.