The only good thing about having to endure celebrities explaining why they're not feminists is the palate-cleansing you get to do over at @NoToFeminism, a hilarious parody account that's popped up on Twitter.
With the tagline "lol feminism no thanks," the account sprung up in response to the "Women Against Feminism" Tumblr featuring photos of women explaining why they reject feminism — e.g., "I don't need feminism because I was raised to be an independent woman not a victim of anything and because I LOVE MY MAN!"
The anti-feminist movement has spilled over to celebrity culture as well, with Time magazine declaring are-you or aren't-you feminism: "One of the hottest topics in Hollywood lately."
I'm not sure why we care whether Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry and Carrie Underwood are feminists. And I'm not sure why we're surprised when Lady Gaga, an artist who makes millions singing, "Do what you want, what you want with my body," says no. It's a little like approaching her in her meat dress and asking if she's a vegan.
Anyway, @NoToFeminism has been spitting out hilarious tweets for the past week, reminding us why feminist is a label worth adopting — for celebrities and regular folks alike.
From today: "I don't need fesimism i think it's good when old men have control over my reproductive rights they do such a great job with everything else."
From Wednesday: "I don't need fisisen because George Clooney's fiancé is some kind of legal secretary i think but most importantly becoming Mrs Clooney!!!!!"
From Monday: "I don't need fisenm because it's easy, for allowance just give your daughter 75% of what your son gets so she won't be surprised as an adult."
From Aug. 9: "I don't need femiesen because if I want to see a movie with a female lead it is easy I just have to close my eyes and make one up in my head."
I have to say, the intentional misspellings and bad punctuation — which I suppose are a dig at how profoundly the word is misunderstood — bug me. All in the name of poking fun, I realize, but the errors imply that anti-feminists are stupid, which is both cheap and inaccurate.
The tweets would be just as funny without the grammar issues. Their strength is their ability to not-so-subtly underscore why feminism is worth supporting, even as they satirize the misunderstanding of the movement.
The Tumblr account, for example, repeatedly peddles the trope that the only way to raise women up is by knocking men down. Which is nonsense, of course. But that doesn't stop them from posting signs like, "I don't need feminism because I want my boys to grow up knowing what TRUE equality is." And, "I don't need feminism because I'm heterosexual and so a world without men would suck."
(Where do they think the feminists plan to put the men?)
Lady Gaga told Jezebel, "I'm not a feminist. I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture, and beer, and bars and muscle cars."
I love all those things too. (Except muscle cars. What is this, "American Graffiti?") And I'm happy to be called a feminist.
I wish feminists could shed our reputation as angry, man-hating victim-y types and reframe the conversation to reflect the movement's true goals: Equality, not dominance. Equal pay, equal rights, equal opportunities to join men — join them! — in the offices and endeavors they've long had to themselves.
But the misconceptions run deep and wide, and we're a long way from overcoming them. Fortunately, we've got @NoToFeminism to keep us laughing along the way.