Earlier this week, Beyonce further proved that she runs the world, when she released a surprise visual album. Predictably, it was nothing short of a masterpiece, but what made "Beyonce" revolutionary was its ability to function "as a vehicle of activism."
That effort was specifically exemplified by the definition of feminism embedded in the track, "Flawless." "Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes," Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says in her TED talk, which played midway through the song. By literally providing a definition, Adichie, with the help of Beyonce, eliminates the interference of negative stigma by providing a clear and accurate understanding of the concept.
Unfortunately, many strong and powerful women (who might otherwise be associated with feminism) fear the association with the word, worrying that it means hating men or being a bra-burning lesbian. But the fact of the matter is feminism is about the advocacy of women with the end goal of equality.
In hopes of illuminating the irrational nature of the belief that feminism is dirty word, here are 10 potential feminist role models who unfortunately suffer from a crippling fear of the "f" word.
"No, I wouldn't say feminist — that's too strong. I think when people hear feminist, it's like, 'Get out of my way, I don't need anyone.' I love that I'm being taken care of and I have a man that's a leader. I'm not a feminist in that sense." - Kelly Clarkson
“I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.”
“I’m not a feminist. I hail men, I love men, I celebrate American male culture -- beer, bars, and muscle cars.” [Note: Gaga later told the LA Times she is a "little bit of a feminist."]
“[I don't identify as a feminist] because I think it would isolate me. I think it’s important to do positive stuff. It’s more important to be asking than complaining.”
“I am not a feminist, but I do believe in the strength of women.”
"I wouldn't go so far as to say I am a feminist, that can come off as a negative connotation. But I am a strong female."
“I’m not a feminist, I’m a humanist.”
"I think of myself as a humanist because I think it's less alienating to people who think of feminism as being a load of strident b--ches and because you want everyone to have equal pay, equal rights, education, and health care. It's a bit of an old-fashioned word. It's used more in a way to minimize you. My daughter who is 28 doesn't even relate to the word 'feminist' and she is definitely in control of her decisions and her body."
Sarah Jessica Parker:
"I took a page from [the playwright] Wendy Wasserstein's book. She said 'I'm not a feminist, I'm a humanist.'"
“I am a great supporter of women, but I have never really thought of myself as a feminist, probably more of a humanist because I feel like that’s really where we need to be."