Kim Kardashian West, the multi-million-dollar business woman and mother of two, does not describe herself as a “feminist.”
That’s according to Kardashian West herself who told BlogHer, a conference for bloggers, earlier in August: “I don’t like labels. I just think I do what makes me happy and I want women to be confident and I’m so supportive of women.”
She went on to say she was “not the free-the-nipple type girl” and that “no hate” is her thing.
Now on Monday, Kardashian West released a blog post on her app to set the record straight about why she rejects the term.
“For me, feminist is someone who advocates for the civil and social rights and liberties of all people, regardless of their gender; anyone who believes that women should have the same choices and opportunities as men when it comes to education and employment, their bodies and their lifestyles,” she wrote, succinctly summing up exactly what feminism is.
“Of course I want these things!” she quickly added. “But why do we have to put labels on things?”
She added that these labels could serve to separate people rather than bring them together, and that it was about the fight for equality and all humans being treated equally that most mattered to her (which, again, is what feminism also espouses).
“I’m a human being, and I have thoughts, feelings and opinions about a lot of different things,” she continued. “I don’t need to be defined by those beliefs, just as much as I don’t want to be set apart from — or viewed as being against — those who DO define themselves by those beliefs.”
It could be that Kardashian West has decided not to identify with the term because she feels “feminism” does not adequately address her own experiences. Intersectionality (or rather the lack thereof) is a very real issue in the feminist community, and the reality star could reject the term because it makes her feel as though someone is trying to speak for her.
At the same time, she seems to have a sufficient grasp on what feminism is and why it matters. It’s similar to when Sarah Jessica Parker called herself a humanist — which is not exactly what that word means, by the way — but still identifies with feminist causes.
Fans should be less concerned with Parker and Kardashian West’s rejection of labels, and more concerned with other famous women in the public eye who not only reject the word “feminist,” but fail to understand what the term means. Shailene Woodley, for instance, once gave a confusing interview in Time back in 2014 where she said she wasn’t a feminist because she “love[s] men”:
[I don’t identify as a feminist] 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. With myself, I’m very in touch with my masculine side. And I’m 50% feminine and 50% masculine, same as I think a lot of us are. And I think that is important to note. 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.
It should go without saying that fighting for gender equality and loving men are not disparate statements.
Meanwhile, other famous women such as Beyoncé, Taylor Swift (though she didn’t always), and Emma Watson all firmly advocate the term and have brought it into the pop culture lexicon.
“Men think it’s a women’s word,” Watson said in a Q&A held at Facebook headquarters in London. “But what it means is that you believe in equality, and if you stand for equality, then you’re a feminist. Sorry to tell you. You’re a feminist. You’re a feminist. That’s it.”
As for Kardashian West, she said she would “always fight for women’s rights.”
“I support women to the fullest. But, at the end of the day, no one should feel pressured to be labelled as anything just because they believe in certain things and support certain values or ideals,” she wrote.
Perhaps its time we stopped harping on Kardashian West for rejecting labels and spent more time educating people on what feminism actually is.
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