Susan Sarandon Dismisses “Feminism”
1:45 pm, July 8th | by Grace Rasmus
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 bitches and because you want everyone to have equal pay, equal rights, education and healthcare.
It’s a bit of an old-fashioned word. It’s used more in a way to minimize you. My daughter [Eva Amurri] who is 28, doesn’t even relate to the word “feminist” and she is definitely in control of her decisions and her body.
It’s frustrating to see successful women such as Sarandon, Katy Perry, and even Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer dismiss feminism when their successes would have been virtually impossible without it. It’s especially frustrating to hear support for the historic goals of feminism — equality, education, healthcare — in one sentence and then the term’s denouncement in the next. As Amy Tennery at Ms. Magazine pointed out, “Believing in ‘equal rights’ for men and women but not being a feminist is like being an atheist who thinks the theory of evolution is hogwash. Them things just don’t mix.”
The caricature of a feminist as a bra-burning, man-hating “strident bitch” has given the F-word a bad rep over the years but why should we let enemies of feminism define the word? Feminism comes down to fairness, plain and simple. What sane woman would be against fairness? And don’t women realize that society’s negative reaction to the term “feminist”/”feminism” necessitates its existence?
The stereotypes that have tainted “feminism” for decades might have done too much damage at this point; perhaps the movement would benefit from some rebranding. (Anything to get people to stop using the word “humanist” as if that’s progressive and political and means anything…)
What do you think? Is it time to rebrand the word “feminism”?