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NEWS & IDEAS

The F Word: Its Celebrity Friends and Foes

Scary to some, awesome to others, the F word is always a provocative one.  

Feminism has received quite a bit of attention lately, as female celebrities seem to be asked more and more if they identify with the term.  Recently, women like Miley Cyrus, Katie Couric and Beyonce have been affiliated with the word while others have pushed it as far away possible, often assuming it means they hate men.  MAKERS asked women like Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keyes, Jane Fonda and Sarah Silverman, to name a few, to share their thoughts.  

 

Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Shailene Woodley and Taylor Swift have also commented on the term, distancing themselves from the word.  “I’m not a feminist! I love men! I hail men,” shouted Lady Gaga to Norweigan paparazzi in 2010.  Gaga has changed her feelings about the word, now claiming she is "a little bit of a feminist."

Singer Nicki Minaj and comedians Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Lena Dunham have spoken more positively about the idea. Dunham told UK Metro Daily, "Women saying ‘I’m not a feminist’ is my greatest pet peeve... Do you believe that women should be allowed to leave the house? Do you think that women and men both deserve equal rights? Great, then you’re a feminist." And Minaj has renamed the type of feminism to which she ascribes.  It's called "girl power." 

Sheryl Sandberg's bestseller Lean In and Beyonce's new album may be part of the reason famous females are being asked to pick a side. Beyonce's song "Flawless" aroused a poignant conversation about gender issues as the track incorporates pieces of a Ted Talk by writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The excerpt provides the definition of feminism and questions the unequal socialization of young girls and boys.  Sandberg's Lean In presses all women to push themselves, in what she calls a modern-day feminist manifesto.

Overall, the F word has found itself front and center and we can't wait to hear more about it in the pop culture conversation.  To read more celebrity commentary on the F word conversation, click through the gallery above.