Taylor, Taylor, Taylor. Look, I like your music. I’m going to continue liking your music for a very long time, I have no doubt. However, you are not impressing me with this new facet of your personality. You know, the one where you have decided to embrace this shallow modern “feminism” that your friends Lena Dunham and Emma Watson have impressed upon you.
You’ve bought their rhetoric, you believe that feminism is about equality. Okay, I can let you have that point. You want to care about equality for women? That’s great.
Only Lena Dunham and Emma Watson, from all the evidence I can see, have a very narrow and shallow view of what the most urgent issues of equality are and where we need to address them.
I think you can do better.
You give a lot of money to charity. Maybe you should start with sending some of that charity toward helping the survivors of rape, genital mutilation, and acid attacks in the Middle East. Perhaps you could look at taking a vocal stance on how you think we should deal with the fact that right now in Iraq and Syria there is a terrorist organization sweeping across the villages, towns, and cities and kidnapping girls and women and selling them into slavery.
It might be time to open a discussion on how you think women in Saudi Arabia should be able to drive or leave the country without male permission or how you think women in China should be free to decide how many children they would like to have.
You have great fashion sense, you clearly care about clothes, so how about taking a stand for the women in Iran who are imprisoned if they do not wear the hijab in public.
There are a lot of places, people, and causes that could use a true feminist voice to speak up for equality, or at least a voice to open the floor and start the discussion, but you seem to be choosing to worry about how Emma Watson felt bad when she was called bossy as a child or about how Lena Dunham views her uterus in regards to politics.
Their view of feminism is shallow and useless to the women who really need equality and freedom from oppression the most.
We live in a part of the world where Lena Dunham can talk about sex openly and write television shows filled with promiscuous sex. Where she can act and dress however she likes and the only censure she will ever receive is from some in the media and people on the internet. She will never be jailed for not dressing modestly enough. She will never be charged with adultery for having sex outside of marriage. She will never be charged, imprisoned, and whipped for being raped.
We live in a part of the world where Emma Watson can have a net worth of $60 million dollars (where you can have a net worth of $200 million) and a degree in English Literature all by the age of 24.
Neither of you will ever face the horror of being shot in the head because you wanted to go to school. Neither of you will ever go through the horror of female genital mutilation. You will never be stolen from your family by terrorists and told that you must convert or be sold into slavery.
Thank god for that.
I am thankful every day that I live in the country that I do and that I do not face these horrors, but I know that others do.
Even if the “wage gap” was a real issue.
Even if women really are more sexualized or have higher physical standards placed on them by the media than men.
Even if being called “bossy” really did hurt a little girl’s self-esteem.
Those issues would still fall far far below the suffering of millions of women across the globe who are regularly ignored by the “feminists” in the Western world. If modern feminism could be bothered with addressing both issues simultaneously, I would accept that, but too often the women in these foreign countries are completely ignored.
You want a real story of women who were victorious in the face of adversity? Read about Malala Yousafzai, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or Meriam Ibrahim.
You want a woman who could use a voice to speak up for her? Talk to Naghmeh Abedini, whose husband has been imprisoned in Iran since 2012.
You want a real feminist celebrity icon to look up to? Shift your focus to someone like Angelina Jolie who has made a success of herself and has put her money and her time where her mouth is. She has actually put herself out there, working to help women in war torn areas. Women in countries where oppression is actually occurring.
When she speaks it has substance. It’s substance that is painful and gritty and makes me cry, but it’s real and it’s the pain of women (and men) who deserve to have a voice.
Emma Watson devoted a total of two sentences in her “groundbreaking” speech at the UN to the issue of child brides and education in Africa. That was it, that was her nod to the issues of oppression that women face in other countries.
You can do better than that and, if you want to be an actual feminist that cares about the rights and equality of women, you should do better than that.
– Sincerely, a fan.