11 Awesome Women Who Do Feminism the “Wrong” Way

Taylor Swift

Photo: Emmanuel Dunad/Getty

This girl. In an industry that chews up young women and spits them out as carefully branded virgins or whores, she is the queen of her own creative commonwealth. She moved to Nashville when she was 14, and in nine years, she has put our four multi-platinum records, all of which contain music she wrote, music she sings, music she accompanies, music that resonates across oceans and generations. Some critics say it’s because she is speaking universal truths with her hopeful and heartbroken lyrics. But whatever. She sings too much about wanting to honor the patriarchy with heterosexual love and marriage. And in her music videos, the villains are always brunettes. (Color-shaming much?) And instead of only calling out the men who do her dirty in her lyrics, she also calls out the “other women” who participated in the dirt-doing. (Slut-shaming much?) Plus she said in an interview one time that she understands feminism to be “men vs. women,” which is incorrect, and I will never forgive her.

Lady Gaga

Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty

Lady Gaga said with her very own mouth that she is not a feminist, which, of course, is the first sign that a woman is doing feminism wrong. Other signs: Too blonde! Too thin! Too commercially mainstream! So what if she turns both gender and sexuality on their heads and refuses to conform to society’s binaries! So what if her music and her persona provide a refuge for the “little monsters” that choose to embrace their otherness! So what if her music videos are social and political critiques on par with the writings of Mark Twain and Charles Dickens! So what if she spends her money and her time and her artistry to promote equality! She also hails men. Hails them! She said so in an interview. “I hail men, I love men, I celebrate American male culture– beer, bars, and muscle cars.”

Kristen Wiig

Photo: Jeff Vespa/Getty

That she wrote and starred in an all-female comedy that eventually became the highest-grossing film of Judd Apatow’s career is of little consequence. Neither is her role in Whip It, another all-female film, this one a coming-of-age drama about finding empowerment in the camaraderie of badass ladies. See, because with Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig lost her place at the feminist table because she capitulated to a gross standard of male humor. She turned the feminist ideal into an equity of stupidity by appealing to the only people who belch and vomit: men. Also, when she was doing her press tour for Bridesmaids, she refused to call herself a feminist. Instead, she danced around the question and said she’s “pro-women.” Pathetic.

Diane Sawyer & Katie Couric

Photo: Diane Sawyer & Katie Couric/Getty

At first glance, you might think think two of America’s most celebrated female journalists — and the only two women who have ever hosted nightly network news programs solo — would be shoe-ins for the title of “feminist.” But how wrong you are! Luckily, I found out all the way back in 2009 that they were suspect because they are “newsmommies.” The problem is that they seem kind of maternal, which makes them seem kind of non-threatening, which means that they’re not assertive or independent. It’s like, when you think about Tom Brokaw and Charles Gibson, what’s the first word that comes to mind? Threatening, right? Just absolutely menacing. Until women like Diane and Katie start asserting themselves and acting like their aggressive male counterparts, we’re never going to have equality in televisual journalism.

This post is obviously satire. I need to point that out because: a) the internet translates things weirdly sometimes, and b) even fake-talking bad about J.K. Rowling hurts me in my heart. Who runs the world? Hermione! But let’s use my sarcasm as a springboard: What do you think of the feminist critiques — all of which I’ve read on feminist blogs and in feminist magazines — of these successful, beloved women?

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