Lately, Ms. hooks has joined the long list of public figures whose shine began to dull for me upon either closer scrutiny or the simple passage of time…. I still have immense respect for much of what she has put into the world, but I also struggle with many of her more recent statements.
Yesterday, a Jezebel writer was all in a lather over Meghan Trainor’s refusal to be “all about feminism,” and took to the internets to share her disapproval. Hillary Crosley, in her own words:
In a feature over at Billboard, Trainor recalls ditching college to “write songs and travel” before being signed by the Svengali behind Pink and Rihanna, Epic Records head Antonio “L.A.” Reid. Now, Trainor’s on the road constantly, working hard for the equal pay she probably wants but isn’t into admitting out loud because … that’d be feminist. And Trainor says she’s not a feminist, because who wants equal rights for the sexes? That’s crazy!
Here’s the quote from Trainor’s Billboard interview that made Crosley absolutely apoplectic:
I don’t consider myself a feminist, but I’m down for my first opportunity to say something to the world to be so meaningful. If you asked me, ‘What do you want to say?’ it would be, ‘Love yourself more.'”
Note that Trainor didn’t insult the movement, or accuse it of killing her father and besmirching his name. She merely said, “I don’t consider myself a feminist, but I just want people to love themselves more.” But apparently that isn’t enough for Crosley and others like her who live to feminist-check every man, woman, child and plant who doesn’t live up to their ideals. Yes, this from the same site that has distanced itself from feminism in the past is now picking on a 20-year-old girl for not picking up the mantle. Because 20 year olds usually have it all figured out. Their perspectives never change and their views never evolve. No, no. If you’re not able to quote Steinem by the time you start teething, all hope is lost.
I don’t know if Trainor will ever feel comfortable enough to claim feminism, but we have to realize that it’s her right not to claim it. It’s her right to opt out. While feminism should be for everyone, it isn’t, and it will never be if we keep acting like the Feminist Gestapo.