On role models
So often people talk about what terrible role models Rihanna and Nicki Minaj are, and what great role models Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift are. To which I have to say…really?
Taylor Swift writes most of her songs about men she’s dated. She is cunning and saavy, especially when it comes to manipulating the media, but she hides that in order to maintain her sweet, “all-American” image. Selena Gomez is most famous for her relationship with Justin Beiber.
Rihanna has long maintained that she does not want to be a role model. She is young and living her life, and she owns her mistakes. She is unapologetic about her success. Nicki Minaj, whether on Twitter or in interviews, constantly reminds girls to succeed in school. She has made it clear that she is first and foremost a businesswoman looking after her family. After being betrayed and raped by ex-boyfriends, she has remained single for the past ten years. She started writing rhymes and rapping as a means to cope with her life, and she was eventually discovered when she posted her music on MySpace. Her life story is one of resilience and perseverance despite the odds.
The problem isn’t that Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez are role models. The problem is that we don’t allow women to be complex. We don’t allow different women with different life stories to be considered role models because we fear that complexity. God forbid they define their lives in terms other than men.
"My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….
First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”
But here is what I think you should know.
You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.
You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.
You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).
You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.
In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.
In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”