Shailene Woodley Tried To Clarify Her Feminism Comments, Just Confused Us Further

Shailene Woodley in yellow dress attending The Fault In Our Stars premiere June 2014In case you guys were hoping that Shailene Woodley would be able to clarify what she meant when she said she wasn’t a feminist, I have bad news for you — her explanation is just as confusing as her original statement.

Just to catch you up, the original statement I’m referring to came back at the beginning of May, when a Time interviewer asked Shailene if she considered herself a feminist.

“No because I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance. With myself, I’m very in touch with my masculine side. And I’m 50 percent feminine and 50 percent masculine, same as I think a lot of us are. And I think that is important to note. And also I think that if men went down and women rose to power, that wouldn’t work either. We have to have a fine balance.”

At the time, it seemed to me that she just wasn’t educated on the actual meaning of the word ‘feminism’, because the things she was saying suggested that she thought it meant a complete role reversal, with women taking control and forcing men into a more passive societal role. In my mind, it’s just a matter of letting Shailene know that the feminist movement seeks equality regardless of gender, and she’d hop on board. But that was before I heard her try to explain herself and the confusion on Entertainment Weekly radio.

“Listen, I think the that word feminist is beautiful just in the same way that I think the word Democrat or Republican or whatever you are is beautiful, but any sort kind of label in my mind segregates.”

But see, that’s the funny thing about language — it sorts things into understandable chunks so that we can process the world around us in a less overwhelming way. I guess affixing labels to things might amount to segregation in your mind, but it’s also an incredibly useful tool for learning and growing and discovering yourself.

When she was asked if she thinks the word ‘feminism’ means you don’t or can’t love men, Shailene said ‘not at all’, adding:

“That was a journalist who decided to take what I said and cut things together in order to get her point across, so no not at all. That’s not the way I said it in the original interview, which is why it makes me laugh really hard.”

So you…got a bad edit? That’s your excuse?

“For me, the big thing in life is about sisterhood… Bringing sisters together and supporting one another… What I found so funny and so sad about that article is that I talked about that the entire time.”

Well yeah, but that also explains why the writer included the quote in their piece. Because you’d been saying all this stuff about sisterhood and support the whole time, but then you said you weren’t interested in equality. That doesn’t make sense, so you’re gonna wanna write it down, right?

Eagerly awaiting the explanation for the explanation, and on into infinity.

(Photo: Joel Ginsburg / WENN.com)

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    • gayle

      I have asked this before but seriously how difficult is it to take 5 minutes and google the definition of feminism? If she doesn’t want to identify as a feminist that is her choice but she is clearly making that decision having no idea what it actually means.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Celebrities notoriously refuse to Google things. I don’t get it.

      • Samantha Escobar

        And they’re specifically notoriously bad at Googling feminism, let alone acknowledging why it’s necessary.

        As a preemptive response to her inevitable “I’m a humanist” quote.

        http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/dc/40/86/dc4086527b0b72c941c508407aa6c87c.jpg

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Niiiiice! How have I never seen this before??

      • Qwerty

        Sorry about my terrible photoshop skills. But what is your honest opinion of a picture like this?

    • FemelleChevalier

      To be fair, feminism still confuses me because I grew up in a culturally matriarchal country where gender disparity is so little in pretty much everything. But I guess Shailene is American, so she should know better.

      Plus, I think the confusion stems from the stereotypes regarding feminism, and even some of the vocal extremists.

      • TJ

        Where did you grow up?

      • FemelleChevalier

        Philippines

      • TJ

        I did not know they were a matriarchal country. That is super interesting! I bet you have a VERY different experience to draw from. Thanks!

      • FemelleChevalier

        Hmmm. Not exactly a matriarchal. More like culturally and traditionally matriarchal because Catholicism—brought by colonists—is patriarchal by definition.

      • Aoki

        The colonists fucked up our egalitarian motherland with their western ideas.

      • Nbl

        Lol would you rather have the extreme patriarchal Japanese society?

      • Aoki

        I don’t like what Imperial Japan did, but Spanish colonists destroyed our culture and reinforced their patriarchy for 333 years. They oppressed our people with their racism and sexism, then bastardized our matriarchal culture and egalitarian society.

        Besides, Japan only became extremely patriarchal because of the West pushing their ideas.

      • Nbl

        Um I lived there for years and spent a lot of timing leaning the history of Japan. It wasn’t the west that made them that way.

      • Aoki

        Historicaly.

    • Sarah

      Now Shailene is saying “Feminist is a word that discriminates and I’m not into that” WTF? She’s making my head hurt. Feminism is the movement that made it possible for you to go to school and be anything you want to be. The movement that allows you to make the films that you do, how is this discriminatory? She truly has no idea what feminism means and what is so obnoxious and frustrating is her refusal to learn. After the Time magazine fiasco, you’d think her publicist would sit her down and explain what feminism is or she’d find the time to google it, but nope…

      • SusieBartlettedo

        My Uncle
        Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
        with a laptop. visit their website F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

      • Jenny

        ‘Segregates’, not ‘discriminates’. There’s a difference.

    • Nbl

      Words and movements change throughout the years. Feminism in the 1920′s is much different than feminism in the 1970′s which is much different than today. While I believe Shailene could have worded it differently, I understand where she’s coming from. There are a lot of people out there that think feminism means that women should be elevated above men or that it means we can show off our breast and hide behind “empowerment” (see my rant in the Beyonce post). So even if there is an approved meaning to the word feminism, the meaning of the movement changes from person to person. I feel bad for her. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders and unfortunately she was sucked into publicly defining feminism as she sees it. I know if I was given that large of a platform my definition of it would probably insult people.

      • Shelly Brian

        If she doesn’t want to identify as a feminist that is her choice but she is clearly making that decision having no idea what it actually means.

      • Nbl

        Thats the whole point of my comment. Her definition of feminism is her own. Feminism is one of those words that has a literally meaning as well as a movement meaning. She doesn’t call herself a feminist because her personal definition is not one she identifies with.

      • http://apropernoun.blogspot.gr/ Yakumtsaki

        I’m really sick of this argument that feminism doesn’t have a definition. Yes, definitions change over the years and there are many different theoretical approaches to feminism because it’s a complex ideology. But Woodley or any of these starlets clearly haven’t read one book -or even one Wikipedia article- about the subject and instead of educating themselves they keep speaking publicly and perpetuating idiotic misconceptions. It’s about time we stop defending them.

      • Nbl

        I’ve never read a book about feminism nor a Wikipedia article. Does that make my view of feminism invalid? Does my personal experience and those around me, not count for anything? Are you not allowed to have a moral stance with extensive academic research?

      • http://apropernoun.blogspot.gr/ Yakumtsaki

        Of course it makes it invalid, especially when discussing definitions, I think that’s pretty obvious.

      • Nbl

        God forbid, I made a typo on my phone. Considering I’m currently getting my master degree, I’m well aware of extensive research. Too aware in fact. However, a dictionary doesn’t define a movement.

      • http://apropernoun.blogspot.gr/ Yakumtsaki

        I didn’t mention a dictionary, I mentioned a book or in the worst case an article. Reading about something before making public statements is the bare minimum, especially when definitions are involved. To me it is obvious she doesn’t have any idea what feminism means and of course you have the right to disagree. I apologise if I offended you, I didn’t mean to imply you were uneducated, what I said was about Woodley and other celebrities, not a personal attack on you.

    • mmmm

      I don’t understand this girl at all, I think she thinks she is smart so she feels she can speak on all these sophisticated topics but in reality she is a little too naïve to totally grasp the concepts of the topics which makes her come across badly.

    • Feminism sucks

      Feminist women are generally ugly, fat, or/and masculine as Hercules.

      Its pretty clear that they are just jealous of beautiful women like Shailene who take care of themselves and succeed in our society.

      Gender roles and differences are biological – and that’s a fact. Men are naturally born better than women in physical labour, systematizing, leading, managing, organizing, the list goes on. And women are also naturally better at other things.

      Deal with it.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Oh my god if I can look like Hercules because I am a feminist I AM SO EXCITED FOR MY LIFE AS A BODYBUILDER.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        HULK SMASH.

      • TJ

        This is how I feel waking up in the morning, in a patriarchal society, in which I do not have muscles of the gods.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9gC1GiSDDA

      • TJ

        I’m so glad we are better at other things. Praise God!

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        You mean ‘praise men’, right?

      • FemelleChevalier

        Biology =/= Gender roles if you say men are better than those. Just like brain =/= intelligence: Men aren’t better at math, science, etcetera, just like females aren’t better at art and stuff. Why can’t you people get it?

        This kind of thinking is what I dislike about those who criticize Western feminism. At least come up with something valid and intelligent and not those kinds of stereotypes.

      • The Actual Feminist Devil

        Wait, but Shailene has short hair…doesn’t that make her look like an ugly feminist?

        Women are better at what, being organized and lead and cleaning? Don’t pussyfoot around.

      • Aoki

        Men are better at organization, managing, leading, and systematizing?

        HA! Stop fucking around. And don’t give me bullshit reasons about biology. You people are just relying on dumbed down researches that you can’t even explain if it comes down to medical and scientific basis.

        And just because America isn’t led by a women doesn’t mean that women are incapable. There are plenty of countries with women as leaders. You’re just fucking sexist and ignorant. Moron.

    • Patriarchy is the best system

      Feminism is a joke

      • Guest

        Shhhhhhhhh

    • Anna

      I don’t know why so many actresses and other celebrities see feminism as “bad thing”… Clearly they don’t know what it means. It’s their option not to be feminists, however they should learn that their goal is not to dominate society but to have the same options as men. It’s so sad to see comments where feminists are regarded as manly and other mean adjectives… If movements like feminism didn’t exist, women would still be at home doing what women were supposed to do, taking care of their kids and husbands… Which is not a bad thing, if that’s what you want to do! But many women didn’t have the option of being mothers and wives and work at the same time and so many other things like the right to vote… God, just think of what you say before saying crap. I actually like Shailene but she shouldn’t have continued with the other statements it only went worse.

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    • The Actual Devil

      “Listen, I think the that word feminist is beautiful just in the same way that I think the word Democrat or Republican or whatever you are is beautiful, but any sort kind of label in my mind segregates.”

      Does she even know what she’s saying? It’s like…that’s not the way words work. WTF?

    • MCR

      She’s just young, and likely inexperienced with unfair limits being imposed on her. Her opinion (and oratory) will probably evolve over time. We shouldn’t be expecting amazing levels of socio-political understanding and wisdom from an actress barely out of her teens.

      • Aoki

        I partly agree, except for the age aspect. She’s in her twenties. Our society should have better and much higher expectations towards our youth in terms of social awareness.

    • Gary O. D.

      Feminism’s big problem right now is a similar one to the one religion has. The moderate feminists rarely ever call out the fundamentalist wackos about their hate. This is one reason why a lot of people don’t like the feminism label. That and the fact that feminists tend to claim to support equality but when pressed, openly admit to not giving a shit at all about any issues that affect men and boys. But I’m sure ‘not all feminists are like that.’

      • FemelleChevalier

        I’ll agree with you. While radicals don’t represent a certain movement—political or otherwise—I find it baffling how prevalent this is. This is why they get hate most of the time: for inconsistencies of some of the followers that could be construed as “dishonest” in a way. In turn, these inconsistencies are used by genuine mysoginists as a “proof” of the negative stereotypes towards Western feminism.

        That and some feminist’s inability to compartmentalize, putting the Western views as the “standard” while claiming that feminism is worldwide.

      • Gary O. D.

        Well it’s not just “some of the followers.” If you read up on a lot of well known feminists, a lot of what they have had to say over the years just rubs a lot of people the wrong way – many women included.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQWoNhrY_fM

      • FemelleChevalier

        Thanks. I’ll look into it.

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    • Guest

      I really just don’t care for this girl. Everything I’ve seen on her she sounds high as a fucking kite like Matthew Mcconaughey. I’m just waiting to hear, “All right, all right, all riiiight.”

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Oh my god, that’s such an apt comparison. Amazing.

    • lala

      I dont understand why everyone is attacking her about this, everyone can have their own opinions. She just has hers.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        And I have mine!

    • http://www.backlash.com Rod Van Mechelen

      I believe in equal political, social, educational and economic freedom and liberty for women–and equality in the eyes of the law–but I do not believe in feminism, nor do I believe that these are the things for which feminism stands. If most feminists’ feminism does not match the dictionary definition of feminism, then is it the feminists’ feminism that is wrong, or the definition? The dictionary definition of feminism is propaganda, a lie to blind us to the ugly truth that feminism has been a hate movement for a very long time. I am an enrolled member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and I experienced a lot of racism as a boy and a youth, most of it from white women. I know bigotry, I know racism, and I know the sexism of feminism.

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    • oxhanoverxo

      But it’s okay to judge her. Glad everyone here is perfect and knew everything there was to know at 22 years old.

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    • Lyric

      WHO CARES!? Why post an article about her views on feminism as apposed to a stranger on the street? Journalists live for exploitation….