What Does Feminism Mean to You? This is What it Means to Zooey DeschanelMichelle Konstantinovsky

When I serendipitously stumbled upon HelloGiggles a little over a year ago, something clicked. Maybe many of you felt the same way. It seemed like an entire community had sprouted out of the dry, snarky dirt of the blogosphere overnight and banded together with the sole purpose of fostering positivity, creativity, and individuality.

And of course, this aroused suspicion.

Nail art videos followed by political posts? Style tutorials preceding social commentaries? ’90s nostalgia mixed with international news analysis? Who did these women think they were?

Feminists, actually.

It’s kind of incredible to think that we’ve almost made it to the Jetsons-era, yet we still can’t wrap our heads around a woman who wears bows and believes in gender equality.

HelloGiggles’ very own Zooey Deschanel can’t believe it either. And she wasn’t shy about shouting it out in this month’s Glamour Magazine. Zooey told the mag:

“I’m just being myself. There is not an ounce of me that believes any of that crap that they say. We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a f–king feminist and wear a f–king Peter Pan collar. So f–king what?”

If anyone ever thinks to question your motives for reading HG, politely point them to the quote above with an impressively polished finger (which finger you choose is up to you, of course).

And when the interview turned inappropriately intimate, Zooey didn’t hesitate to call out a pervasive double standard. In response to the interviewer’s question regarding whether or not she wants to have children, she replied:

“That is so personal, and it’s my pet peeve when people press you on it. And it’s always women who get asked! Is anybody saying that to George Clooney?”

They might be, but they’re likely saying it while referring to him as a “bachelor” which sounds so much more flattering than the good old “spinster” label single women or non-moms get smacked with.

As a self-proclaimed avid admirer of shiny objects, pre-teen entertainment aficionado (exhibit: EVERYTHING), AND passionate advocate for women’s rights, Zooey, Molly, and Sophia‘s brand of feminism resonates deeply with me. I’ve always believed that passing judgement on a woman for her interests, no matter how fun and frivolous they may seem, is inherently anti-feminist in itself. Does donning glitter or appreciating the significant cultural impact of young adult novels undermine a woman’s intelligence or abilities? Hardly. And assuming they do is narrow-minded and discriminatory—two descriptors that don’t belong in the definition of feminism.

So thank you, Zooey, for once again articulating why feminism exists in all shapes, sizes, and varying degrees of sequin-appreciation. Whether or not a woman abhors the color pink or spends more than five minutes styling her bangs does not determine her worth as feminist.

Now feel free to follow this post up with a nail art tutorial if that’s your thing.

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  1. I took a Women and Politics course last year at LSSU where I go to school and I started out saying I am NOT a feminist. I was very much so proved wrong and will never, ever, EVER say that again! And this article is a reason exactly why I won’t and why people shouldn’t knock feminism. I am a camo-wearing, redneck, gummie lovin, tomboy and I am proud to say I am a feminist!

  2. I am learning that labels can be misleading. I am who I am and you are who you are. Surround yourself with people who embrace you and if they don’t, they’re just not worth it.

  3. I am currently starting a whole new live at 29. Moved to a new, much bigger town and meeting a lot of new people. I guess because of this I am also being exposed to many men/boys opinions about woman. Some are around my age, many are in their early 20′s but pretty much all of the have the same opinion about woman. That our place is in the kitchen, that we are a dumb sex that really has no clue about what we are doing in the world.

  4. Exactly! For women to be considered successful they don’t need to act more like men. Which is what the common assumption tends to be. You can be perfectly feminine, or any damn thing you want to be, and still get the job done.

  5. Funny things is, a woman can say she wants equality,but how can that be.Woman want to be special.They want to be inequal while still getting all the positive things of being “equal”.Men don’t open the door for each other,compliment what they are wearing or their hairstyle etc. i could go on.Women would still be offended either way if they were 100% equal to men.It’s a lose/lose to men.Both sexes will never be equal because both have differant standards of general living.Women want to be treated special and equal,how much sense does that make.I’m all for individual women and being respectful and whatnot,but to be truly equal…not going to happen.

  6. Damn right! Preach it, Zooey.

  7. Feminine and attractive (stylish, girly, etc) have never been incompatible terms. The concept that they are is the product of the two highly polarized aging and elderly generations, the baby boomers and their parents. We see this polarization in US party politics as well as social mores. Subsequent generations aren’t as polarized. They see the value of the middle, of fairness and compromise (i.e. normalcy).

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  9. Well said.

  10. Upon reading this..more reason I feel there needs to be a “masculinist” party..and add many of the same views feminists have..just in a more masculine way..so instead of the view that socially depicting women is discriminatory, socially judging men as well!! Only problem is feminists would likely then attack the masculinist party and likely win, only due to the power of sex, and the protectiveness guys are “supposed to be” towards women. Equality will likely never happen!

  11. Not everything a woman does is feminist. I hope we know that. If it were true, feminism would mean absolutely nothing. It’s not a good thing to dilute it into a pop culture trend. Here’s how it works: not everything a feminist does is a feminist act, because of where we live, who we are, and who our parents are. So, while I have nothing against being interested in pop culture, I don’t buy it that everything a woman does is empowering or good for her, or spreading feminist values or whatever. Doing fashion stuff mostly isn’t. Wearing Peter Pan collars isn’t. It’s just fashion. What you believe–that makes you a feminist.

  12. This is fantastic. I wear petticoats, but damnit, I’m a feminist too!

  13. This is so relevant to me right now, and I suppose has been and always will be. I am currently writing my dissertation entitled; “Repressing Femininity and Embracing Masculinity; How Have Strong Female Been Represented in Hollywood?”. A quote from this may have just made my opening line!

  14. think in America it is the same as in Spain (my country), crisis of values​​, what is the role of the wife? What is the role of men?, How can coexist?, To reach new heights, I have my opinions, but it is long and boring (hence longer is not response), and until we find an answer …., until then, I think it’s good to be true to yourself and to be responsible for your actions.Connect with Facebook to post a comment

  15. Upon reading this I just wanted to spin around, cheer and squeal, someone finally articulated what I’ve been very badly saying (mainly because I just get red in the face and stomp around) throughout my 20′s!
    Praise be!!

  16. Love the Post!
    I use to have some odd idea’s as to what it meant to be a feminist!
    As the amazing Caitlin Moran says in (“How To Be A Woman”)
    ” A quick way of working out your a feminist, Put your hands in your pants.
    a) Do you have a Vagina?
    b) Do you want to be in charge of it?
    If you said yes to both, Congratulations! you’re a feminist!”
    Huurrah!

  17. Of course, there’s quite a vast chasm between a smart-assed sass in a Peter Pan collar and a glitter-obsessed kook with little care for the important stuff. So long as they’re doing *both* it shouldn’t matter. Trouble is, in the real world, it’s hard – and takes longer – to tell the dumb[ed]-down glitterati from the Feminist Peter Pan-ers; you can’t tell until they open their mouth, and that’s too late for a lot of people.

    Personally, I’m with Hilary mantel,
    “I think for a woman to say ‘I’m not a feminist’ is [like] a lamb joining the slaughterer’s guild. It’s just empty-headed and stupid.”

  18. LOVE this post! I wasn’t sure what to think of HG when I first stumbled upon it. Many of the “girly” characteristics made me hesitate thinking it was just another repressive “girls love to shop and wear sparkly things” website. But you’re right – the HG writers are just being themselves. So maybe I don’t read the beauty tips or entertainment news, but I find a lot of value in women that can speak their minds in any area and not be afraid to call themselves “feminists”. Rock on, Zooey!

  19. I am glad that Zooey is a feminist and beats to her own drum, but does she have to ruin all of her credibility by using the F word every sentence?

  20. Could Not Agree w/you MOre!! Thank You For Writing this :)