Margaret Atwood and Emma Watson made an excellent point about interviewers asking people if they are feminists
It’s 2017, and people are still having a hard time understanding the F word. The meaning of feminism seems straightforward enough, but Emma Watson and Margaret Atwood are highlighting how not everyone is on the same page when it comes to defining the word. Emma sat down with the Handmaid’s Tale author to discuss topics that remain relevant even 30 years after the debut of her book and the two ended up giving a mini-lesson that everyone needs to hear. Emma and Margaret chatted about feminism and how the novelist defines it.
In an interview with the author, Emma asked Margaret if she was bored of the increasingly standard “Are you a feminist?” question.
"I’m not bored with it, but we have to realize it’s become one of those general terms that can mean a whole bunch of different things, so I usually say, 'Tell me what you mean by that word and then we can talk.'" Margaret told Emma in an Entertainment Weekly interview. "If people can’t tell me what they mean, then they don’t really have an idea in their heads of what they’re talking about. So do we mean equal legal rights? Do we mean women are better than men? Do we mean all men should be pushed off a cliff? What do we mean? Because that word has meant all of those different things," she said.
Margaret went onto explain the correct definition of feminism.
“So, if we mean, should women as citizens have equal rights, I’m all for it and a number of advances have been made in my lifetime regarding property rights and divorce and custody of children and all of those things. But do we mean, are women always right? Give me a break! I’m sorry, but no!”
Just gonna leave this here, but Merriam-Webster dictionary defines feminism as the “theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”
Equality for all. Margaret’s point is particularly important because of how often the word is misconstrued and misinterpreted. Celebrities, politicians, and, yes, regular people — many of them women — often reject the term because they believe it is a word that either favors one gender over another or somehow rejects and excludes other genders.
Margaret’s decision to ensure the word is properly defined contributes to a future where asking women, “Are you a feminist?” will no longer happen. Not because too many will be bored of it, but because people like Margaret and Emma are out there building a world where the goals of feminism will one day just become reality.