​Calling Yourself A Feminist: A Handy Explainer

​Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Kardashian and co – listen up

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Dear influential celebrities,

can we just clear something up really quickly? Feminism really isn't as scary and complicated as you think it is. 

Do you want to know the definition of a feminist? Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has a pretty good one. A feminist is 'a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes.' Simple enough, right? Apparently not.

People are confused. Last week alone, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Kardashian told the world they are not feminists.

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In a magazine interview, SJP said: 'I am not a feminist. I don't think I qualify. I believe in women and I believe in equality, but I think there is so much that needs to be done that I don't even want to separate it anymore. I'm so tired of separation. I just want people to be treated equally.'

The frustrating this about this quote is that if you interpret it, she's basically saying, 'I'm not a feminist but I am a feminist' but sadly it's the 'not' bit that gets picked up and beamed around the world.

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Ditto Kim K. Speaking at the BlogHer 2016 conference, she said, 'Everyone always says, "Are you a feminist? Are you this or this?" And I don't think that I am. I don't like labels. I just think I do what makes me happy. I want women to be confident. And I am so supportive of other women...I love to support other women.' 

Kim went on to say, 'I'm not the 'free the nipple' type girl. If you're not comfortable with that, don't do it, you know? I'm not about the labels. Just be you, be confident in you. And if you're not...be you. No hate.'

A feminist is 'a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes.' Simple enough, right? Apparently not.

It's true, feminism is a loaded and important word but the misconceptions around it mean that women are afraid to claim it. That's why ELLE ran a Rebranding Feminism campaign in October 2013. We wanted to highlight these complications by creating a challenging, creative conversation around it.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and beliefs but it's a shame that women feel the need to renounce the word feminism because they simply don't understand its fundamental message.

If you believe in equality you are a feminist. Full stop. 

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