Kim Kardashian Is Lucky She Can Reject the Feminist Label, but Not All of Us Can

Kim Kardashian is, in a word, divisive. Forty years ago, the party lines might have been clear: the feminists on one side, the feminine on the other. But today's feminism celebrates femininity and vanity in a way it hasn't before, and modern feminists (like me, hi) have kind of pulled Kim Kardashian into our corner and advertised her as one of the faces of our movement, whether she wanted that or not. We never dreamed Kim would reject the feminist label -- I mean, who does that anymore? -- but now she very clearly and very deliberately has, and she's making us decide once and for all: To defend or not to defend Kim Kardashian?

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It's not going to be an easy decision. Her original declaration that she's not a "free the nipple type girl" had most of us cringing, but she followed up with an explanation on her website that clarified and expanded her stance. After illustrating that she understands what feminism is and that she supports it (and women), Kim noted that it's not feminism she objects to, it's the label. She says all labels, whether they be social or political, drive unnecessary walls between groups of people that don't need to be distinguishable in the first place. 

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She's not wrong about the walls, and if she says she doesn't want to be defined by or militarized against other groups based on her beliefs and opinions, I respect that. She's not objecting to feminism itself -- we're on the same page there. She's objecting to the title. And hey, that sounds really nice! Why can't we live in a label-less world?

Here's the sad news: We can't live in a label-less world because we're just not there yet. Kim's argument is well-intentioned, but it's coming from a place of privilege. The fact that she can choose to live about labels is a luxury she has because legions of women before her accepted the marginalization that came with the title "feminist" in order to fight for a society where feminism isn't so hated or divisive.

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But that fight isn't over yet, and at this point, we could really use Kim Kardashian's leg up.

Look, at the end of the day, I still love Kim Kardashian. I still want her in my corner. I'm not upset that she sometimes does decidedly unfeminist things. I wish she'd choose feminism, but right now, we can't force it on her and that has to be okay.

 

Image via Splash News

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