Anna Kendrick has been high on my “OMG you’re so awesome please be my friend right now” list for quite some time, and her latest comments about feminism might just bump her up a few spots. Not that I number my dream BFFs or anything. (You didn’t find the notebook, did you?)
In a new interview with The Daily Beast, Anna discusses her role as Cinderella in the upcoming adaptation of Sondheim musical Into the Woods and touches on the feminist aspects of the character. Speaking of feminism, the interviewer brings up Time‘s recent proposed ban on the word, alongside slang like “basic” and “om nom nom nom.” Totally comparable, right? Wrong.
Here are Anna’s thoughts on the issue:
“For real? Ugh. That’s a fucking bummer. It’s hard because words confuse me sometimes. There isn’t a word for a member of an ethnic minority who is pro equal rights for all races, but there is a word for gender equality—and that’s feminism. It’s a very female-centric word. I understand that the implication is that “I’m a woman who supports women” and not “I’m a person who supports gender equality.” I feel like the word can be appropriated by the wrong people for that reason and misinterpreted by those people, but you just have to fight back and own that word. It’s practically become a curse word. Somebody says, “Oh, you’re being such a feminist,” and you’re supposed to be like, “No I’m not.” Why are we afraid of that word? It exists and we can’t get rid of it, so let’s fight for it and embrace it. That is truly a bummer.”
To borrow another one of Time‘s banned words… yaaasssss! I love this response, because Anna addresses the reason that some people don’t understand or approve of the word, but that doesn’t mean we should stop using it. On the contrary, we should probably start using it even more. I think she spells out the problem really well, and I’m so glad she took a strong stance and didn’t just tip-toe around the issue.
If we decide to stop using the word “feminist” because we’re afraid of what people who misinterpret the word will think of us, then we’re letting ignorance win. To use a couple of less hot-button examples, just because a lot of people think that “supposedly” is pronounced “supposably” or that it’s “could care less” and not “couldn’t care less” doesn’t mean we should all embrace the incorrect versions. Let’s celebrate the fact that we have a word to describe the belief that men and women are equal, and use it. And if someone has a problem with that, tell them why they’re wrong.