I am the F-Word.

UPDATED – 11/12/2014:  Approximately 24 hours after this post went live, TIME magazine published their ballot for Which Word Should Be Banned in 2015. The word “feminist” is on the ballot… along with buzzwords and internet speak like “obvi” and “yaaaaas”. If there was ever a time that the word “feminist” needed to be taken back by those who truly understand it’s definition, THAT TIME IS NOW.


My mind is becoming increasingly boggled by the number of female celebrities declaring “I am not a feminist”…

and then explaining by following up with an actual feminist statement.

The latest is Selma Hayek, who actually made this statement at an Equality Now event where she was being honored as a women’s rights activist:

I am not a feminist. If men were going through the things women are going through today, I would be fighting for them with just as much passion. I believe in equality.

Equality = the definition of feminism.

What is this current need to distance ourselves (nay, run) from the word feminism? Are we afraid it will make us less attractive to men? Has the word become too militant to be likable? Are some women just confused as to what it actually means?

I wish I knew, because Selma is the latest to join a growing list of high profile women who (despite having clear feminist tendencies) have declared themselves not to be feminists…

and a lot of them because they clearly don’t understand or just don’t like “the word”.

Juliette Binoche:

[That word] just puts people in a stereotyped way of thinking. I think creation and doing, being active, is more important than talking about it.

Melissa Leo:

Well, I don’t think of myself as a feminist at all. As soon as we start labeling and categorizing ourselves and others, that’s going to shut down the world. I would never say that.

Lady Gaga:

I’m not a feminist – I, I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture, and beer, and bars and muscle cars….

Carrie Underwood:

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am a feminist, that can come off as a negative connotation. But I am a strong female. My parents raised me to be pretty independent and I grew up – I have sisters but they’re a lot older than me – an only child. I feel like that contributes to how I handle myself and how I carry myself.

Kelly Clarkson:

No, I wouldn’t say feminist — that’s too strong. I think when people hear feminist, it’s like, ‘Get out of my way, I don’t need anyone.’ I love that I’m being taken care of and I have a man that’s a leader. I’m not a feminist in that sense.


When did feminism become about pushing people out of the way, hating men, disliking beer, or not being a humanitarian?

When did feminism become about stereotypes?

Silly me, I always thought it was about rights.

I am a feminist…

and proud of it.

jenni chiu sig

#IAmAFeminist pic - Jenni Chiu


21 responses to “I am the F-Word.”

  1. This is a good F word, one my girls should use proudly.

  2. Amanda says:

    Yes, unapologetically a feminist. Enthusiastically a feminist.
    Rabidly a fan of you.

  3. Debi says:

    me too! Bravo! I’m slow clapping. This is awesome #InAFeminist

  4. Angela says:

    I cringe every time. The word. It does not mean what people seem to think it means.

  5. Stacey says:

    thank you Jenny! What an excellent summary. Love your energy and your precision with language.

  6. Lucrecer says:

    And, this is why celebrities don’t deserve the pedestal they are put on. I have no problem standing for women. If we can’t stand for ourselves, who will? My daughters and my son need a strong momma who is not afraid to speak out. I’m not!

  7. Jennifer says:


    Great post. Thank you.

  8. Alison says:

    YES. Thank you, Jenni.

  9. Marvin says:

    I don’t think it’s a bad word at all but like all things I believe some “feminists” give the rest a bad name. Did you see that video with the little girls dropping the F word, talking about rape, and the male anatomy?

  10. […] Jenni Chiu wrote about taking the word feminist back. She calls it the F-Word. Feminism has become a word that people are afraid to identify with in our society and that is a shame, because being a feminist is a beautiful thing. True feminists believe that men and women are equal. A feminist is someone who subscribes to gender equality. Men and woman should have equal rights. […]

  11. I am the F word too. I love this! Thank you for starting this movement. You are amazing. From one proud feminist to another, high five! http://oldschoolnewschoolmom.com/2014/11/f-word-proud.html

  12. […] came out of the womb believing that I could do and be anything I wanted to and I am not alone in believing this. Sure, people along the way may have tried to derail that belief but you can’t keep a good woman […]

  13. Kim says:

    For awhile I misunderstood what it meant. I knew so little and just shoved the word aside thinking it was just another label. Oh lordy was I wrong. Now I proudly stand up and say I am a feminist. And as soon as I get my thoughts together coherently, I am going to share a post about it.

  14. […] So for today, all I want you to do is watch this video from my friend Jenni Chiu of Mommy Nani Booboo. […]

  15. Adrian says:

    I struggle with this one too. I know so many women who seem like their lives are just consumed with cooking, cleaning, decorating, DIY, and I just don’t get it. It’s like we’re raising a whole generation of 50’s housewives. I mean, if that’s your thing, you should be able to enjoy it, but it shouldn’t be your whole focus in life. It seems like these women have so much drive and passion and ambition, but they just don’t seem to feel like it’s appropriate to use their gifts for something more, or maybe they just don’t want to. I don’t know, I just find it immensely puzzling. I think we need to come up with another word than Feminism, it’s just kind of tainted by all the history that has gone on. #SITSSharefest

  16. […] and unintimidating, yet wholly unforgettable.  And the conference? My beloved, f-word being, Jenni Chiu is going to be there. The sessions are intended to be action-rich, meaning that rather than a […]

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