Whedon’s Fab Speech on Feminism
Just in case you didn’t already know, writer and producer Joss Whedon is one of the most awesome people in all of entertainment. This week, he proved it once again with an absolutely perfect speech on the state of feminism.
Whedon is responsible for some of the smartest, coolest, and most impressive female characters in the history of television. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Dollhouse, the prolific scribe is used to putting strong women in positions of power on his shows.
So it’s no surprise that his speech at Equality Now’s “Make Equality Reality” event was heartwarming, powerful, and beautiful– just like our favorite women in his small screen creations.
In the speech, he talks about how much he hates the word, “feminist.” No, not feminists. Feminist. Why?
Because you can’t be born an “ist.” It’s not natural. You can’t be born a baptist, you have to be baptized. You can’t be born an atheist or a communist or a horticulturalist. You have to have these things brought to you.
So feminist includes the idea that believing men and women to be equal, believing all people to be people, is not a natural state. That we don’t emerge assuming that everybody in the human race is a human, that the idea of equality is just an idea that’s imposed on us. That we are indoctrinated with it, that it’s an agenda…
…My problem with feminist is not the word. It’s the question. “Are you now, or have you ever been, a feminist?” The great Katy Perry once said—I’m paraphrasing— “I’m not a feminist but I like it when women are strong.”…Don’t know why she feels the need to say the first part, but listening to the word and thinking about it, I realize I do understand. This question that lies before us is one that should lie behind us.
According to Whedon, we need another word. Not “feminist,” but a term that can appropriately describe how terrible it is to still believe that men and women are not equal. That word?
…Genderist. I would like this word to become the new racist. I would like a word that says there was a shameful past before we realized that all people were created equal. And we are past that. And every evolved human being who is intelligent and educated and compassionate and to say I don’t believe that is unacceptable. And Katy Perry won’t say, “I’m not a feminist but I like strong women,” she’ll say, “I’m not a genderist but sometimes I like to dress up pretty.” And that’ll be fine.
…I say to everybody on the other side of that line, who believe that women are to be bought or trafficked or ignored… We will never not be fighting. We will go on, we will always work this issue, until it doesn’t need to be worked anymore.
To hear the entire speech, watch the video below. And get ready to love Whedon even more than you already did.
xx, The FabFitFun Team