Female celebrities just can’t get it right these days. Not only are they meant to pursue their own careers as actresses, singers or whatever else their profession may be, now they’re expected to be political activists as well. Everything they do must be related back to how much of a ‘feminist’ they are: each action is assessed for its level of feminism; each quote dissected to discuss what could possibly be seen as damaging or encouraging to young female fans.

katy perry feminismPoor old Katy Perry just can't get it right

Katy Perry is on the receiving end this week, firstly because in 2012 she refused to call herself a feminist and now because she does...but she doesn’t really know what it means. In 2012 Katy told Billboard magazine, “I am not a feminist, but I do believe in the strength of women.” Big mistake. The feminist blogosphere erupted, slamming Katy for being a bad role model. She learned her lesson though, when asked on Sunday whether she is a feminist, Katy’s response was, “A feminist? Uh, yeah, actually. I used to not really understand what that word meant, and now that I do, it just means that I love myself as a female and I also love men.”  Um, well, wrong again.

Katy’s answer on Sunday, as in 2012, is not the problem here. The problem is her crucial misunderstanding of what feminism actually is, and that’s the fault of the world, not Katy Perry. Throughout the Suffrage movement the women involved were considered out of control and irrational, because that’s the usual criticism from men when you team a bunch of women together. Since the burning of bras in the 1960s feminists have been associated with hairy legged antagonists, always looking for an aggressive debate. Essentially, over time, women who fight for women’s rights have come to be seen as something unattractive, too extreme and tunnel-visioned to really be considered a force for good.

Next page: Is Beyonce standing up for feminism?