The Pop Culture Face of Feminism

Feminism. It’s the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men, according to Google. But it’s still a loaded term that people interpret different ways. While white feminism and black feminism have often seemed to be completely unaligned and sexism is thriving thanks to Trump, obtaining some equal rights for *all* women has been tough, yo.

Today, the feminist movement of the 1960s has been picked up as a trend the way Che Guevara t-shirts began trending after rapper Jay Z sported one during his “MTV Unplugged” special in 2001. Hova’s t-shirt was great, but did we all know who Che was? Probably not. But it wasn’t the first pop culture trend that started when the face of a man we didn’t know was promoted by a familiar face we all love. You know, the usual.

So, the modern feminist’s knowledge of the foremothers that helped advance the movement to where it is today is debatable, but through the lens of pop culture, we can all see that being a modern feminist is more than just the cookie cutter bashing of men and being angry. Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Madonna and more have defined the movement in their own way (or in the way that their team’s have strategized for them). Pushing a pop culture cause célèbre isn’t anything new, but the new generation of feminists isn’t afraid of sexual liberation, and their in-yo-face, I’m dating him, him, him and oh, her too, is quite a different approach. And dare I say it, I love it. Finally, feminism is for all. No matter Trump’s win, the “nasty woman” has risen. She may or may not be nice, but she makes a lot of money and (God-forbid) actually enjoys sex.


Nicki Minaj’s desire for an anaconda, Beyoncé’s affinity for surfboarding skills and Taylor Swift’s unapologetic commitment to being a serial kiss-and-teller has done a number of good things for feminism. And below are a few more pop culture moments when some of our favorite icons showed just how empowered they really are:

Once Rihanna finally let Chris Brown go, she notoriously dated A-listers Leonardo DiCaprio and Drake — seemingly around the same time. Then she made it clear that she didn’t need or want a man at her Macy’s fragrance event. Boop!

Beyoncé changed the music industry in December 2013 when she dropped her, beautiful-jeweled-ass-out-on-the-cover self-titled album without marketing hype.

Taylor Swift politely wrote Apple Music a no-you-won’t-be-putting-my-music-on-your-free-three-month-streaming-trial-because-my-art-costs letter. And they didn’t.

Buuuuut… Katy Perry ripped the girl gang leader, Swift, a new asshole for her hypocritical attempt to “create” #squadgoals-type feminism when Taylor profited from a diss song called “Bad Blood” that was aimed at Perry.

Madonna is just Madonna. Always has been and always will be.

Humans are messy. But isn’t it about time for women to be allowed to be a mess just like the boys?

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