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Celebrities explain why people scared of 'feminists' have it all wrong (VIDEO)

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

To be or not to be: Stars weigh in on what it means to be a feminist

At the People's Choice Awards on Jan. 6, we stopped celebs and asked them to weigh on #TheFWord

Feminism, that is! At a time when women's rights are being tossed about during political debates like a hot potato, it is a word that has different connotations for different people — and we wanted to hear what some of our favorite stars had to say about this hot-button topic.

More: Kids learn about the F-word from celebrities in eye-opening interview

Teen Wolf's Arden Cho admitted that the word can be polarizing. "I feel like people judge right away when they hear 'feminism' because they think it's all about, like, women against men," she told us. "But I would like it received more in not such a negative way but just about being fair."

Katie Stevens, star of Faking It, agreed about the potential for negativity, saying, "A lot of people I've seen — when they are really strongly feminist — it kind of goes with bashing males. I just think it's about the equality of women being equal to men."

But Frankie J. Grande pointed out that much of the problem lies in people's misconceptions or lack of a fundamental understanding of what it means to be a feminist.

"In my opinion, feminism means that you don't want to be treated better than men; you just want to be treated equally. It's not like, 'Oh, no, you have to do this because I'm a woman.' It's 'No, no, no. You just don't get to make that distinction that I am a woman,'" he said, adding, "You know? It's not about more wages or 'I want you to open the door for me.' No. It's just 'Treat me exactly as you would a man.'"

What can we say? Frankie J. speaks the truth!

The disparity of interpretation surrounding this buzzword is precisely why SheKnows has teamed up with the Ms. Foundation in launching the #TheFWord, a short-form video contest created to let people from all over North America share what they really think of feminism.

"#TheFWord is a unique project that will provide invaluable insight into how a diverse cross section of people identify with the concept of feminism," explains Teresa C. Younger, president and chief executive officer of the Ms. Foundation.

The contest is open to any individual over 18 and living in the U.S. or Canada. Simply submit an original two- to three-minute video describing what #TheFWord means to you by Feb. 19, or email TheFWord@SheKnows.com for more information. One lucky winner will receive a $4,000 cash prize, a trip to New York City and an article about them on SheKnows.com.

More: The F-Word: SheKnows contest challenges you to call it what it is

To hear everything Frankie J., Cho, Stevens and other stars on the People's Choice red carpet had to say about the subject, watch the video of SheKnows at the show above, and check out which stars they find most inspirational below!

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