In a recent interview with Redbook, Kaley Cuoco told the mag she doesn’t consider herself a feminist. And while the The Big Bang Theory star’s comments have the internet seeing, well, red, I don’t hate what Cuoco said.
Feminism proved to be a hot button topic in 2014. Thanks to outspoken starlets like Emma Watson and Taylor Swift, the stigma that seems to have been clouding the term in recent years has started to dissipate.
And that’s fantastic.
Feminism, as Watson so eloquently pointed out in her speech at the U.N., is not exclusive. It is an important and relevant cause that isn’t limited to any one group, sex, race or creed. In actuality, it affects us all to some degree.
So when — in stark contrast — Cuoco confessed to Redbook that she didn’t consider herself a “feminist girl,” it earned her a liberal dose of internet angst.
“It’s not really something I think about. Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around… I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really faced inequality,” she told Redbook when pressed about feminism.
But is what she said really so awful? Or is it just her truth?
I don’t hate what she said, and I was always “that feminist girl”: circulating petitions for equality at age 13, refusing to be in a school-mandated beauty pageant, which my male classmates were not required to participate in at age 17 (my best friend and I ended up emceeing the entire event instead).
I don’t have a problem with what Cuoco said because, well, I think it’s honest.
I don’t think Cuoco was saying she doesn’t believe in feminism. Rather, I think she was saying she doesn’t identify with the women who have paved the way for modern feminists — or even, perhaps, those modern feminists themselves like Watson and Swift.
Cuoco seems to be saying that she has never been one of those women standing on the front lines in the battle for equality. And while it can be argued that we all should be feminists, and we all should be taking up the call to arms, the truth is that not everyone does.
There are those women who stand up and speak out and there are women who support them behind the scenes — in her U.N. speech, Watson called these people “inadvertent feminists.”
Isn’t it better for Cuoco to have been honest and deferred the title to the women she feels embody the term than to lay claim to it for public opinion’s sake?
Of course, her comments on being a “feminist girl” weren’t her only controversial remarks.
In regards to her relationship with her husband, Cuoco told the mag, “I cook for Ryan five nights a week: It makes me feel like a housewife; I love that. I know it sounds old-fashioned, but I like the idea of women taking care of their men. I’m so in control of my work that I like coming home and serving him. My mom was like that, so I think it kind of rubbed off.”
Cue the internet’s head exploding.
But here’s the thing that gets me. Why isn’t it OK for Cuoco to do those things and feel that way about marriage? We’re all so quick to insist that everyone who wants to be married should be able to, so isn’t it a safe assumption that — with all of the different sexes, races and types of people getting married — not all marriages are going to look the same?
Is it really fair to say that women who prefer a more traditional marriage are somehow wrong?
Cuoco didn’t say her husband demanded she have dinner on the table every night. She said she enjoys doing that. It works for them. That’s great.
While I personally don’t share those sentiments (I’d use my oven for storage if I could), I know many amazing women — including my own mother — who do and I don’t think it makes them any less amazing.
Still, after several days of major backlash, Cuoco decided to take to social media to offer a public mea culpa, posting the Redbook cover to Instagram with a lengthy caption:
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In my Redbook article ,some people have taken offense to my comments regarding feminism- if any of you are In the "biz" you are well aware of how words can be taken out of context. I'm completely blessed and grateful that strong women have paved the way for my success along with many others. I apologize if anyone was offended. Anyone that truly knows me, knows my heart and knows what I meant. ❤️
Sure, her comments could have been taken out of context. But it seems to me like Cuoco was shamed into making an apology for being herself.
And if that is what feminism has come to, I think we’ve got bigger issues to address than a Redbook interview.