I can’t remember when the concept of feminism first occurred to me, but I’m almost certain that before I even knew what it was, I was one. I remember chirping the word out with familiarity when I was a teenager, and binge reading the most popular works of Naomi Wolf and Germaine Greer in my first year of college, barely able to leave the house without clawing my way angrily through the world because of everything women had gone through, from Hypatia of Alexandria to Bjork.
Imagine my surprise, in my twenties, to realize that most women didn’t use the word feminist to describe themselves. Despite the negative (and often ridiculous) connotations associated with any and all feminism, from not shaving one’s legs to hating men, I had always identified with the word because I recognized the importance of my ability to assert myself, and the necessity of having control over my own personal choices. But, in the age of the consumer, what defines feminism? Is it choice alone?
In recent years, the word feminism has popped up everywhere. From Beyonce singing in front of it on stage to interviews with singers like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, it has seemed like there is some sort of resurgence with regards to feminism. Of course, even as it commonly appears in the mainstream, one wonders what the motivating factor is. After all, when the brand of Chanel staged a mock feminist protest for their Spring 2015 runway show, what was the meaning behind it? Was it to lend credence to the resurgence of a necessary movement, or to popularize it as a brand for profit?