Feminism Is Not a Bad Word, Kaley Cuoco

Actress Kaley Cuoco told Redbook that she isn't a feminist because she "never faced inequality." (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

I find it astounding that women can claim they aren’t feminists, or that they don’t like the word feminist.

I suppose it depends on your perception of, or definition for, the word. I like the definition Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie used in her TED talk, the one that subsequently went viral when Beyoncé featured it in her hit “Flawless”: Feminist, a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes. Simple. Any reasonable person can get behind that, right?

Which is why I’m confused when people like actress Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting cast even a hint of a shadow on the idea, which she kind of did in her latest Redbook interview.

“I was never that feminist girl demanding equality,” she says, “but maybe that’s because I never faced inequality.”

Really? As a woman in Hollywood and as a woman in general you never experienced anything untoward or unfair? Damn. She’s one lucky broad.

She then goes on to gush about how she loves serving her husband and all these other fabulous domestic duties that revolve around taking care of her man. Okay, cool. That’s your prerogative, and there’s nothing wrong with relishing your Martha Stewart-ness. Keeping a fabulous home is hard work, and when done right it can be elevated to an art form. See Duchess of Windsor, Babe Paley and many of Truman Capote’s other swans.

But liking to keep house doesn’t really have anything to do with modern day feminism, does it? The two certainly aren’t mutually exclusive, but let’s keep some perspective. Today’s push for feminism is around dollars and access. Problems Cuoco-Sweeting doesn’t have at $1 million per episode for her hit series The Big Bang Theory.

But most women don’t have that kind of capital, and that’s what feminism is all about — making sure more women have the opportunity to earn and succeed at the same level as men. Simple.

Actually, even women making the big bucks could benefit from some feminist power. In December the Washington Post ran “Stop denying the gender pay gap exists. Even Jennifer Lawrence was shortchanged.” The piecedetailed the inequities in salary for the film “American Hustle,” revealed by the Sony email hack.

Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were both paid less than their male co-stars despite bringing more star power to the film. Lawrence had already starred in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which claimed one of the largest box office opening weekend in movie history and, earlier in the year, she had won the Oscar for Best Leading Actress for her part in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Bradley Cooper, her co-star in that film, was nominated for an Oscar, but didn’t win.

Sony e-mails also detailed the “points” — or percentages of back-end profits — each of “American Hustle’s” main actors was to receive. Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner and Bradley Cooper each got 9 points. Amy Adams, the lead actress, got 7 points. Lawrence originally received only 5 points, but that was later raised to 7 points. Adams had thus far been nominated for four Academy Awards — more than Renner and Cooper combined. Bale had one win.

So, yeah. Feminism has its place, and should be respected, not dismissed. Sometimes it seems like successful women are compelled to push this whole, ‘I’m so housey’ vibe, like they have to compensate for being uber successful in their careers. As though it’s necessary to reaffirm their femininity by saying, I cook!

Kaley, get over yourself, please, in a hurry. Big wig women who earn millions are getting screwed out of money for no reason. And the rest of us are struggling by on Euro to American dollar conversation rates, a la $.75 to every man’s $1. We need help, even if you don’t.

Of course, Cuoco later claimed her comments were taken out of context. But a direct quote is a direct quote, no?

Whatever she meant, whether she was playing to the Redbook crowd and got caught up or whatever, feminism is necessary so that women are treated fairly. Simple.