When Did Feminism Become a F-Bomb?

Growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, I can distinctly remember hearing the word ‘feminist’ used as a slur. It conjured up images of unshaved legs, a face sneered in anger, a humorless woman who didn’t care about being attractive (and wasn’t), a woman who hated (and was hated by) men.

During my boy-crazy pre-teen years, it was an insult of the highest order. Strangely, though, outside of that context, I really didn’t hear too much about the word. I went to an all-girls school. Our motto was “Girls can do anything” and the importance of gender equality was embedded in nearly everything we did. Yet our teachers rarely, if ever, called it feminism. It was a word to be implied, but never spoken, probably because the teachers guessed that if they called what they were teaching us feminism, we’d want nothing to do with it.

Thankfully, and rightfully so, all that has shifted. For the first time in probably decades, the word is being propagated (if not always embraced) by the mainstream media. Beyonce wrote an album about it. Karl Lagerfeld celebrated it in his Spring 2015 Chanel show. Emma Watson championed it in front of the UN. Celebrities are clamoring to be labeled as one and, unsurprisingly, young women (even of the pre-teen boy-crazy variety) are proudly following in their footsteps.

But feminism is not a trend. It’s been around for centuries (see: Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, published in 1792) and has played a major role in shaping our society today (hi abolitionism, environmentalism, suffragettes). And, sorry bae, but feminism, as a word, actually means something — no matter how much it’s being thrown around.

The Women's Movement.

Daring to Be Inspirational.


"I get worried for young girls sometimes: I want them to feel they can be sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart and independent."
-Amy Poehler


"All I want is an education
and I am not afraid of no one."
-Makaka Yousafzai
(a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, she faced an attempted assasination for her views.)


"I do call myself a feminist.
It's worth paying attention to the roles that are sort of dictated to us, and to realize that we don't have to fit into those roles. We can be anybody we want."
-Joseph Gordon-Levitt


"At the end of the day,
we can endure much more
than we think we can."
-Frida Khalo

Gloria Steinem

"Without leaps of imagination,
or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all,
is a form of planning."
-Gloria Steinem

Zooey Deschanel

"It's not about women
acting like men, it's about women acting like women and being successful."
- Zooey Deschanel

Two Young Girls

"Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. We have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.""
-Beyonce (The Shriver Report)

Lena Dunham

"FEMINISTS believe that men and women should have the same opportunities. If you are a feminist you believe in equal rights as a whole. That's not a concept you can really shoot down."
- Lena Dunham

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

In response to ongoing abuses of women’s rights, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her supporters established the AHA Foundation in 2007 to help protect and defend the rights of women in the West from oppression justified by religion and culture.

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Join the movement for gender equality and feminism. We know you have something smart, funny, positively girly and wonderfully womanly to say—-we double-dog dare you to share your support for feminism with the world!

f*word asterix
she believed she could, and she did!
Commit to gender equality.

Let's keep this going!

Educate yourself on the history of the women's movement and what young women are doing right now that illustrates girl power and womanly wiles at the best. Below is a list to get you started!

Be proud of being a feminist. Invite your guy and girl friends, Mom, Dad, Coach, and teachers to join the f-word movement. Harnessing the power of feminist of the past by striving to make daring choices.