Breeality Bites

From Joan Rivers to Lauren Bacall, Feminists Aren't Always Labeled

Feminism, like most radical ideas, doesn't have to be labeled in order to be effective. In 2014, the debate over who is a feminist and if what they do is feminist in nature is the topic for discussion. Which pop stars consider themselves feminists and which ones run as fast as they can away from the term (Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus are in the the former category, while Katy Perry is in the latter) is the random red carpet query of the decade. Then there's Beyonce, light years ahead of any pop star to be considered her equal, and she still gets questioned over whether or not she should be standing in front of a one-hundred foot LED screen that reads "feminist." (The answer: Beyonce can actually do whatever in the hell she wants.)

No longer is feminism banished to its little corner for conversation and discussion; now, feminist voices are finding their way to the virtual pages, vying for readers alongside sports and political coverage. But before feminism was treated as the latest trend, there were trailblazers doing it justice, even if popular culture wasn't embracing the ideals. And alongside those big voices labeled "feminist," there were and always have been the other women -- the ones who don't come out and say "I'm a feminist," but rather just choose to live their lives that way.

See also: How not to talk to a woman at a music festival (or anywhere else)