At a recent talk put on by TEDxTeen (an independently organized TED event), teen fashion blogger and EIC of the excellent girls’ website Rookie Tavi Gevinson gave a great talk on feminism, pop culture, and why we should all be Stevie Nicks.
She began by talking about how women and girls are often portrayed in pop culture as flat, one-dimensional characters (with few exceptions), and how limiting that can be for us. She also talked about the false dichotomies she came up against when she became a teen herself: you can’t be both smart and pretty, a feminist and into fashion, etc. This is all very true, in my experience.
She then talked about how being a feminist doesn’t necessarily mean being perfect, and the whole point of including a variety of viewpoints on her website is that she knows she doesn’t have all the answers. There’s no one right way to be a teen, or a feminist, for that matter. She used this awesome graphic to illustrate her point:
It’s nothing I’m not already familiar with, but it’s nice to hear from a teenage girl who a.) is not afraid to call herself a feminist, and b.) knows that just because one person who calls herself a feminist is flawed and/or disagrees with you on something, that doesn’t mean you should scrap the concept altogether. I do think this has its limits–like, I’m not willing to call someone who actively campaigns against equality (like Sarah Palin) a “feminist” just because she says she is–and I’m sure Tavi will come up against this more and more as she talks to more people. But in general, the idea of dialogue and unity is something we should all keep in mind.
Also, it’s cute when she messes up and blushes around 6:20.