Aziz Ansari Says He's A Feminist Because That's Just How Words Work

The hot-button question for celebrities these days is whether or not someone is a feminist. It's the new "declare yourself" — the other f-word. What tends to get lost in the discussion, however, is what exactly the word actually means. Many celebrities are hesitant to declare themselves feminists because of the connotation the word has picked up that feminists are man-haters. Well, Aziz Ansari is here to set everyone straight.
"If you look up 'feminist' in the dictionary, it just means men and women have equal rights," the comedian explained to David Letterman and his studio audience after asking them to clap if they considered themselves feminists. "But, I think the reason people don't clap is that word's so weirdly used in our culture. Now, people think feminist means like, some woman's gonna start yelling at them. Like, Precious' mom is going to start throwing stuff at you."
Advertisement
But, Ansari reminded everyone to ignore the shades of meaning that have gotten attached to the word. "If you do believe that men and women have equal rights, and someone asks if you're a feminist, you have to say yes because that is how words work."
If you're not a by-the-book definitionist (is that a thing?), let Aziz put it in more pop cultural terms. "You're a feminist if you go to a Jay Z and Beyoncé concert, and you're not like, 'I feel like Beyoncé should get 23% less money than Jay Z. Also, I don't think Beyoncé should have the right to vote, and why is she singing and dancing? Shouldn't she make Jay a steak? I'm sure he's very tired after walking and rapping those two songs.'"
In other words, if you're not down with feminism because of how Merriam-Webster defines it, then perhaps you'll get on board when you put it in the Beyoncé context. Don't let Bey down. She can see your halo. (Crushable)
Advertisement