Is Sarah Jessica Parker A Feminist Or A Humanist?

Photo: Everett Collection/Rex USA.
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto, let's call the whole thing off!

She's played Gloria Steinem and one of TV's most beloved female characters, but Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't identify as a feminist. The actress calls herself a humanist in the August issue of Cosmopolitan.

"As [playwright] Wendy Wasserstein would say, I'm a humanist," she told the magazine. "I'm enormously appreciative of the work that my mother's generation did. We are the beneficiaries of a lot of disappointment, heartache, discouragement, and misunderstanding. But I see a lot of people trying to sort out their roles. People of color, gays, lesbians, and transgenders who are carving out this space. I'm not spitting in the face or being lazy about what still needs to be done — but I don't think it's just women anymore. We would be so enormously powerful if it were a humanist movement.”

There's little to argue with there, though being feminist and supporting the rights of the LGBT community and other minorities certainly aren't mutually exclusive. While Parker doesn't want to be labeled as a feminist, her causes are, well, pretty feminist.

Here's what the star had to say about the policy changes she'd like to see.

"Equality in pay. Paid sick leave. The thing that would change people's lives maybe more than anything, assuming that we maintain access to health care, is child care. If I could guarantee every mother who is working two, three jobs that she had good child care that didn't make her anxious all day — people would probably work in more efficient ways. How many times do you hear a wealthy person get asked, How do you do it all? If I'm asked that question one more time… I'm like, are you kidding me? Ask someone who looks like she's about to drop, How are you doing? How are you managing?”

Again, right on. Parker's heart is undoubtedly to be in the right place, but her refusal to align herself with the feminist movement could send the message that feminism only cares about women, not "humans" as a whole and not other groups fighting for the same equality we seek. Is it worth quibbling over semantics if she's fighting the good fight anyway? Or is she sending mixed messages? Maybe we'll let her actions speak for themselves.


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