Katy Perry, Lorde, And Two Very Different Feminist Experiences

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We know the “F” word is a touchy subject. Some women are too afraid to identify as a feminist in fear of isolating those around them. Others strongly agree with the modern feminist movement and can’t imagine how any woman wouldn’t.

Two pop stars who are at the top of their game, Katy Perry and Lorde, couldn’t be more opposite when it comes to whether they like to call themselves a feminist or not, yet the things they express are more similarly inline with each other than they might think.

We have said it before and will say it again: many women who are anti-feminist often express sentiments that are very feminist, which leads us to think the tension has to do with the negative associations with the word itself, rather than what feminists actually stand for.

Both of these singers expressing their view in such a public forum reiterates this once again, and while it feels like a *smacks palm on forehead* “duh!” moment, it is also very helpful for a tonne of young women and girls to realize that just because they have different views and opinions doesn’t mean they both can’t call themselves feminist.

Katy Perry covers the latest issue of Harpers Bazaar and in an interview, spoke about being a “boss lady” and how some men can’t handle that she is so ambitious and successful.

“A lot of times I’ve ended up with people who have been intimidated by me, unfortunately. They say they’re not, but it comes out in the long run. They’re threatened, or there’s resentment because they don’t know how to handle it. As I’m heading into my 30s I have less time for bullshit.”

As she continues, it is clear her strength comes from within, something that a lot of feminists identify with.

“What I’ve learned is that if you don’t have the foundation of self-love first, you really have nowhere to pull love from to give it away. I had to learn about taking care of myself before I could take care of others. I want to mommy everyone. I want to take care of them. I want to save them, and I forget myself in the meantime.” She says she starting seeing a therapist who helped her find her inner strength, after her very public divorce from Russell Brand in 2012, and her break up from John Mayer earlier in 2014.

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The issue that has people wondering whether she is a closet feminist is the topic of babies and how to balance it with her career.

“When I do these interviews, a lot of these clips people pull out are like, ‘Katy Perry doesn’t want a man to have babies. I’m like, ‘I didn’t say that. I just said, I’m good.’ Why am I a baby machine? Why can’t I be a mogul? I want to have a baby, sure, but I want to have a career. I want to have a record label. I want to have an incredible tour. So I’m going to have all of those things. Let’s talk about that. It’s like, get out of my ovaries, okay? I’ll do it in time.”

As she gets older she says she gives ““less of a shit. I hear that the 30s are a better version of your 20s, because you know what you want for yourself.”

Compare this with 17 year-old New Zealand singer Lorde (real name Ella Yelich O’Connor) who has openly expressed her views of feminism in many interviews. In contrast, Lorde is from a completely different generation and often refers to feminism in its relevance for her fellow teens.

In an interview with Elle Magazine, she talks about being authentic and how being a popstar growing up in the social media age has definitely made her more mature and aware of her public image.

“It’s something people my age have grown up with. You can go on the Tumblr of any young person in the world and see people marketing themselves. Everyone my age is like that now. We’re all hyperaware of how we’re being seen.”

“Teenagers are such a discerning group of people. They’ll immediately sniff out anything that feels contrived. I’m, like, constantly scanning myself to see if I’m some corporate executive version of a teenager.”

As for the feminist question, because she has been so open about it and been a representative of her generation, she has seen some pretty awesome responses.

“People have told me that I’ve helped them feel confident, like they can say things they want to say. They can talk about feminism in class without people calling them a lesbian. That’s so amazing that I can make someone feel like that.”

We totally understand that not everyone wants to call themselves a feminist or even use the word in their vocabulary. After all, actions speak louder than words and some of the traits Katy Perry exhibits are that of a strong, mature woman who doesn’t apologize for being ambitious or making mistakes.

On the other hand, Lorde is sending a clear and important message to hundreds of thousands of her fans that being a feminist is not a dirty thing and in fact is very empowering. It is interesting to note the differences in approach to feminism, but that’s what makes it so exciting, because it is not a one-size-fits-all movement and should be more inclusive of different ideals and values.

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