Young Feminists in Hollywood Speak Out…

…But who is listening? and do we take them seriously?

Tea Smith, Staff Reporter

Overt or open feminism has been a topic of interest among women in entertainment in recent years.  The topic has always garnered controversial attention from many people due to the way the media portrays feminism.  Many celebrities, including singer Beyoncé and actress Emma Watson, have been letting the world know what they think about feminism (and trying to change the way it is seen by the public) with moving speeches, performances, and interviews.

But what about the youth of Hollywood?

Young stars like Amandla Stenberg and Rowan Blanchard have taken to using social media (naturally) as a platform to address the heavy topics like feminism, culture appropriation, and police brutality. Early this year, a video of Amandla Stenberg speaking on culture appropriation [“Don’t Cash Crop on my Cornrows“] went viral which got the media talking as well as their audiences.  Many praised Amandla, 16 years old at the time, for speaking about how the fashion industry has been making profit off hairstyles that black women have been wearing for decades.  

But others reduced her to being an “angry black girl” for the video and also a string of Instagram posts where she spoke about how society loves black features [like?] but not black women.  People also criticized Stenberg for not speaking enough about issues within the black community that relate to feminism [like?] but they fail to realize that she is only 17 years old and should not have to educate the world on these issues.  And we haven’t even talked about the misogyny and racial hatred on open display in the YouTube comments–that would be a whole separate article.

Rowan Blanchard made headlines for her essay on feminism, which she published on Tumblr and posted to Instagram.  In her essay, Blanchard spoke about feminism, and how “white feminism” [define!] forgets what intersectional feminism does not, making made several good points about how all women experience sexism and inequality differently. She later went on to talk about how race issues are feminist issues and how black women cannot speak on race issues without being labeled (and dismissed) as an “angry black girl.”

Blanchard said, as a nod to Amandla, “We are so quick to applaud white women for commenting on race issues/ discussions like #BlackLivesMatter, and #SayHerName, but when a black girl comments on it- she is told she is overreacting or being angry.”

It is a pity that adults do not take teenage girls more seriously, especially when they are speaking about serious issues like these–but that’s why feminism exists, to get people to hear female voices.  Not to mention that these girls sometimes know more about the issues than many adults do, doesn’t that say a lot?


Please note: the opinion(s) above are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the entire WarriorInk staff, the teachers or administrators of Indian River High School, or the district Board of Education.