THE BLOG

Feminists, Stop Bullying Pop Stars!

19/03/2014 17:33 GMT | Updated 19/05/2014 10:59 BST

If you're a female pop star in 2014 you'll know that banging vocals and killer style just don't cut it anymore. To be an alpha female in the world of pop right now you have to add feminist campaigner to your string of talents... apparently.

Before I continue, let's get one thing straight; I am a feminist and I do believe that men and women should have equal rights. But what I want to ask is this: when did it become okay for us to judge a singer on "how good" a feminist they are?

Poor old Katy Perry has come under fire when talking about feminism again this week.

Back in 2012, she told Billboard magazine, "I am not a feminist, but I do believe in the strength of women." Cue umpteen angry bloggers writing about what a bad role model Katy Perry is.

On Sunday Katy spoke about feminism again (brave woman), this time stating that she is a feminist. And guess what? The angry bloggers still said she got it wrong!

Appearing on Australia's Today show on March 16, Katy was asked by host Karl Stefanovic if she considers herself to be a feminist.

"A feminist? Uh, yeah, actually," Katy said. "I used to not really understand what that word meant, and now that I do, it just means that I love myself as a female and I also love men."

Instead of congratulating K-Pezza on her (albeit reluctant) identification as a feminist, the internet went wild with piss-taking gifs that criticised the singer for her lack of understanding of the term "feminist".

Katy Perry left school to pursue a career in music, not to become a feminist, so why are we expecting her to be a spokesperson for "the sisterhood"?

We're changing the job description of pop star to include "political and social activist" without considering that these entertainers may not be equipped for the role. We criticise pop stars who don't say they're feminists, then we criticise stars who do say they are feminists but don't present their argument in an articulate Naomi Wolf manner.

Let's all calm down, stop criticising people, and enjoy a good sing-song to I Kissed a Girl.

Katy Perry isn't the only pop star turned feminist that has felt the wrath of the angry bloggers.

Instead of applauding Lily Allen's comeback song Hard Out Here for its open questioning of a 21st century patriarchal society, bloggers questioned whether Lily is even a feminist at all and threw in the word "racist" for good measure (I personally found both of these accusations ridiculous).

In the media's rush to find fault with feminist pop stars, Lily was even labelled an anti-feminist last week after she was apparently misquoted by Shortlist to have said: "I hate that word because it shouldn't even be a thing anymore," when talking about feminism.

In a subsequent interview with The Debrief, Lily insisted that she was merely trying to explain that she is disappointed that feminism is still a subject as gender equality should have already been reached.

Beyoncé gave feminism an A List profile when she included a speech from feminist writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on her track Flawless. Queen Bey's self-titled album is all about empowering women, yet "she's wearing tiny pants so can't be a feminist" seems to be the over-riding response from the aforementioned angry bloggers.

You know what, I, Rachel Moss, am a feminist, and if I looked like Beyoncé I would be rocking tiny pants at every opportunity too!

I'm not saying the likes of Katy Perry, Lily Allen and Beyoncé always get it right (and yes I was as disappointed by thatDrunk in Love lyric as the rest of you), but is it that surprising? These women are entertainers, not trained social commentators - cut them some slack already!

You may not agree with everything they do, but there is no denying that these pop stars (and many others) have raised the profile of feminism and this can only be a good thing. My fear is if we keep shaming stars for their feminist efforts, instead of applauding them, they will disassociate themselves with the movement completely.

So instead of racing to find fault with feminist pop stars, let's focus on the positive message that these strong, successful women give our daughters about female empowerment. Feminists, stop telling other women that they're bad feminists. Nobody's perfect... even Katy Perry.