19/08/2014 13:17 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Explains Why He's "Absolutely" A Feminist

The F word has been broached with caution by some celebs of late - Lana del Rey said the label was "boring", and Katy Perry and Shailene Woodley have said they're "not" feminists. And as it was to us, the news was a pretty big shock to Joseph Gordon-Levitt.


He told Ellen DeGeneres he is a "feminist, absolutely," when he appeared on her talk show in January.

And talking to Daily Beast he explained his views further, after the interviewer told him: "You have a lot of young stars coming out against being labeled a feminist."

To which he responded: "Coming out against the label? Wow. I guess I'm not aware of that."

And so he laid down the meaning of feminism, saying: "What [feminism] means to me is that you don't let your gender define who you are-you can be who you want to be, whether you're a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, whatever. However you want to define yourself, you can do that and should be able to do that, and no category ever really describes a person because every person is unique. That, to me, is what 'feminism' means.'"

And confirming why he "absolutely" is one, he said: "If you look at history, women are an oppressed category of people. There's a long, long history of women suffering abuse, injustice, and not having the same opportunities as men, and I think that's been very detrimental to the human race as a whole. I'm a believer that if everyone has a fair chance to be what they want to be and do what they want to do, it's better for everyone. It benefits society as a whole."