Dear Shailene Woodley
by Sarah Marian Seltzer
TO: Shailene Woodley
SUBJ: An apology
Dear Shailene Woodley,
Okay, we give up. You have sniffed us out, you brilliant little Divergent, you. You too, country singer Sara Evans. You too, Marissa Mayer, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Bjork, early-career Lady Gaga and every other female celebrity who has declared, when prompted, “I’m not a feminist. I love men.” (Or in Gaga’s case, “I hail men.”)
Yes, we have have protested vocally every time one of you powerful celebrity ladies utters this phrase. Sometimes we’ve even protested the protesting! But the reality is, we were so upset because you nailed us, dammit. All these years, we, The Feminists have been trying to “repackage” ourselves, rebrand ourselves if you will, with a new friendly face. Equality, we cry out! Education access! Social, political and sexual equality! Healthcare for all! Family leave! No more rape! Common-sense stuff like that. Stuff you actually support, right? And for a while, it seemed like we were really getting somewhere. Our fake ideas about egalitarianism and gender normativity were catching on! People were embracing us.
But then you, Shailene Woodley, curse your brilliant heart, pulled back the curtain and revealed the truth. All that “equality” talk is an elaborately constructed facade. Equal pay? Reproductive autonomy? Ha! We really exist for one reason only: to insinuate ourselves into the world of men, enslave, and conquer. Our movement’s name isn’t actually Feminism but in truth, the League of Bitter Misandrist Hags Who Burn Phalluses in Effigy Nightly and Wake Ourselves Up With a Fresh Vial of Male Tears in the morning. LOBMHWBPIENWOUWFVMT is a doozy of an acronym. You can see why we changed it to feminism to begin with.
All of our marriages and hetero life-partnerships founded on equality and mutual trust? Lie. Our sons we’re raising to respect women? Total lie. Our male buds, queer and straight, into whose bosoms we confide? Our tweets about how cute and supportive our dads were on the soccer field? Lies. Our male allies and movement leaders? Mere props. Our gushing over Idris Elba’s sexy pics, our choosing Team Peeta vs. Team Gale? An act, an act, an act — Katniss should have made those whiny boys eat nightlock in book one, then teamed up with President Coin to wreak havoc.
We’ve gone to such lengths to preserve our true purpose, and yet, we’ve failed at keeping our secret. Somehow, our society manages to beam the truth about us into the brains of your fellow female celebrities, even in their bubble of isolation and privilege. It’s almost like in Divergent, when the serum causes a simulation, and — anyway, never mind. The point is this; you celebrities spread the hidden truth about us in blogs and glossy magazines, distancing yourselves from us while you snatch those silly ideas about equality, the ones we constructed to camouflage our nefarious purpose, and claim them for your own! And that’s why we keep ragging on you.
So we give up. And maybe it will be better now that we’ve gone public. You see we hold out hope, Shailene and company, that one day you will taste male tears and you will realize, mmm, ohmygod YUM, these are absolutely delicious… and on that day, you will join us.
P.S. Loved your dress at the Met Gala. Bold choice.
Photo via modestchanges/flickr.
Previously: Henry James, Reviewed by Henry James