Just when I think Cardi B is perfect and that there is nothing she could do to make me love her more, she puts out a new, glorious video. Her Instagram page is always a source of light, inspiration, and dick jokes, and a message she put out yesterday may have topped everything that came before. In the vid, Cardi explains the definition of feminism to those who still just don’t get it — even though it’s 2016, come on people — continuing the legacy of WOC having to break down what should be a very simple concept, á la Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie.
“If you believe in the equal rights of men and women, that makes you a feminist,” says Cardi. “I don’t understand how you bitches feel like being a feminist means being a woman that has an education, that has a degree. That is not being a feminist.”
“[If] you’re discouraging a certain type of woman, that definitely doesn’t make you [a feminist],” she continues. “And some bitches want to act like, ‘oh, you have to read a book about feminists.’ No you do not!”
“Being a feminist is something so great, and y’all don’t want me to be great,” she says. “I’m going to encourage every type of woman. You don’t have to be a woman like me for me to encourage and support you, and tell you, ‘yes bitch, keep on going.’”
Look, there is obviously nothing wrong with being informed and reading a book about feminism — like Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists, a portion of which was sampled on Beyoncé’s “***Flawless.” Reading is good for you. Being aware and informed is good for you, something I must tell myself every day when instead of reading a book, I start watching reality TV. But Cardi is making a nuanced point here.
All you need to do to be a feminist is to believe that men, women, or people of any gender deserve equal rights. That’s it. As Cardi said, you do not need to be any particular type of woman to be a feminist. Beliefs that you have to be a certain type of person, that you need to care about certain types of issues, has made feminism feel exclusionary to a lot of women, especially Black women. There’s a reason that “white feminism” is a hot-button issue — feminism should be a movement open to all.
To all women: yes, bitch, keep on going.
(Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images)
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