How To Be A Powerful Feminist Online

collage photos via getty images

because this year has been bumpy

“Feminist evaluations” have become standard procedure in today’s social justice driven, 24-hour news cycle world. No one is safe from judgment. Not Beyoncé with a giant FEMINIST sign behind her. Not Divergent star Shailene Woodley who doesn’t quite identify with feminism. Not the “bad feminist” herself, Roxane Gay. Not the local school teacher, your good cousin, your dad, your best friend’s sister’s cousin’s boyfriend’s brother, not Felicia, and not even you.

It’s sad, really, that feminism is most frequently brought up in pop culture, written about, or discussed (as a term and ideology) when people feel it’s being done wrong. “Anaconda” isn’t feminist song, they say. Is Beyoncé a true feminist? Taylor Swift calls out Nicki Minaj for being problematic. Nicki (rightfully) claps back. The two make up. Miley brings it back up. Nicki (rightfully) claps back. These were arguably some of feminism’s biggest cultural moments this year, and that’s scary.

We need to break out of this shock/anger/reaction cycle, and use what’s left of 2015 to build the foundation for 2016 feminism and beyond. This is not to say that people shouldn’t get upset over white feminism, or with people who (ignorantly or consciously) reject the word "feminism," or that one sexist uncle that we’re already dreading seeing on Thanksgiving. This is to say that fighting and blowing up Twitter maybe isn't conducive to a more inclusive feminism.

Here are four ways that you specifically can break free from the rage and disappointment that so often plagues feminists in this oppressive, male-dominated world.

collage photos via getty images

1. Don’t participate in celebrity feminism crusades

People and Us Weekly will have us believe that celebrities are just like us. While that’s not exactly true, they are human. Even the greatest humans make mistakes. Sure, Taylor Swift may not be the paragon of inclusive, intersectional, political feminism (see: “Being a feminist is about more than supporting your girlfriends”), but what does it do to constantly critique her every move and action? It ultimately ends with the world criticizing a young woman for not being perfect.

The problem here isn’t accountability; the problem is that for some reason people expect celebrities to be champions of morality and politics, when really, they’re just entertainers (see: Tavi Gevinson’s “on killing your idols”). It’s up to the individual to make the decision not to place the feminism of superstars and millionaires above all else, particularly those who study and live feminism every single day. These celebrities have a responsibility to be positive role models for their fans, because the world still hasn’t taught children (and adults) that they can like something without adopting and modeling it.

What it boils down to is that critiquing every celeb that does something problematic is time-consuming and fruitless, because once one controversy ends another begins. And there we are still wasting time placing people on pedestals and knocking them down.

collage photos via getty images

2. Utilize “BLOCK” on all social media sites

If you are a female-identified person, the Internet will be much more dangerous for you than it would be for a male. Something as simple as commenting on an article can lead to vicious insults, troll spamming, and even threats. Female-focused sites like Femsplain have been specifically created to be safe spaces for female-identified individuals in an otherwise unwelcoming environment.

Women brave the Internet everyday, particularly on sites like Twitter and Reddit, which offer little to no support in terms of quickly banning sexist, dangerous, and oppressive users. That being said, women are still standing up on the web and making their voices known. It’s a fight that women are clearly winning, because they’re not going anywhere. This does not mean, however, that you must feel responsible to put up a fight for the movement every time you sign in. There’s a “BLOCK” button for a reason.

It can be so tempting to engage trolls and ignoramuses, but it ends up, at best, being a poor way to spend your time, and at worst it can be infuriating or terrifying. In most cases, it’s clear whether the person interacting with you is open to discussion or if they’re just trying to shut you down. If it’s the former, maybe chatting is the right way to go. If it’s the latter, please save yourself the time and energy and just block them. It doesn’t make you weak, and it certainly doesn’t make them right. Only in child logic does walking away from an argument indicate that you forfeit.

collage photos via getty images

3. Remember that feminism is a journey

In our world, feminism is not something most people can learn without effort. The art, media, and education system afforded to the typical American child does not include progressive, intersectional, woman-positive messages or undertones. Because of this, feminism is often something young people learn from other feminists or from specific texts and media products that they consume on their own time.

Some people start early, and others don’t get to feminism until later in their life. It seems silly that people have to find their way towards equality, but our world isn’t built and run by people for whom equality is priority. For those of us who understand feminism and the world in which it functions, it can be all too easy to lose our shit on someone who’s getting literally everything in life wrong.

Maybe they think feminism is for female domination, or that feminists don’t respect stay-at-home mothers. Regardless of the assertion or misconception they’re making, it’s important to remember that there’s a difference between people who are ignorant because they were never taught better, and/or because they never had the opportunities, and those who are willfully ignorant. It becomes a feminist’s job to distinguish between the two (re: #2).

Don’t hold back your feelings and don’t feel like you have to be perfect. It’s okay to get angry once in a while. But just remember those who were patient with you when you were still a feminist baby (unless you literally came out of the womb Glory Steinem). Conversations, even difficult and unpleasant ones, build bridges, while fights and arguments destroy them.

collage photos via getty images


Intersectional feminism understands that feminism must consciously recognize the many different identities a woman may have. Feminism must work for the black businesswoman who may be passed up for a job because of racism based on her name alone. Feminism must work for the trans woman who can’t safely use a public restroom. Feminism must work for all the under and unemployed women who rely on Planned Parenthood for healthcare.

If the idea of intersectional feminism is overwhelming for you, start by looking for intros and primers to the topic, as opposed to jumping into the deepest and densest materials. Here is one great starting-point for intersectional feminism, and here’s another super-awesome one.

Intersectionality is the key ingredient to an unstoppable feminist movement, because it will unite all women and their allies against a common enemy. No longer will subcommunities be forced to fight their battles alone. In true intersectional feminism, people come together, mourn together, battle together, grow together, hold each other accountable, and most of all, they listen.

Photo by Handout / Getty Images.

From selling probiotic supplements to picture frames and umbrellas

A Kardashian-level of success doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly doesn't happen without proper planning. Kim Kardashian West clearly knows this because, according to TMZ, she has already filed for trademark protection on the name of her two-week-old baby, Psalm West. From personal appearances and entertainment services to probiotic supplements and scrunchies, she is leaving no stone unturned in terms of possible business opportunities.

Apparently, all of the Kardashian parents file these kinds of trademark protections for their kids even if the businesses never come to fruition. It's done as a precautionary measure to keep others from profiting off of their name and to make sure that, should they ever want to start a business, they don't have to worry about someone else getting to it first. The sheer length of this list speaks to the huge earning potential of baby Psalm, who can't even control his own neck muscles yet, let alone go into business. Still, this brings a whole new meaning to "securing the bag."

Below, a list of all the things Kardashian West is seeking usage rights for.

Hair accessories












Hair extensions

Ornamental novelty pins

Entertainment services

Personal appearances

Skin care

Probiotic supplements

Toy figures

Doll accessories

Computer software


Baby bottles






Skin moisturizers



Bubble bath


Body powders

Shower gels

Body oils

Skin serums

Nail polish

Nail polish remover

Nail care preparations



Toy jewelry

Toy cameras

Toy food

Bath toys

Baby gyms

Playground balls

Electronic action toys

Baby bouncers

Baby changing tables

Baby walkers




Picture frames


Baby carriers

Cosmetic bags

Toiletry cases

Duffle bags




Key chains



photo albums



Writing utensils

Collectible trading cards

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Well, actually it's crocodile, but she looks out of this world so...

Winnie Harlow walked the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday on her way to a screening of Oh Mercy!, wearing a showstopping gown.

The sheer black dress featured green embroidery on the front and back, which Ralph and Russo confirmed was in the shape of a crocodile. She belted the dress with a black crocodile skin-like belt and finished the look off with some strappy heels. She didn't leave it at just that. For beauty, Harlow packed on full lids of sparkly purple eyeshadow. She kept her hair sleek and simple.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Though the brand says otherwise, as Game of Thrones fans, we'd like to think the embroidery is reminiscent of a dragon's skin. Not to mention, Harlow looks out-of-this-world beautiful in it.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

That denim kimono!!

Marion Cotillard shut down the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday at a screening for Matthias Et Maxime. Instead of an extravagant gown that's expected of the event, Cotillard wore a matching black crop top and shorts. Despite wearing an outfit I typically don to a hot yoga class, she looks incredible. She completed the look with an oversized denim kimono, a statement necklace, and heeled booties.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

At first, I was drawn in by the crop top and hotpants duo, but, after looking closer at the kimono, it's clear that it's the real scene-stealer. The floor-length Balmain piece was decorated with artful rips and dragon motifs. I would like to live in it.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Let's all bow down to the Khaleesi of Cannes.

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Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.

"It doesn't make you weak to ask for help"

Singer Billie Eilish is continuing to open up about mental health, this time in a new PSA video in partnership with the Ad Council and Seize the Awkward.

In the video, Eilish insists that "it doesn't make you weak to ask for help." She doubles down on the importance of asking for help, and stresses the importance of friends and family being there when their close ones reach out and checking in on them as well. "You should be able to ask anyone for help, everyone has to help someone if they need it." According to Eilish, there have been times when someone reached out to her at the exact moment she needed it, and it helped.

It was particularly refreshing to see Eilish acknowledge that there are things she still doesn't know and has to learn about her mental health. At the very beginning of the video, the interviewer asks her to reflect on her mental health journey, and all Eilish can do is let out chortle. "I think when people hear, 'Remember to take care of your mental health,' they think that everyone else is, and that is not at all accurate," she admitted. "You know, for me I'm trying to learn still to make sure that I stay okay."

Check out the PSA below.

Billie Eilish On Mental Health & Friendship | Ad Council

Photograph via @kimkardashian.


Kim Kardashian has definitely been accused of borrowing a design now and then. But when Instagram influencer and Kardashian look-alike Kamilla Osman claimed the entrepreneur copied her birthday look for a Met Gala after-party, Kardashian was not going to let it fly—and shared plenty of photo evidence to shut down the claim.

Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada first noticed Osman's claims on Instagram and shared side-by-side images of Kardashian's Cher-inspired outfit designed by Mugler and Osman's dress. "Never get confused with who 'inspires' who. They won't give you credit but they will copy," Osman wrote on her IG story. "I designed this dress for my birthday last year. Nobody had a dress like this was an original design."

Kardashian responded by posting the true inspiration behind her look: images of Cher, in similarly sparkly, plunging-neckline dresses and wigs, and of model Yasmeen Ghauri walking a Mugler show in the '90s. In fact, the only similarity between Osman's and Kardashian's looks is the bodycon mini-dress style, which the two are not the first to wear. Among the images, Kardashian included a blank slide with the hashtag "NotOnMyMoodBoard," making it clear that this was in response to Osman's claims.

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Though I am with Kim on this one, Kardashian does have a history of co-opting other people's work. From being sued over her Kimoji app, to claims she copied makeup palettes and perfume bottle designs, to being accused of copying Naomi Campbell's entire style, it's far from the first (and probably, far from the last) time Kardashian's name will be mentioned like this.