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Shailene Woodley Says She's Not a Feminist Because "You Need Balance"

by Beth Hanna
May 5, 2014 4:26 PM
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Shailene Woodley

Shailene Woodley is a pretty amazing quote generator (her Earth Mama comments about foraging in the woods and making her own lotions have inspired numerous listicles and clickbait fodder), and now she's said a few things to TIME about, as they call it, the "F" word. That would be feminism. 

Woodley's not into it, and she doesn't consider herself a feminist because: "I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance."

Now, many consider themselves to be feminists for the very reason that "you need balance," but ah well. Though Woodley doesn't identify as a feminist, she is pro-sisterhood:

"My biggest thing is really sisterhood more than feminism. I don’t know how we as women expect men to respect us because we don’t even seem to respect each other. There’s so much jealousy, so much comparison and envy."

She has a valid point that women can very much perpetuate misogyny. But should this simple fact keep women from expecting respect from men? While you meditate on that one, here's the exchange between Woodley and TIME about "The Other Woman," which received pretty dismal reviews but was nonetheless the box office champ two weekends ago:

Shailene Woodley: It’s really neat to see: there’s that new Judd Apatow [sic] movie coming out, The Other Woman, and that looks really good because I think it’s really neat that it shows women coming together and supporting each other and creating a sisterhood of support for one another versus hating each other for something that somebody else created.

TIME: So even though what they’re coming together for is to bring down a man…

SW: Yeah, but they create a sisterhood. And he did something wrong, and they’re, you know. They’re going to go after him for it. I think it’s great.

Meanwhile, here's our TOH! Career Watch assessment of Woodley, who's got her second YA buzzy title of the year coming up, "The Fault in Our Stars," following March's solid "Divergent."

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More: News, Shailene Woodley, News


  • James M. | May 6, 2014 3:48 PMReply

    Oh my God, what is this article SAYING?! What's your point, Beth? You give a few quotes, pose a hypothetical, shape your opinion on women respecting women in the form of a question, but there's no substance here! So frustrating.

    And Joanne Moldt, I hope your assessment that Woodley doesn't sound very smart was meant ironically, because you wrote "for peats sake." The idiom is "for Pete's sake," and dates back to Biblical times. Peat is decayed vegetation.

    Oh, and to any of the women in this thread jumping on the girl for her views on feminism: Congrulations for making her point. Morons.

  • Dawn | May 6, 2014 9:47 AMReply

    She has every right to an opinion and shame on so called feminist for bashing her the way I've seen. The feminist movement is nothing but misandric/misogynistic crap today and it needs to be called out.

  • JoeS | May 6, 2014 9:27 PM

    Says a woman (we presume) who would NEVER EVER want to give back the advances in society that 'DAWN' takes advantage of every single day. Talk about being clueless AND ungrateful for what feminists achieved.

  • Rick | May 6, 2014 8:03 AMReply

    Yes, of course the dictionary definition of feminism means equality, but that doesn't mean the most vocal (or the most covered) feminists are those who lost sight of that definition and spend most of their efforts over-correcting. She didn't just invent a new definition for feminism. This new meaning of feminism has been formed from years of propaganda and internal misguidedness

  • Jonathan | May 6, 2014 4:10 AMReply

    Wow, she need to look up the word 'feminism' in a dictionary, I sure hope she isn't actually against equality for women.

  • Madison | May 6, 2014 3:43 AMReply

    ARRGHHH!! She sounds an idiot ? Feminism really means "equality".
    Does she want to get paid less for the same work a male actor does ?? I hope making these statements provides her with the opportunity to get better informed.

  • JoeS | May 5, 2014 9:42 PMReply

    I will forgive her a bit since she's so young.

    But, sadly, she is FAR from the only sub-30 year old woman who has no clue how things were their own moms and aunts were their age. They buy into the 'FemiNazi' crap that right wing radio blares out. Still other DO know the history, but take it for granted so much that they feel that there no longer has to be an active feminist movement - they've already "won".

    Hopefully, someone close to Woodley will take her aside and give her the full picture. Soon.

  • Joanne Moldt | May 5, 2014 8:45 PMReply

    Geez she doesn't sound very smart. Did she finish high school? Go to the dictionary and look up feminism for peats sake.

  • Jo | May 5, 2014 7:53 PMReply

    What is the opposite of misogyny? There's a word for it but we never hear it even though it exists. Sexism goes both ways and men aren't always the guilty party. even though they take all the flak these days. Modern feminism is a farce. It has served its purposes.

  • KH | May 5, 2014 10:15 PM

    The opposite of misogyny is misandry, however many modern day feminists claim it doesn't exist. Even though it does. Modern day feminism is still needed, but in the western world it's not.

  • tyler4all | May 5, 2014 7:32 PMReply

    "My biggest thing is really sisterhood more than feminism. I don’t know how we as women expect men to respect us because we don’t even seem to respect each other. There’s so much jealousy, so much comparison and envy."

    don't forget ignorance. there is so much ignorance. Feminism is about equal rights for women. She needs to do some research or just...not speak.

    I'm glad the TIME interviewer reminded her of the fact that yes, "The Other Woman" is a movie about 3 women coming together to mess with a man. How about a movie about women coming together NOT because of something a guy did? lame!

  • Glw | May 5, 2014 6:30 PMReply

    I am so glad she's an actress. A sub-par one at best. She'll be gone before we know it. But seriously? Look up the term. The goal of Feminism is not the toppling of the men. It is simply the goal of getting equal rights for all sexes and genders. She really just shot herself in the foot and truly looks like an idiot.

  • MB | May 5, 2014 5:11 PMReply

    Do these young ladies not understand that being a feminist just simply means that you believe in equal rights and equal pay for women!?

  • James M. | May 6, 2014 3:50 PM

    Yeah, that's not what 'feminism' means to many women. Maybe to you.

  • anonymous | May 5, 2014 5:52 PM

    I don't think they do.

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