Buffy creator calls for end of word 'feminist'

09:22 8th November 2013

Man of the moment - writer and director Joss Whedon has spoken out on gender issues and feminism, slamming poor old Katy Perry in the process.

Speaking at Equality Now's 'Make Equality Reality' on Monday (November 4) Whedon stated that he hated the word "feminist", quickly making the distinction that he didn't mean "feminists".

"I hope I'm being clear, I didn't say I hate feminists, that would be weird, I said I hate feminist. I'm talking about the word"  he said. "You can't be born an 'ist.' It's not natural. ... 'Feminist' includes the idea that believing men and women to be equal, believing all people to be people, is not a natural state. That we don't emerge assuming that everybody in the human race is a human. That the idea of equality is just an idea that is imposed on us."

Whedon's proposition is that we replace the word "feminist" with "genderist" in order to make it clear that you either believe in women as people or you don't. He wants the word to be substituted because "there was a shameful past before we realized that all people were created equal. And we are past that."

Watch Whedon discuss equality in the video below

Moving on to highlight an example, Whedon set his sights on Prism singer: "The great Katy Perry once said -- I'm paraphrasing -- 'I'm not a feminist but I like it when women are strong.' That's lovely, Katy. Don't know why she feels the need to say the first part. With the introduction of "genderist," "Katy Perry won't say, 'I'm not a feminist but I like strong women,' she'll say, 'I'm not a genderist but sometimes I like to dress up pretty.' And that'll be fine."

"This is how we understand society. The word racism didn't end racism, it contextualized it in a way that we still haven't done with this issue," Whedon concluded. "Does that mean that this will end the problem? Yes, definitely, we've done it. All of recorded human history against one benefit dinner? No contest. Okay, so, enjoy dessert."