The word “feminism” can be a touchy one, especially given the wildly-varying definitions out there, and celebrities often seem particularly wary of stating their allegiance (or lack-thereof) to the concept. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, however, has no such qualms.
In a recent interview with the Daily Beast that’s now gone viral, the star explained why he considers himself a feminist, and then went on to give the word one of the most clear, simple, and positive definitions we ever remember hearing.
Gordon-Levitt was asked:
I read that you consider yourself a “male feminist,” and you credit your parents who are educators and really taught you about the history of feminism. But nowadays, you have a lot of young stars coming out against being labeled a feminist.
His response (below) has both women and men singing his praises in multiple publications and all over social media:
Coming out against the label? Wow. I guess I’m not aware of that. What [feminism] means to me is that you don’t let your gender define who you are—you can be who you want to be, whether you’re a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, whatever. However you want to define yourself, you can do that and should be able to do that, and no category ever really describes a person because every person is unique. That, to me, is what “feminism” means. So yes, I’d absolutely call myself a feminist. And if you look at history, women are an oppressed category of people. There’s a long, long history of women suffering abuse, injustice, and not having the same opportunities as men, and I think that’s been very detrimental to the human race as a whole. I’m a believer that if everyone has a fair chance to be what they want to be and do what they want to do, it’s better for everyone. It benefits society as a whole.
Disarmingly honest, refreshingly simple, and difficult to refute — well done, Sir. Here is just a sampling of the love being hurled his way in the Twitterverse, all of which we wholeheartedly second.
— ♥Leiram (@MissLenariel) August 15, 2014
— Ravishly (@ravishlydotcom) August 15, 2014
— Ashley Lusk (@arlusk) August 15, 2014