An Open Letter To Lana Del Rey
I went to your show in NYC the other day. I thought you were fabulous — just as good live as on your albums. But there’s something that’s stopping me from being your #1 fan and advocate… feminism and your lack thereof.
In 2014 you said “whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, god. I’m just not really that interested” and “my idea of a true feminist is a woman who feels free enough to do whatever she wants”. Then later, in 2015, you clarified with “the luxury we have as a younger generation is being able to figure out where we want to go from here, which is why I’ve said things like, ‘I don’t focus on feminism, I focus on the future’”.
This combination of ideas seems a little off-base. It seems like you think that feminism has already done its thing and you’re looking forward, that it’s no longer interesting, and that you are fortunate enough to be the “woman who feels free enough to do whatever she wants”. I’m sorry, I love your music, and your well-written lyrics, but that just doesn’t make any sense right now. And I think that you know that! Hence my question: why are you remaining agnostic?
Let me break it down for you:
1) Feminism is a part of the future. It isn’t over — we aren’t equal yet — and complacency isn’t going to get us there.
2) If feminism’s not interesting to you, okay, but maybe you should keep that to yourself considering the huge fan base of young people you have. If Lana Del Rey thinks it’s boring, it’s less cool for them to be interested in and talk about — which is key to change. It’s also pretty rude to dismiss a huge oppression faced by 100s of millions of people so flippantly…
3) You seem to be blinded by your own privilege. It’s fantastic that you’re free enough to do what you want. But so many people aren’t! Just because you’re not starving, it doesn’t mean that other people aren’t, or that it isn’t a real problem.
If you believe that men and women (and everybody) should be equal, then you are a feminist. Simple as that. You don’t have to be an active feminist, you don’t actually have to do anything. Just don’t shy away from the word. Live your feminist life the way you want to. But right now you are hurting women by saying that you’re not a feminist.
Please, please reconsider. I will be your #1 fan.