Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting’s recent comments, that she doesn’t consider herself a feminist, are not surprising. There was a very predictable angry reaction by twitter feminists that I’d like to address.
Feminists of the past made many great achievements for women in America and the world, such as voting rights, rights to education, careers, property rights and the right to pursue leadership positions in government or the private sector. That Kaley doesn’t embrace the feminist label today, does not betray these feminists of the past. Today’s “feminists” are far less interested in equality, and far more interested in male bashing, playing victim, crying “RAPE!” anytime a woman regrets having sex (but not men of course), and demanding tax-payer funding for the consequences of their sexual liberty. I’m not surprised that an intelligent, successful, and happily married Kaley has no interest in THAT feminism. She actually explained it very well in the interview, that she’s never experienced the kind of discrimination and inequality that feminism stands against.
That she loves “serving her man” is not a statement of subordination. I love making my wife happy, and she loves making me happy. Dr. Phil used to say that a successful “marriage isn’t 50/50, but 100/100.” Sure, you make compromises, but if you love your spouse, there’s no quid pro quo. You are happy making them happy, and I see no reason why a liberated woman can’t cook for her husband if it makes HER happy.
As always, there’s the “feminist” or two who refers to the “meaning of feminism”, usually the dictionary definition. Yes, the dictionary defines feminism as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities” because that is the traditional definition, and it is what feminists of the past fought for. I fail to see how forcing Hobby Lobby to pay for birth control, or crying rape while simultaneously pushing for gun control (making it harder for women to protect themselves) is consistent with that definition. I think Kaley knows exactly what “feminism” has come to mean, and that’s why she has no interest in it.
Lastly, I’d like to defend her role in The Big Bang Theory, as Penny.
Maybe based on the pilot, one might get the impression that Penny was the stereotypical “dumb blonde”, but as the show developed, one could see this was not the case. Penny isn’t ditsy, she isn’t spoiled, and she isn’t shallow. She does have a far-fetched dream of becoming an actress, which she eventually gives up on by the current Season 8 in favor of a more promising career. Throughout the series, Penny is often the street smart character who has bailed out her genius male friends more than once. They’ve bailed her out too. That’s what friends do.
Besides, the show as a whole is not giving the impression that women are dumb and men are brilliant scientists…if you bother to watch past the pilot episode. Next came Bernadette, who started off as a Cheesecake Factory waitress, but earned a PhD in Microbiology, and became a successful researcher and developer for a big pharm company. My personal disdain for that industry aside, Bernadette is not some dumb blonde clearly, though she may appear that way at first glance. Then came Amy, Sheldon’s “girl slash friend”, later “girlfriend”. Amy is a socially awkward, brilliant neurosurgeon who, like Sheldon, slowly becomes more sociable and street smart thanks to her friendship with Penny…you know…the “dumb blond waitress”?