It’s hard not to feel a little miffed at beloved American comedian Tina Fey when you watch the short interview she gave to Bustle, posted on Friday. While promoting her new film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot with co-star Margot Robbie, the two are queried about the trend of asking female celebrities if they’re feminists. Fey tells interviewer Rachel Simon that she hates it when her famous female cohorts respond to the question by saying (and here Fey adopts an annoyingly squeaky voice), “I’m a humanist.” Wrong answer, says Fey.
She’s right in that humanism isn’t the safe alternative to feminism. Humanism encompasses feminism and gender equality but is much more, while women’s rights are something to champion using the word feminism. We’ve covered this issue before when Sarah Jessica Parker prioritized the h-word over the f-word.
But when Fey concludes the interview by flatly pleading, “Let’s retire ‘I’m a humanist,’” the humanist in us screams, no! Let’s not do that. Let’s press people in the spotlight to learn and know what it means to use the label: a humanist is a person who is good without a god. Why not start asking celebrities (and not just famous women) from the get-go: “Are you a humanist?”