After rejecting the label earlier this year, Pharrell Williams has come around on the term “feminist.”
In an interview in May, the “Blurred Lines” singer and songwriter said: “I’ve been asked, am I a feminist? I don’t think it’s possible for me to be that… I’m a man. It makes sense up until a certain point. But what I do is — I do support feminists. I do think there’s injustices. There are inequalities that need to be addressed.” Several bloggers and journalists pointed out after the interview that men can, in fact, be feminists if they believe in political, economic and social equality between the sexes.
So when asked at a BuzzFeed event this week if he considers himself a feminist, Pharrell had a revised answer: “If I’m allowed to be. If feminism is a synonym for equality, then, yeah, sure.” Perhaps male celebrities like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Aziz Ansari speaking out about their feminism changed Pharrell’s mind.
He also defended “Blurred Lines” lyrics that drew criticism from some who said the song was sexist and predatory. “If you sing the lyrics to yourself, the guy gets nowhere,” he said. “And when you think about lines like, ‘I know you want it,’ a lot of ladies [said] that before, and I’m pretty sure they weren’t inferring they were doing something forceful with a man.”
Whether the lyrics to the song are sexist or not, Pharrell has been very vocal about his support for women’s equality this fall.
In September he endorsed a feminist party leader in Sweden during a concert. “Let’s give women a shot for once in a while to try to run this world,” he yelled at the concert. And earlier this month, Pharrell previewed Gwen Stefani’s “Spark the Fire” during the Odd Future Carnvial in Los Angeles, playing the song from his cellphone. “It’s about feminism,” he told the crowd.