Was Author Jackie Collins A Feminist? The Answer Is Complicated

With how hard the “Queen of Steam” worked to bring honest portrayals of women and sex to readers, the question “Was Jackie Collins a feminist?” seems like it would be easy. Incidentally, the answer is not as straightforward as you’d expect, though. The late author, whose family announced she died after battling cancer Saturday, may have been all about taking on double standards, but the term “feminist” wasn’t one she readily used to identify herself.

“'Feminist' always conjures up a picture of a bunch of women ripping off their bras and throwing them away, which is so ridiculous,” Collins told the Huffington Post in 2014, using her trademark candor. (It is ridiculous, especially considering that the image is a myth.) However, she added that she was “a feminist in [her] own particular way.”

What’s interesting is that Collins wasn’t overly fond of the term, but she did seem to be a proponent of the ideals. Not only did she add in the interview that she wanted equal rights for women and that she frequently wrote about the gender double standard, her motto, as stated in a Vanity Fair interview, was “Girls can do anything!” The issue may just be a matter of semantics.

The term “feminist,” unfortunately does seem to have a negative connotation for some — those who erroneously believe it means knocking men down to lift women up. In fact, feminism is about just what Collins described: women having the same rights as men. While it would have been great if she’d embraced the title, much of her impressive life and work did prioritize the movement’s goals.

Image: Giphy