Shailene Woodley at Divergent premiere. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Shailene Woodley Explains Why She’s Not A Feminist, Shares Private Email From Kate Winslet

One of Hollywood’s most celebrated up-and-coming stars is Shailene Woodley, who’s best known for the Divergent series and the indie hit The Fault In Our Stars. But aside from her successful film appearances, Shailene Woodley is also known for her outspoken opinions on feminism, health, and lifestyle choices. Most notably, Woodley has been quoted as saying she’s not a feminist, despite a major swell in feminist activism and the famous speech given by another young-adult film adaptation star, Emma Watson.

Shailene Woodley took the opportunity to clarify her opinion of feminism in an interview with Nylon magazine. According to the Daily Mail, after Woodley appeared on the cover of the April issue, she explained that her decision not to identify as a feminist has more to do with labels, and less with social issues.

“The reason why I don’t like to say that I am a feminist or I am not a feminist is because to me it’s still a label. I do not want to be defined by one thing. Why do we have to have that label to divide us? We should all be able to embrace one another regardless of our belief system and regardless of the labels that we have put upon ourselves.”

But Shailene Woodley did touch on the feminist movement a bit, criticizing it for the time and effort it spends on gender equality in the developed world when poorer regions of the world are dealing with more severe suffering.

“I mean, if we spent as much energy focusing on the genocide that’s going on right now in parts of Africa as we spent on that one article, think about what we could accomplish,” Shailene Woodley said. “Change is not going to come from focusing on the small things that actors say.”

Woodley’s fellow Hollywood role model, Emma Watson, would likely argue that feminism doesn’t mean to ignore more threatening issues around the globe by addressing inequality in developed nations, because the dire nature of one world crisis does not render the rest of them invalid. If Watson’s support of feminism is any indication, Shailene Woodley calling herself a feminist could do wonders for women’s rights.

While Shailene Woodley may not look up to Watson the way other young women do, Shailene did admit that her Divergent co-star, Kate Winslet, is like a big sister to her. According to People, Shailene Woodley admitted she was becoming worn-down and discouraged during the press tour for Insurgent. Winslet then sent her a message with words of encouragement, which Shailene shared in her interview.

“Sometimes the waves are going to be so big you’re going to feel like you’re drowning,” Winslet wrote to Woodley. “And someone, that reporter, is going to publish something and make you seem like someone you’re not. And it’s going to feel really s***ty, and you’re not going to be able to find air, and you’re by yourself and there’s sharks everywhere. The important thing to remember is, it’s all waves.”

Do you think Shailene Woodley should call herself a feminist, regardless of her aversion to labels?