Mia Khalife is the queen of social media.
The rapper/actor/model/celebrity is the star of a slew of critically acclaimed, award-winning, and critically acclaimed films and TV shows.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and nominations, including best actress, best director, best actress for her role in American Hustle, best actor for her portrayal of Jessica Alba in The Hurt Locker, best picture, best supporting actress, and best supporting actor for portraying a gay black man in Selma.
But when she says, “I’m a feminist,” you might think it’s a joke.
But as Khalifa herself has noted, her feminism is about “changing the conversation about women in our society,” a sentiment that is often used as a way to criticize her own feminism.
The implication is that women are just not as capable of holding a conversation about oppression as men.
So what is Khalifa’s feminism?
“I am not a misogynist,” Khalifa wrote in a statement released last month.
“I am a feminist because I believe that the way we talk about our experiences and our lives in the media and in pop culture is the way that we need to change the conversation around our bodies, about our bodies being a commodity and about our stories being filtered through cisnormative lenses.”
“I’m always proud of my work, and I’m also incredibly proud of myself for what I have achieved in my life,” she continued.
“But I am also incredibly aware that not every feminist in this world believes that their work can be equal to mine.
I am not ashamed of my body and my sexuality and my race, and that is something that I do not wish on anyone.
I do want to say that I am a proud, empowered, and powerful woman.”
Khalifa has not shied away from making comments that seem to be an attack on her own identity, either.
In December, she took to Twitter to address the hashtag #fakenews.
“The word ‘fakenew’ is not something I use, and the reason I use it is because I have to,” she wrote.
“It is an acronym for ‘faking news.’
The people using it are people who don’t understand how our news is being produced.”
The hashtag #Fakenews has been trending on Twitter for weeks, and Khalifa and the hashtag’s creator, @NateGolub, have been trending for months.
But in this week’s tweets, the hashtag is being used more as a means of pointing out that women’s stories are being “faked” and that the word “fakeness” is used to describe stories that don’t match what’s being presented.
The trend has also sparked a discussion about what constitutes a “feminist” comment, and if we’re meant to label someone as a feminist simply by using the word, which is a very real thing.
“If it’s not a positive comment about feminism, then I don’st think it constitutes a feminist statement,” says Aliya Khedeb, the creator of the #Fakedews hashtag.
Khedemb is also a transgender woman, and she has said that she believes that the “faking” of women’s experiences is one of the most common forms of transphobia.
“Faking news” is “a word that people can use to mock or dismiss the stories of women who are being silenced, who are under attack,” Khedeg told me.
“This is a real, dangerous problem, and it needs to be addressed.”
I spoke to Khedekb and Khalife about their feminism, as well as what they think about the “fake news” trend.
Khalife said she has always been “very clear” that she does not support the “hateful” views expressed by people who have taken issue with her and others who are not as visible as she.
“We do not support anyone who takes the name ‘Fakenew,'” she told me, “whether they are from my generation or the generations before us.
We do not condone those kinds of hateful, hateful things.”
Khademb and Khedeva are two of the only female and black transgender people in Hollywood.
When Khalifa was first nominated for an Oscar in 2013, Khedeyeb tweeted, “No black woman deserves this,” and the tweet was widely viewed as an attack against the transgender community.
“I don’t think anyone in Hollywood or in the world deserves to be bullied, I think we are not worthy of being bullied,” Khalife said.
“No one in this industry deserves to feel that it’s okay to make fun of somebody’s body.”
As the hashtag has grown, and as more women have spoken out about their experiences, Khalifa has taken to Twitter and Facebook to say she is “not scared to speak out,” and that she is not afraid to speak