Should We Be Calling Katie Holmes A Feminist?

Katie Holmes has been called a lot of things, especially in the last week. An actress, a celebrity, a victim, a Scientologist zombie, a brilliant PR strategist but feminist hero? Apparently though that is what some experts are saying. Does Katie Holmes represent a new breed of feminism?

According to writer Virginia Heffernen, Katie Holmes sounds like the Gloria Steinem of gorgeous, young celebrities. She wrote:

“As celebrity disputes go, Holmes has pulled off the biggest rout in memory. What Tina Turner did for battered women by breaking away from Ike, Katie Holmes has done for spouses and children suffering from religious abuse and coercion. She fought bullying with bullying. She beat Tom Cruise. She beat Scientology. It’s not too much to call her a feminist hero.”

Janice Min, the editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, said: “The whole narrative on Katie Holmes was ‘She’s been brainwashed and lobotomized. She’s a zombie for Scientology.’ That’s what made this whole saga breathtaking. Forget the princess in Brave. This is the heroine of the moment.”

But should we really be applauding her as a feminist or as a brilliant spin doctor? Katie Holmes has led a brilliant PR campaign throughout this divorce process. Unlike Tom who has been hiding out and was apparently stunned and miserable with his wife’s sudden actions (which is one way to get sympathy) Katie managed to trump him by going out and showing she was strong and had escaped something. But does this really make her a feminist? Min said” People see her as a battered wife who got out. I don’t know why. I don’t have the hatred for Tom Cruise other people have, but whatever went on between them, she came out smelling like a rose.”

And if you do look at it from the angle of this was a woman, even though she was pampered and rich and famous, felt trapped. But she fought her way out of a bad situation, very stealthily, in which her career was arguably being stifled, she was religiously suppressed and she was being told how to raise her child. She was being controlled and now she is not so in that case, she is a feminist. She was not an equal in that marriage and she fought to end that.

Now she is clearly enjoying her freedom and independence in the way she carries herself, the way she dresses and soon we will see it in her career.

Photo: Jaguar PS/

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    • Linda

      We should call her a mother with a capital “M”. She was a focused, determined mother fighting for her daughter.

    • Eileen

      I don’t know; was she a feminist before?

      We have no freakin’ idea what was going on in her marriage – don’t forget, she and her now-ex-husband are actors whose livelihood depends on their ability to fake emotions they don’t actually feel. Granted, she was never very good at it on camera, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t learned.