The 33-year-old actor detailed his beliefs in an interview with The Daily Beast published Thursday. Gordon-Levitt was surprised to hear many young stars reject being labeled a feminist, and declared again he would "absolutely" call himself one.
"What that means to me is that you don't let your gender define who you are," he shared.
"You can be who you want to be, whether you're a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, whatever. However you want to define yourself, you can do that and should be able to do that, and no category every really describes a person because every person is unique. That, to me, is what 'feminism' means."
"If you look at history, women are an oppressed category of people," he related.
"There's a long, long history of women suffering abuse, injustice, and not having the same opportunities as men, and I think that's been very detrimental to the human race as a whole. I'm a believer that if everyone has a fair chance to be what they want to be and do what they want to do, it's better for everyone. It benefits society as a whole."
Gordon-Levitt also spoke about his upcoming role in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. The actor will portray Johnny in the sequel, a cocky gambler who plots to bring down the villainous Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). The movie opens in theaters August 22.