Fave Feminist Celebs
Here are my favorite feminist celebrities, in alphabetical order by first name:
Funny woman, Amy Poehler doesn’t “get” the not-a-feminist “thing.” Equality is good, right?
I think some big actors and musicians feel like they have to speak to their audience and that word is confusing to their audience. But I don’t get it. That’s like someone being like, ‘I don’t really believe in cars, but I drive one every day and I love that it gets me places and makes life so much easier and faster and I don’t know what I would do without it.’
I met Arianna Huffington at this year’s BlogHer conference. And by “met” I mean she signed a book I bought and we exchanged a few words.
Best advice: Sleep your way to the top.
Which she means literally: “The latest feminist ‘revolution’ should be about getting enough sleep.”
When Ashley Judd’s face looked puffy for a TV series promo, a furor erupted.
She responded, in part, with these lines, which went viral:
The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at us, and used to define and control us.
The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately.
We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification.
Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.
The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about.
Ashton has a few wise words, like these:
I think there’s so much that’s not said about sex in our country, even from an educational level … the one thing they teach about is how to get pregnant or how to not get pregnant, but they don’t really talk about sex as a point of pleasure for women…
Part of that creates a place where women aren’t empowered around their own sexuality and their own sexual selves, and from a purely entertainment point of view, to create a movie with a female lead that’s empowered with her own sexuality is a powerful thing.
Some might mistake a critique of objectification for objectification, but ya gotta love Beyoncé strutting her stuff in front of a giant screen emblazoned with the word, “FEMINIST” at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Especially while sampling phrases from feminist author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and defining feminism for one and all as:
Feminism believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.
Despite Claire Danes’ success she knows first hand that the playing field is not yet level:
I am a feminist… Yes, women have more freedom and more influence than ever, but it’s hardly equal. It’s just not. It’s really f–ing crazy. I’m sorry I’m cursing. But it’s wild that women are underrepresented [in Hollywood].
When makeup artists transformed Dustin Hoffman into a woman for Tootsie, he was surprised that “she” was not — and would never be — beautiful. He suddenly saw how men unconsciously uphold impossible beauty ideals and fail to notice some pretty amazing, but “unattractive,” women.
He told his wife,
I think I am an interesting woman when I look at myself on screen. And I know that if I met myself at a party, I would never talk to that character because she doesn’t fulfill physically the demands that we’re brought up to think women have to have in order to ask them out… There’s too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed.
Radical means get to the root of the problem. Which is just fine by Ellen Page:
I don’t know why people are so reluctant to say they’re feminists … but how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word? … Feminism always gets associated with being a radical movement — good. It should be.
Emma Stone is a passionately opinionated woman. And when a boy asked her boyfriend, a.k.a. Spiderman, how the superhero got his costume, Andrew Garfield replied,
He made it with his bare hands. He sewed it… It’s kind of a feminine thing to do, but he really made a very masculine costume.
To which Ms. Stone retorted,
It’s feminine, how?
After stumbling about Garfield eventually acknowledged that “We all have feminine in us, young men.”
Hermione Granger of Harry Potter is a strong-girl-turned-strong-woman. And so is her alter ego, Emma Watson, who recently spoke before the United Nations on the need for feminism. Some of my favorite quotes:
Feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.
My parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume that I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influences are the gender equality ambassadors that made me who I am today. They may not know it but they are the inadvertent feminists needed in the world today. We need more of those.
Thanks to Hillary Clinton the glass ceiling over the White House has 18 million cracks. In 2016 she just might shatter it.
After spending a great deal of her time fighting for women and girls, she defends the “f-word” as simply supporting equal rights for women:
I don’t see anything controversial about that at all.
And if you think feminism is old-fashioned or out of date, she adds,
I don’t think you’ve lived long enough.
John Legend sings so sweetly:
All men should be feminists. If men care about women’s rights, the world will be a better place. We are better off when women are empowered — it leads to a better society.
John Hamm hums a pretty tune:
Men ruled the roost and women played a subservient role (in the 1960s). Working wives were a rarity, because their place was in the home, bringing up kids. The women who did work were treated as second class citizens, because it was a male-dominated society. That was a fact of life then. But it wouldn’t be tolerated today, and that’s quite right in my book… people look back on those days through a thick veil of nostalgia, but life was hard if you were anything other than a rich, powerful, white male.
When Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s mom took him to Lakers games she’d point out that the players on the court get to be heroic, skilled athletes, but the cheerleaders only get to be pretty.
Today, he’s a feminist because he doesn’t think gender should define you. Plus, he sees that:
If you look at history, women are an oppressed category of people. 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.
Kerry Washington has a long history of political activism, speaking out against racism and sexism. She explains,
I don’t participate in the political process as a “celebrity” or person in the public eye. I come from a political family. Talking politics and social issues, it was at the dinner table. It was a part of how I was raised. Giving back and participating in our democracy is part of how I was raised.
Lena Dunham, writer, producer, director and star of “Girls” tires of people not owning up to the movement.
Women saying ‘I’m not a feminist’ is my greatest pet peeve. Do you believe that women should be paid the same for doing the same jobs? Do you believe that women should be allowed to leave the house? Do you think that women and men both deserve equal rights? Great, then you’re a feminist.
Olivia Wilde queried her Twitter followers:
What do you think most holds back justice and equality for women?
And she did a gender-reversed reading of an American Pie script:
It was so fascinating to be a part of this, because as the women took on these central roles that had all the good lines, therefore all the good laughs, all the great moments — the men, who had joined us to sit on stage, started squirming rather uncomfortably. And got really bored. Because they weren’t used to being the supporting cast. It was fascinating to feel their discomfort, to discuss it with them afterwards when they said, ‘It’s boring to play the girl role.’ And I said, ‘Yeah. Yeah, ya think? Welcome to our world.’
Patrick Stewart works for women’s equality because he knows what happens behind closed doors without it:
The truth is that domestic violence and violence against women touch many of us. This violence is not a private matter. Behind closed doors it is shielded and hidden and it only intensifies. It is protected by silence — everyone’s silence. Violence against women is learned. Each of us must examine — and change — the ways in which our own behavior might contribute to, enable, ignore or excuse all such forms of violence. I promise to do so, and to invite other men and allies to do the same.
Thoughts supposedly spilling from RG’s mouth, went like this:
- Hey girl, Ann Kaplan asks, “Is the gaze male?” But all I know is I can’t take my eyes off of you.
- Hey girl, I stood with Wendy Davis, But I’d lie down with you anywhere.
- Hey girl, I’d love to blow up the patriarchal dialectic that traps us in a constant struggle for dominant subject-hood. But I think you should do the honors.
Turns out, Mr. Gosling’s real-life thoughts are pretty feminist:
You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen.
The MPAA is OK supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario which is both complicit and complex. It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self.
Friend of feminists, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, observes:
When you work with the sort of really strong women that I work with, the idea that anyone would want to make decisions for them is hard to wrap your head around.
Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, tells women everywhere to lean in and embrace your ambition. She adds,
I embrace the word ‘feminism.’ I didn’t do it earlier in my career and I talk about why in the book, but I embrace it now because what feminism is, is a belief that the world should be equal, that men and women should have equal opportunity…
(And) it’s incumbent upon all of us to be feminists — men and women.
Bossypants author, Tina Fey is well-known for quips like:
- Bitches get shit done.
- You have to stop calling each other sluts and whores, because that just makes it okay for guys to call you those things.
- If I have to listen to one more grey-faced man with a $2 haircut explain to me what rape is, I’m going to lose my mind.
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