Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis starting the selfie craze in Thelma and Louise
What does it mean to be a celebrity feminist and do they help or hinder the cause? Can they even call themselves so?
In an article in The Guardian, a journalist forensically analyses the contribution of so-called Hollywood Feministas (my word) and whether they failed. Feminists such as Emma Watson are berated for their double standards (due to the roles they accept) and that their stance as feminists only serves to publicise themselves, which is what they’re good at. What do you think?
I believe it’s not for anyone to judge what makes a feminist and how good or bad one is. Quite frankly feminism as a movement and as a range of words to describe men and women looking for equal treatment of the sexes gets such a negative reaction that I’m glad they want to stand up and be counted. None of us are perfect and we have to pick our battles but what is the alternative? To say nothing?
How do people who don’t believe in equality describe feminists? Lesbians, frigid, ugly, hairy, single, can’t-get-a-man, angry. These celebrity feminists swat these popular prejudices away and their opinions get a much wider international coverage than us sitting around discussing with girlfriends over copious amounts of wine.
The USA is such an interesting country with parallel worlds: on the one hand you have Hollywood, youth obsessed and sexed up where ‘fuckability’ plays a major factor in selection of a female actor. On the other, we have the presidential primaries and race to select candidates for the two main political parties. It’s a race between loads of old pensioners. Hilary Clinton is the youngest candidate and she is 68. So why does respect for age in politics not filter to entertainment? At least in Britain we can boast that we’re ageist in both arenas!!
Allow me to digress, and make a comparison to the scene in India. There, besides the occasional embarrassing coupling of old hero with young heroine (which gets widely berated by the press in India), when one opens a magazine or drives under billboards, we’re often treated to advertisements of the Old is Gold generation of Bollywood actors: Hema Malini, Rekha, Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya or Neetu Singh. They’re not selling washing powder or low budget items but gold and diamond jewellery, upscale apartments, fashion and so on. They also get acting roles. These aren’t one off promotions, indeed they’re regulars. Isn’t that lovely?
Getting back to the original argument, to me, a celebrity feminist is just as good as a die hard feminist. We should all stick up for each other. The real fight isn’t amongst ourselves but with the non-believers!