Thompson: Don’t be afraid of feminism
Emma Thompson feels a lot of pressure during awards season.
The 56-year-old British actress has always stood up for women’s rights. While she’s pleased to see younger actresses like Emma Watson and Lena Dunham doing their bit, she can’t comprehend why some famous females are afraid to speak out.
“I’ve been a card-carrying, radical feminist since I was 19. Most women who I would want to listen to wouldn’t have any problem at all with the word feminist,” she told Vulture. “It’s bizarre. Any woman who says they’re not a feminist is basically saying that they don’t believe in equal rights for women.”
Emma feels like the word has become demonised. She also worries that many women don’t realise when they are using misogynistic language that can spread the wrong sort of message to their peers. “Any woman who says, ‘I hate my bum, I hate my body,’ is essentially expressing a kind of misogyny,” she continued. “All women who come up with that need to think very carefully about what it is they’re saying. Including me!”
While there’s been much talk of Hollywood still discriminating against women when it comes to pay and the types of roles and opportunities available in the industry, Emma seems to have avoided any prejudice.
The star has won two Academy Awards; Best Actress for her role in Howards End and the other for her adaptation of the Sense and Sensibility screenplay. However Emma feels the awards season has reached new levels of pressure and commitment since she first started out in her career.
“I’ve sensed that there’s more financial gain riding on awards season now, and I think I speak for other actors when I say that the lot of us feel quite pressurised by that,” she said. “The requirements of that season — constantly dressing up and trotting down carpets — is quite a lot now, because there are so many awards shows. People literally put aside three months of their lives to do it. Seems quite a lot, doesn’t it?”
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