Oh ffs

I ask whether she liked the Friedan book. "Yeah, I did. God, she was a
feisty chick." Does Winslet feel that she's a feminist? "I think I
probably am, aren't I?" Her assistant hurriedly adds, "In a loose,
unofficial kind of way," but Winslet continues to ponder. "I think I
probably am. I mean, not in a bra-burning way. But I think I am a
feminist, yeah."

There's an interview with Kate Winslet in today's Guardian, and this paragraph appears about halfway through. My god, where to start?

Are actors really so cosseted that they need an assistant hanging around to defuse any potentially inflammatory statements said actor might make? And toning down a comment that she's a feminist? She hardly declared a love of Al Qaida. She's discussing a film where she plays a 50s housewife, crushed by her lack of freedom of expression; the very situation that gave rise to modern feminism (hello Betty Friedan). A discussion of feminism and sympathies thereof can hardly be off limits. The article doesn't say whether this assistant is male or female. My initial reaction was that if they're female Winslet should fire her ass, but on reflection, I think they should be fired either gender. How can Mr/Ms Assistant expect to properly assist a major actor if they show such limited understanding of the context around a role?

What I really can't believe is that we're still in the position where it's somehow controversial to declare oneself a feminist. Hmm, do I believe in equal rights for women? Do I believe in equal pay for equal work? Do I believe that women are every bit as good as men? Why, yes, I do. Damn me and my revolutionary sensibilities. For if being a feminist is such a shocking thing that it needs to be toned down, then such ideas must also be shocking.

And such sentiment can fuck right off.

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2 responses to “Oh ffs

  1. peteraj December 24, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    If “such sentiment can….” then why note that there are no scales in the house “for feminist reasons”? A drop of pot and kettle methinks.

  2. Rachel December 24, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    What I mean, is that the idea that feminism is so shocking and “revolutionary” that it needs to be toned down can fuck right off. To be a feminist is a perfectly normal response and encompasses perfectly normal desires (eg, equal pay, equal rights, equality in the way the genders are viewed).
    It makes perfect sense to me that any woman (and any man) would be a feminist, because not to be is to surely say that one doesn’t agree with equality. That would be shocking, and in need of toning down. So yes, no scales in the house for feminist reasons (imposition of ridiculous and unfair body image). Because I am a feminist. And feminism isn’t shocking. And Kate Winslet’s assistant is an idiot.

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