Friday, August 05, 2005

Signs of Life for Feminism

Mikaela says:
Hollywood's not necessarily the hotbed of feminism, nor is it a place where strong women are encouraged to think and speak for themselves.

A recent interview with Reese Witherspoon (who is quientessentially m-pyrical) shows a much-needed sense of awareness of the responsibility women have in Hollywood to remember those that got us to where we are today:

Reese Witherspoon doesn't want her daughter growing up in a world where feminine role models are reduced to hot babes posing in little more than body glitter and stilettos on the covers of men's magazine.

"What gets me is how many women -- young women -- give up their power and their sense of self," the "Legally Blonde" actress says in the September issue of Marie Claire. "Thinking they're going to get more out of life if they take off their clothes and objectify themselves, instead of functioning on the principle that they're smart and capable, that you can be an actress and not be on the covers of T&A magazines. I'm flabbergasted by how many legitimate actresses do that. It blows my mind."

Reese believes "there are certain people who are systematically ripping [feminism] down because of their lack of regard and their ignorance about what the women before us had to go through."

When asked whether she's alluding to the studio suits in charge or vacant-eyed starlets such as Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson, she has a quick answer.

"I don't think these women are stupid," Witherspoon explains. "I think they're selling a personality that's very marketable: 'Wouldn't it be fun if we were all gorgeous and didn't have a care?' But creating a cultural icon out of someone who goes, 'I'm stupid, isn't it cute?' makes me want to throw daggers at them!"

Reese, who might want to consider teaming up with Gloria Steinem to give the women's movement a much-needed shot in the arm, feels the dim-bulb blond bombshell factor is undoing the progress achieved by previous generations.

"I want to say to them, 'My grandma did not fight for what she fought for, and my mother did not fight for what she fought for, so you can start telling women it's fun to be stupid,'" she rants to the mag. "Saying that to young women, little girls, my daughter? It's not OK."


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