This Sunday is International Women’s Day. Yup, we’re 51 percent of the population and we have to have a day. I was wracking my brain, trying to think of what to write this week, because I wanted to talk about something positive in celebration. What I came up with was allies. You know: guys who support women and their fight for equality, specifically in Hollywood.
For every studio jerk who thinks women can’t open an action film or who cast 20-year-olds as the love interest for a guy with an AARP card, there are those who are fighting alongside us. For instance, “Parks and Recreation” star Aziz Ansari appeared on David Letterman’s show to talk about feminism. “My girlfriend has influence on me,” he said. “She’s a big feminist. That made me think about those kinds of issues. I’m a feminist as well. Any feminists out here: clap if you’re a feminist?”
When the clapping wasn’t too loud, he responded, “I don’t believe you.” He explained that feminism is about equal rights. “You’re a feminist if you go to a Jay Z and Beyonce concert, and you’re not like, mmm, I feel like Beyonce should get 23 percent less money than Jay Z. Also, I don’t believe Beyonce should have the right to vote.” Well, when you put it that way…
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He won over a lot of the audience that night, and Twitter was abuzz with people saying, “Oh, I never thought of it like that.” Then there’s Joss Whedon, always an advocate for strong women, who tweeted in support of Anita Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs. Women in Video Games after gamergaters attacked her en mass, saying, “ Watch the @femfreq #TropesvsWomen vids. Even if u think u get it, the sheer tonnage makes misogyny seem newly appalling.” and “I watched a bunch of women get sliced up in video games and now I'm watching it on my twitter feed. @femfreq is just truth-telling. Deal.”
When it was announced that the new Thor would be female, he tweeted “A female Thor? What the hell makes them think THAT would be cool?” with a picture of Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck in “Battlestar Galactica.”
Emma Watson fame is the spokesperson for He for She, an international organization devoted to the idea of allies for gender equality. When Steve Carell wore He for She cufflinks at the Oscars this year, she wrote him an incredibly sweet note of thanks. Seriously, look it up. You didn’t think you could love her more, did you? You were wrong.
I bring all of this up, because acceptance of an idea often comes when we hear our heroes or people we admire talking about something like this. Oh, he thinks it’s OK? Maybe it is! Go support these guys. See their films. Tweet thank you notes. Be an ally for the ladies in your life.
Happy Women’s Day.