Ellen Page on Why More Women Should Call Themselves Feminists
1:45 pm, July 9th | by Grace Rasmus
The Guardian recently interviewed (on separate occasions) actresses Susan Sarandon and Ellen Page, both of whom we admire very much. However, while Sarandon dismissed “feminism,” referring to herself as a ”humanist,” Page articulated some awesome reasons as to why women should embrace feminism, especially in Hollywood.
As Linda Holmes at NPR recently brought to our attention, female-driven movies are becoming scarce. “In many, many parts of the country right now, if you want to go to see a movie in the theater and see a current movie about a woman — any story about any woman that isn’t a documentary or a cartoon — you can’t,” Holmes wrote.
Page echoed this statement, giving her first-hand account of the phenomenon: “Only 23 percent of speaking roles in films today are for women,” she said. “It feels we’ve gone backwards.”
Page told The Guardian that, partly in response to this regression, she has started writing her own scripts, which is seemingly a necessity for women (especially in comedy) who want to star in movies. Her scripts are “definitely feminist – definitely,” she said. “But of course, if you just write a script in which the woman has control over her destiny and love isn’t the main thing in the film, that’s seen as super feminist.”
She is also slated to direct a movie starring Ana Faris but filming is still far off. “It’s hard to get stuff made, especially if it’s about women. Everything’s about in-ter-nat-ion-al bank-a-bility,” she sang mockingly.
The actress, when asked if she had ever encountered sexism in Hollywood, let the world have it:
Oh my God, yeah! It’s constant! It’s how you’re treated, it’s how you’re looked at, how you’re expected to look in a photoshoot, it’s how you’re expected to shut up and not have an opinion. If you’re a girl and you don’t fit the very specific vision of what a girl should be, which is always from a man’s perspective, then you’re a little bit at a loss. There are moments when you are, um, encouraged to dress a certain way. But I can’t. It just erodes my soul. That’s no criticism to girls who can wear a tiny dress and kill it – that’s awesome. People always attribute being a feminist to hating girls being sexual, and that’s not it at all. I’m just not into it.
To Page, it is bizarre and tragic that so many women shun the label “feminist”: ”I don’t know why people are so reluctant to say they’re feminists,” she said. “Maybe some women just don’t care. But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word?”
“Feminism always gets associated with being a radical movement — good. It should be,” she argued. “A lot of what the radical feminists [in the 1970s] were saying, I don’t disagree with it.”
And we don’t disagree with you. In fact, we think we’re radically in love with you.