Feminism is on the rise in Hollywood. Between Patricia Arquette’s rousing Oscars acceptance speech (which earned a cheer from Meryl Streep!) and Emma Watson’s HeforShe campaign, the time has come for Hollywood’s actors to stand up in solidarity for gender equality. Here are some who are joining the likes of Tina Fey, Shailene Woodley, Amy Poehler, Viola Davis and others.
How to Get Away with Murder star Matt McGory recently took to Facebook to declare in all-caps “I AM A FEMINIST.” McGory said he was “embarrassed” to have only just discovered the actual definition of feminism (he includes a screencap of the definition in his Facebook post: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”). His Orange is the New Black castmates should be proud.
Hollywood Dad Will Smith has only recently been upstaged in the media by his daughter Willow. The young star has caused a stir in the media as early as 11 years old, when she premiered a drastic buzzed haircut. Media was quick to question why Will Smith would allow his daughter to shave her head at such a young age, to which he responded, “If I teach her that I’m in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she’s going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world…. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she’s going out with a command that is hers.”
The Boy Who Lived turned into the Man Who Kicked the Patriarchy’s Ass. Radcliffe says he is a feminist simply “just by the virtue of the fact that [he] believe in equal rights for everyone.” Radcliffe strives to challenge sexism in the media and in everyday life, mostly discussed in interviews for his 2013 rom-com What If. He says the ‘Friend Zone’ is a “terrible thing” and ponders the media’s treatment of him in comparison to his Harry Potter co-star Emma Watson. When the media cited their hesitance to give him the ‘unconventionally sexy male lead’ label because of his child star status, Radcliffe was quick to turn the tables, saying that the media “had no problem sexualizing Emma Watson immediately” because of her gender.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has discussed the definition and merits of feminism on the Ellen DeGeneres show, instilled in him by his mother. As a second-wave feminist and full-time parent, Gordon-Levitt’s mother raised him to be mindful of the roles dictated to women by society. The Don Jon star emphasizes this choice at the center of Feminism. “It should be up to the woman to decide if she wants to be a mom…If that’s what she wants to do full-time, that’s awesome….” He elaborated in a video on his Youtube Channel HitRecord, “but if she wants to go out and have a career apart from being a mom, then she should be able to do that as well, and that’s to the benefit of everybody.”
Kudos to these actors for using the platform that their career has given them to question society and the media’s portrayal and restriction of their female counterparts. Their celebrity status makes their words more susceptible to an audience, and more likely to start a dialog about men’s place in Feminism. Feminism is for everyone! We know it, and these cool guys know it, too.