Today is International Women’s Day, a great day. A day that reminds us of women’s struggle to be considered on par with men, to be equal to men. A struggle that started centuries ago and is still now battling forward. I am a feminist, mainly because I do not understand why I need to be one. I don’t understand why there needs to be a gender struggle, because men and women should be equal. To celebrate this day, I’m going to write about a few female actors who I believe have really pushed societal gender boundaries.
Most of us know Reese Witherspoon from her days as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. Her role as a very pink and girly, yet determined young woman has only evolved from there. Not only has Witherspoon won a string of awards for her talent displayed in various films, she also has her own production company(s). Although she was involved with companies including Type A Films and Hello Sunshine, it is Pacific Standards, a production company that she founded with Bruna Papandrea that emphasises her ambition. In their first year they had three Oscar Nominations, including Gone Girl (Yes, Gone Girl) and Wild.
The way that society changes is if we have different perspectives and you can only do that really if you start hiring more women directors or people of colour or anyone with a different point of view. (ITV Lorraine Interview, 2017)
I’m a big fan of Viola Davis. Her portrayal of Analise Keating in ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, is nothing short of phenomenal. Davis has a real knack for presenting human emotional turmoil with such realism that each episode of HTGAWM left me reeling. Time Magazine has listed her among the 100 Most Influential People in the World both in 2012 and 2017. This is evident also in her work, as at the 67th Emmy Awards Davis was the first African American woman to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Series Drama.
The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else, is opportunity.” (67th Emmy Awards, 2017)
In my opinion, you can’t have a list of influential women without Ellen DeGeneres somewhere. DeGeneres is funny, original, and since her coming out episode of Oprah Winfrey’s talk show in 1997, not afraid to be herself. She was the first openly gay actress to play an openly gay character, which twenty years ago, was a big deal. As well as being a leader in the LGBT community, DeGeneres also has two production companies, thirty Emmy Awards and twenty People’s Choice Awards under her belt. Most recently she also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barak Obama (you only need to watch her receive the medal to know how much it meant to her)
We are all individual, we are all unique and we are supposed to be that exact person. We are not supposed to conform, we’re not supposed to be like somebody else.” (The Ellen Show, 2017)
Here are some more women I believe should be mentioned on International Women’s Day…