In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the young Game of Thrones starlet Maisie Williams finally weighed in on her opinion on feminism. With so many young actresses raising their voices to support the feminist cry, Williams has an interesting take on it all: stop calling people feminists.
“I got asked in one of my first interviews: ‘Is Arya a feminist?’ I didn’t even know what a feminist was,” Williams said. “And then someone explained it to me. And I remember thinking, ‘Isn’t that just like everyone?’ And then I realized everyone is not a feminist, unfortunately. But I also feel like we should stop calling feminists ‘feminists’ and just start calling people who aren’t feminist ‘sexist’ – and then everyone else is just a human. You are either a normal person or a sexist.”
As an avid Game of Thrones fan and as an admirer of Williams work, I wholeheartedly agree with her statement. The definition of feminism that I have always adhered to is the pursuance of equality between all sexes. But after mulling it over, shouldn’t every human being want equality between the sexes? I can’t find a single (valid) reason why anyone should believe that the genders don’t deserve equal opportunities and treatment across all platforms. Not to mention that the very word “feminist” has become so convoluted (what with all of the exclusive and intricate subcultures like “white feminism” and “male feminism”) that it’s difficult to call oneself a feminist without someone getting offended. I know what I believe in. I believe every person on Earth, regardless of race, gender, age, or physical appearance, should be given equal opportunities to lead a prosperous life. That’s the human mentality that I’ve accepted. And Williams is right; the only label for someone who wants and fights for all of those things is simply a human being. Whoever doesn’t believe in that gets the bad rap: sexist, racist, ageist, or otherwise.
The term feminist has had its hey-day. But the female activists don’t stand alone any longer. We are no longer fighting for women’s rights alone. We’re fighting for human rights. The movement has become too huge and important for us to keep using the word feminist as an umbrella label, with all of its different meanings and definitions. Let’s simplify things. When it becomes human and normal to want the best for everyone, that’s when it truly becomes possible. The word feminist has served its purpose, but now it only isolates people who are otherwise on the same page. We’re not burning our bras in protest anymore; we’re sharing human stories and human experiences across global platforms. It doesn’t matter what you want for yourself, be it a career or a family or both (because yes, anything is possible today), it matters that other people are given the power to decide what they want for themselves that they didn’t have before. That’s the human movement.
Entertainment Weekly picture source: http://www.ew.com/article/2015/05/22/game-thrones-maisie-williams-interview
Entertainment Weekly quote source: http://www.ew.com/article/2016/04/04/game-thrones-maisie-williams-interview