Megan Fox deserves an apology from the world. Before talking about misogyny became mainstream, she would share her experiences regarding the sexism and belittlement she faced in Hollywood, but no one seemed to care whatsoever and instead deemed her as an outcast. People have constantly shamed her, silenced her, and demeaned her… she was so ahead of her time but no one realized it.
Here are eight things she has said regarding her story and its connection to feminism, which I believe everyone should pay attention to.
- “I feel that men are raised with the idea that they have to be the breadwinners or they always have to be in control. They have to wear the pants in a relationship or all these ridiculous idioms, these things that go along with being a man. I feel like it’s hard for them to know how to handle you when you are as smart or as successful. Because for some reason, women have been painted as these fragile little lilies that have to be tended to, that have to be cared for, and I just think it’s the way society has raised us.”
A tale as old as time; toxic masculinity. Even to this day, society has reinforced such harmful gender norms that end up causing so many issues in relationships. I once had a friend who told me the wise words of her mother: many men are attracted to confident, free-spirited women but the moment they feel the woman is a little too confident and free-spirited, they start to do everything they can to gain control and overdominate. It all goes back to the fact that society has wired them to be this way. Something that has to be unlearned now.
- “Women are in constant competition with one another, always, even when they love each other. I think it’s a sickness and I think it’s f***ed up but I think it’s something that’s depicted perfectly in this film.”
The film Fox is referring to is Jennifer’s Body, where she starred as Jennifer Check alongside Amanda Seyfriend, who played Check’s best friend Anita “Needy” Lesnicki. Aside from exploring themes such as female beauty and sexuality, it also encompasses the complexity of female friendships and girl-on-girl hatred, one of the reasons why this movie is socially relevant today. Women are so competitive all the time and we need to change that.
- “It is the history of the earth, it’s how we’ve operated so far. Women are objectified, especially women in the entertainment industry, because we’re packaged and sold as sex. That’s how you merchandise us, that’s how you sell us, that’s how you sell your magazines, or you get hits on your blog, or whatever. If you have a sense of integrity and try and stay true to whatever your ideals or your beliefs are, that sort of in its own way fights against being stereotyped or put into any specific box.”
Unfortunately, when Fox tried to speak out herself, she got belittled for it. But one thing we should learn from her story is that this is great advice. Don’t let anyone stereotype or silence you.
- “I was sort of out in front of the #MeToo movement before the #MeToo movement happened… I’ve been speaking out and saying ‘hey, you know these things are happening to me and they’re not okay,’ everyone was like ‘oh we don’t care, you deserve it,’ because of how you talk, how you look, how you dress, because of the jokes you make.”
Pretty is a privilege but too pretty is a curse? Make it make sense. Fox has spoken out numerous times that she feels invalidated especially after being excluded from the #MeToo movement, just because she wasn’t the typical “victim” and doesn’t fit the clear-cut image or stereotype of what many would perceive as a victim.
- “Maybe someone may feel like you can’t be a feminist and also be a ‘sex symbol’, but I don’t feel like they have to be in contradiction with one another.”
Contrary to what society has made us believe, you can be a sex symbol and a feminist. Though there are certain traits that a “strong” feminist may possess, there is no one perfect, ideal feminist. After all, most modern day “sex symbols” don’t exist to please and pleasure men, rather to empower women.
- “I’ve worked with people who have been difficult but have been male, and there’s never a complaint made about them or there’s never an issue made about them. And then I have friends who are female, who are actresses, if they go to work one day and they show up on set and they don’t have a smile on their face, then they’re tagged a b*tch, and that is really unfortunate.”
Double standards. On top of that, it’s obvious that men have been socially conditioned to believe that women are warm and friendly all the time and then get uncomfortable when women don’t fit that idea, which usually ends up in them mislabeling it as “mean” or “disrespectful.”
- “You know, we live in this moment right now where you believe victims, but if there’s ever going to be one person that it was not okay to believe, it would be me. If it’s ever going to be okay to shame a victim, it’s going to be me. That’s just the belief because of what I’ve been through. Like I don’t feel like there’s a space in feminism for me, you know? Even though I consider myself a feminist, I feel like feminists don’t want me to be a part of their group. And what are we talking about then, what is feminism? What is supporting other females if there’s only certain ones of us you support?”
It’s all about women supporting women until one of them is more “unconventional.” This right here is a classic example of the internalized misogyny that exists within our society. True feminism does not exclude women because the way they speak or dress is different from most. There’s always a space for everyone in feminism and to make someone else feel that they don’t have a space in this movement is just disgusting and ignorant. In fact, Fox’s feminism goes beyond her own experiences in the entertainment industry. When Vanessa Hudgens’ nude photos were leaked when she was just 19 years old, Fox was outraged and told Celeb News that “Someone betrayed Vanessa, but no one’s angry at that person. She had to apologize. I hate Disney for making her do that.” That’s what feminism is. Sticking up for other women especially through injustice.
- “Being a teenage girl is a very difficult thing to be. How other girls interact with you in school, or the expectations that are being put on you by the outside world and by the media, and the things we see advertised and how we’re supposed to look, it’s so much pressure. I think somewhere inside of every girl they can relate to this idea of feeling like ‘My power has been taken away from me and what would I do if I got all of that power and then some back.’”
Not saying that men don’t face pressure from the media, but it’s highly important to recognize how much more extreme the expectations women are being held at are and the effects of having these expectations from a young age.
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