09/30/2013 03:08 pm ET

Natalie Portman On The Real Meaning Of Feminism


Natalie Portman thinks feminism is about more than women being "kick-ass." She wishes we would just let our on-screen -- and off-screen -- men and women simply be human.

She spoke with actor Tom Hiddleston on the subject in an interview for Elle UK's November issue:

I want every version of a woman and a man to be possible. I want women and men to be able to be full-time parents or full-time working people or any combination of the two. I want both to be able to do whatever they want sexually without being called names. I want them to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad -- human, basically. The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a "feminist" story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with.

We are 100 percent with Portman on this one. Of course there should be more nuanced and complex women being portrayed in film and on television. And Portman's thoughts seem to echo Sophia McDougall's argument against the label "strong female character" in the New Statesman. "No one ever asks if a male character is 'strong.' Nor if he’s 'feisty,' or 'kick-ass' come to that," she writes.

No one asks those questions of male characters because there are so many more interesting things to be. "We need get away from the idea that sexism in fiction can be tackled by reliance on depiction of a single personality type, that you just need to write one female character per story right and you’ve done enough," McDougall argues.

We're pretty sure that Natalie Portman would agree.

[H/T The Cut]



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