Actress Olivia Wilde dropped some serious knowledge on how the media can empower women last week -- and we are all about it.
On Feb. 12 during a Los Angeles GritTv panel called "The State Of Female Justice," Wilde had some choice words for Hollywood's sexist ways. She discussed the privilege afforded to Hollywood through the almost unfathomable reach it has to affect international audiences -- and how the film industry just isn't doing enough with this opportunity.
Wilde pointed out that the discrimination seen on screen often crosses over to real life, resulting in the objectification of women, women objectifying themselves and ultimately a lack of social equality. She posed the rather poignant question: "Our responsibility is to be story tellers, so why aren't we telling the stories that are educating the masses to empower them to avoid a lot of these situations?"
Despite Wilde's lengthy resume, she was struck by how limited the opportunities are for women in film. In a very telling anecdote, Wilde recounted a recent live read she did that perfectly illustrated the gender-specific issues found in Hollywood:
We did one recently of American Pie, but we reversed the gender roles. All the women played men; all the men played women. And it was so fascinating to be a part of this because, as the women took on these central roles -- they had all the good lines, they had all the good laughs, all the great moments -- the men who joined us to sit on stage started squirming rather uncomfortably and got really bored because they weren't used to being the supporting cast.
It was fascinating to feel their discomfort [and] to discuss it with them afterward, when they said, "It's boring to play the girl role!" And I said, "Yeah. Yeah. You think? Welcome to our world!"
As Wilde reminded us, the power to change this is in our hands. As consumers of film and media, we can use our voices to demand a more dynamic presence of women. Olivia Wilde inspires us to be much louder.