Why Cate Blanchett was “traumatized” buying her daughter her first dress

Cate Blanchett has been working to fight against sexism in Hollywood, although she recently explained that she’s becoming exhausted of the constant circling surrounding the issue.”It just feels like the industry has the same conversation every year, and I think that’s a fabulous conversation,” she told GQ recently. “We’ll be back here like Groundhog Day next year having the same f**king symposium. It just has to shift.”

But Cate is influencing change in her very own home: by smashing gender roles. Speaking to the Metro, Cate explained that she had a hard time buying her newly adopted daughter, Edith, a dress.

“I was traumatized the first time I bought her a dress,” she said. “It was a black one. I don’t think I treat her any differently than the boys.”

But that’s not to say she succumbed to male gender roles with her sons, either. “[W]ith the boys I didn’t think, ‘Oh, I have a son,’” she said. “It was always, ‘What’s this creature’s personality?’ Someone’s gender is never the first thing I’ve seen about them.”

This is a rather powerful statement, considering the fact that we’re trained to look at someone and think “woman” or “man”—and prescribe them a whole bunch of outdated gender norms. However, as Cate reminds us, gender and gender roles are fluid. She doesn’t even consider her own gender — it’s something that isn’t a binary construct at all. “My own gender is not something I think about,” she explained. “I feel a little bit like an amoeba in that way.” (However, the actress, who was misquoted this year in a Variety interview about her sexuality, clarified, “I don’t mean my sexuality – I mean my gender.”)

Cate also recently spoke up about Emma Watson’s U.N. speech in early September about gender — and how we should see it as a spectrum, and not as “two sets of opposing ideals.” “I was so f**king proud of Emma Watson’s speech at the U.N.,” Cate told British magazine Porter. “It was brilliant, such an incredible use of her airspace, and really passionate. It was fantastic.”

We could not agree more. Thanks, Cate, for being a fabulous inspiration, time and time again — and for teaching the next generation to not let their gender define them as a person.

(Image via Shutterstock.)

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