Cate Blanchett and Julianne Moore's strategies for fighting sexism in Hollywood
There are so many exciting women-driven movies busting into theaters this fall. One is Freeheld, starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, and it tells the true story of Laurel Hester (Moore) a terminally-ill New Jersey police detective who had to fight to ensure that her pension was assigned to her domestic partner (Page). Another, Carol, based on the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt, tells the story of two women, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who fall in love in the 1950’s.
The New York Times recently interviewed the starring players and creative teams of these movies (as well as the teams behind great upcoming lady-movies Suffragette and The Intern) about the state of gender in Hollywood. There were so many wise things said over the course of this group interview, and the whole piece is well worth a read, but we particularly sparked to quotes courtesy of Cate Blanchett and Julianne Moore that had to do with taking an active stance against sexism in Hollywood.
When asked how she believed Hollywood could change to better serve women, Cate Blanchett says we need to do away with institutional objectification of women, and that, in part, is going to come from women pushing back against a sexist system.
“When the director says you really need to be topless in this scene, I go, ‘Do I?'” Blanchett explained. “You have to fight back and claim the right to develop the character. Women need to empower themselves and claim even a character that’s written in a clichéd way. You don’t have to play it that way.”
Whereas Blanchett advocates for actresses pushing back, Moore proposes that audiences push for gender equality onscreen.
“Vote with your money,” Moore told the New York Times. “If there’s something you don’t like, don’t go, don’t pay for it. And if there’s a female-driven movie out there that you want to see, buy a ticket. That’s really what makes a difference. My husband laughs at me, but I just won’t go see movies with only men in them. I just can’t bear it.”
We think these stars both make excellent points. As artists and as audience members, women need to stand up for themselves (and men, as allies, need to stand up for women). There is a gender revolution currently underway in Hollywood, and it’s women like Blanchett and Moore speaking up and taking action that are going to ensure that real gender equality is achieved, on and off screen.
(Images via Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company)