Natalie Dormer just got real about the problematic way feminism is misconstrued

We’re always super excited to see Natalie Dormer rock the screen. Be it her portrayal of Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones or Cressida in the Hunger Games movies, Dormer can always be counted on to play smart, complicated, and endlessly-fascinating characters. So it comes as no surprise that she’s just as smart, complicated, and endlessly-fascinating IRL as the characters she portrays.

In a recent interview with Digital Spy regarding her upcoming BBC Two historical drama The Scandalous Lady W, in which Dormer plays Lady Seymour Worsley, the 18th century noblewoman who dares to leave her husband and elopes with (gasp!) his BFF, Dormer talks about gender roles then and now.

“It was a scandal, and she was considered scandalous — because, as is the nature of history at that time, the woman gets blamed,” Dormer explained to Digital Spy. “For centuries, the woman got blamed, or was vilified, as opposed to the man.”

She then leapfrogged about 300 years to present day, and explained her concerns re: gender issues today.

“Feminism — that word is so misconstrued by so many people, especially young people, which disturbs me. It’s not about ‘girl power’ — whatever that means! It’s just about equality between the sexes and everybody being able to live as they wish.”

While we wouldn’t be quite so quick to give girl power the brush-off (what would the Spice Girls say!) we absolutely think Dormer has a point here. Feminism is as much about men and it is about women. Equality in gender roles means that women’t don’t get sh*t for embodying traditionally masculine roles but it ALSO means that men don’t get sh*t for embodying traditionally feminine roles. It means, like Dormer says, that people can “live as they wish.”

Dormer gets particularly eeked about the “us vs. them” mentality that can sometimes be present in the fight for gender equality

“It upsets me that it has to be seen in such rudimentary, ‘We’re better than you, you’re better than us’ terms. It shouldn’t be about man or woman. Surely as a modern society, what we’re aiming for is just equality across the board?”

Again, well played, Dormer, point taken. There is absolutely a place for girl power (we’re not going to let that one go THAT easily), but it’s important to remember that feminism is about gender equality and that’s about making things fair and equal for women AND men.


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(Image via HBO.)