The Helen Mirren Paradox

2 Oct

Ellie Hutchinson

In case you missed it, last week Helen Mirren said she “was always an instinctive feminist”. Great. She nearly made it on to my don’t be a douche list (I’ve only got Jon Hamm so far).  But then I remembered this. Not good.

Two contradictory comments from one woman. Interesting. It’s interesting because we can ask all the usual questions like; 1)Is she a feminist?  2) What is feminism anyway?  and 3) What impact will her comments have on people? But it’s also interesting for me, because-gasp- I still really like her.

I’m not saying that feminists should start apologising for rapists because they make good films/music/cakes, and start insinuating that actually, come to think of it, maybe women do ask for it after all, no no no- that goes against rule one of “don’t be a douche”. Clearly, this is not ok. So, without getting into the role celebs have in pepetuating really dangerous ideas about rape, I think we can all agree that sometimes we do or say things that are the polar opposite of our politics (within reason; obviously victim blaming means your feminist membership will be revoked).

Henceforth, these contradictions will be known as “The Helen Mirren paradox”. Examples include;

1) Going on a diet and/or spending a shed load on make up. Whilst reading the Beauty Myth.

2) Shopping in Primark. Not good. But so cheap.

3) Raging against really judgemental, small minded bigots for being really judgemental and small minded. Whilst being really judgemental. (but, you know, right).

4) Enjoying the worst kind of rom com.

5) Still really liking Helen Mirren.


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