Emma Thompson has never been one to mince words, and, in her recent interview with Vulture, her comments on feminism are no different. She said, in no uncertain terms, "I’ve been a card-carrying, radical feminist since I was 19". She continues:
Most women who I would want to listen to wouldn’t have any problem at all with the word feminist. It’s bizarre. Any woman who says they’re not a feminist is basically saying that they don’t believe in equal rights for women.
She believes that the media and the more, ahem, conservative side of recent politics has made women ashamed of themselves, their bodies, and feminism, itself. She does not think she is above such worries, either:
Any woman who says, ‘I hate my bum, I hate my body,’ is essentially expressing a kind of misogyny. All women who come up with that need to think very carefully about what it is they’re saying. Including me!
Ageism in Hollywood has been an issue in the media in recent months, brought to the fore with comments by Maggie Gyllenhaal, recounting how she was turned down for a role as the love interest of a 55-year-old man because she was "too old" -- at age 37. Thompson has expressed concern with this trend of aging women out of leading roles much sooner than men. She, at age 56, is starring as the wife of 79-year-old Robert Redford in the upcoming film, A Walk in the Woods, though she said she couldn't turn down the opportunity to work opposite a legend. She has said that she will continue fighting Hollywood on this front:
I remember somebody saying to me that I was too old for Hugh Grant, who’s like a year younger than me, in Sense and Sensibility. I said, ‘Do you want to go take a flying leap?'
It's lovely to hear Hollywood stars defining themselves as feminists, and I'm glad the outspoken Emma Thompson has added her name to the ranks!