Helen Mirren’s Hypothetical Daughter Advice: Don’t Take Shit from Men

Illustration for article titled Helen Mirren’s Hypothetical Daughter Advice: Don’t Take Shit from Men

On this day, let us propose a new ranking system for celebrities: a scale that goes from Rush Limbaugh (worst, unless you’re an older white dude who still fears the Red Menace) all the way up to Helen Mirren (best, unless you’re an older white dude who fears that women gaining positions of power = the End of Days).


Helen Mirren has seen a lot of discrimination in the film industry, and, as a result, she has a pretty low tolerance for misogynistic bullshit. During an interview with the Daily Mail, Mirren said that, although she doesn’t have kids, if she did hypothetically have any daughters, her first words of advice to them would be not to put up with any backsass from creepy dudes. She explained:

If I’d had children and had a girl, the first words I would have taught her would have been “f*** off” because we weren’t brought up ever to say that to anyone, were we?

And it’s quite valuable to have the courage and the confidence to say, “No, f*** off, leave me alone, thank you very much.

You see, I couldn’t help saying, “Thank you very much.” I just couldn’t help myself.

She goes on to offer a brief overview of the struggle of actresses in the latter half of the 20th century to gain greater parity with their male counterparts. The 60s, 70s, and early 80s were all pretty terrible, with actresses oftentimes being the only women on sets filled with male crews. Saying “fuck off” was a lot more daunting back then, when the state of equality in the industry was even more disheartening than it is today:

And into the 80s, as an actress, you would be the only female on set, apart from the continuity person, who was always a woman, and maybe your own personal wardrobe person.

Otherwise it was completely male, and a particular kind of testosteroney male that was quite hard to deal with.

You had to have a sense of humour, put your head down; you were never going to be one of the boys, if you know what I mean.

Another reason that Helen Mirren is the best? She uses phrases like “testosteroney male,” which concisely undermines the image most self-described alpha bros have of themselves as Don Draper clones smoking unfiltered Lucky Strikes in wood-paneled offices. In reality, a "testosteroney male" more nearly approximates this:


[Daily Mail]



An illustration of why I wish I had learned to say "Fuck off" many years ago: A few days ago I was approached on the street by a creepydude who began the conversation by asking if he could ask me a question. Which is a question that does not have a polite answer except yes, because what if they are lost or something? But of course, he was not lost, and proceeded to say some creepy shit about how he sees me a lot and I have an "interesting walk". Missed opportunity to say fuck off #1. Then he asked me out. I said no thank you. Missed opportunity to say fuck off #2. Then he asked if I "wanted to be friends". No, creepy stranger, I do NOT. But because saying "no, I do not want to be friends with you" felt horribly rude, I made some lame excuse and awkwardly walked away. Missed opportunity to say fuck off #3. Now I encounter him about 50% of the time I set foot outside of my apartment, and he follows me to the train/store/etc, and I am pretty sure nothing short of a direct and pretty loud "no, but seriously fuck off" will get him to go away. This should probably not be something I have to rehearse in my head for days.