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Helen Mirren Slams Hollywood For Being Dick-Centric

Illustration for article titled Helen Mirren Slams Hollywood For Being Dick-Centric

Yesterday, at the Hollywood Reporter's Women In Entertainment event, Helen Mirren received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award. She also said "a few words about being a woman." She went off!

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On stage, she said being a woman means being: "Unappreciated. Underused and ill-used. Undervalued." She also told those assembled:

"I resent in my life the survival of some very mediocre male actors and the professional demise of some very brilliant female ones… However, with all due respect to you many brilliant and successful women in this room… really not too much has changed in the canon of Hollywood filmmaking that continues to worship at the altar of the 18 to 25-year-old male and his penis.

Quite small, I always think."

Below, her excellent, eloquent speech:

Click to view

In addition, Mirren was asked about how so much is made of her looks. On always being called beautiful, she said she feels:

"A bit cross, actually. We have to let go of this crap. It creates even more pressure on women, and I certainly don't want to be a part of that. I'm not beautiful; I clean up nice.

Why don't we talk about the fact, for example, that I just did Arthur, and the cinematographer was a woman, the film operator was a woman, the whole camera team were women? That's where we should be putting our attention. The fact that I look good at the age I am is bloody irrelevant."

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Helen Mirren Knocks Hollywood for Worshipping Young Men [The Hollywood Reporter]
Women In Entertainment Event Photo Gallery [The Hollywood Reporter]
Helen Mirren: My Looks Are Irrelevant [Showbiz Spy]
Mirren Blasts Hollywood For Penis Worship [AFP]

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DISCUSSION

Every time there's a post on Helen Mirren being awesome, her comments on rape inevitably pop up in the replies.

Look, I get it. I profoundly disagree with those comments as well. It was disappointing and frustrating to hear them from a woman I admire.

But at the same time, it bothers me to see them show up in a comment thread as if they're a rebuttal to the amazing feminist speech she gave at this event. As if we can't just be glad and proud that she spoke out on behalf of women because on another occasion, she made statements that aren't feminist.

I'm not a perfect feminist. I've said stupid, harmful misogynistic things in the past, I've held really problematic views, and I'm sure I still do. I'm working on that, but the damage runs deep.

The idea of having anything I do or say that stands up for women and feminism now or in the future be discounted because I'm not lining up with the feminist ideal (as if there could even be just one ideal) in all ways bothers me. It bothers me to see it happening with Helen Mirren, too.

I want to celebrate the victories, the speeches, the moments that inspire me to be a better feminist. If I wait for them to be perfect feminist moments from perfect feminist women, I'll never get a chance to do that.

I'm not waiting. This speech kicked ass, and I'm going to kick a little more ass today because of it. Thanks, Helen Mirren.