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Evangeline Lilly doesn't like the word 'feminism'

How many more times will a celeb get it so, so wrong when it comes to understanding what being a feminist means?

By Jamie Khoo | Published: 12 Dec 2014

Evangeline's a woman
Photo: Getty Images

In an interview with The Huffington Post earlier this week, Evangeline Lilly spoke at length about starring in the three Hobbit movies and her role in the upcoming Marvel flick Ant Man. She also proved to us that although she plays plenty of strong, memorable female characters on screen, that's not exactly how she sees them.

Evangeline says, "I try to put my stamp on these strong female characters, which is the idea that they're strong because of their compassion, they're strong because of their vulnerability, they're strong because of their emotion and they're strong in spite of their fear." Sounds great, doesn't it?

Wait. She also has this to say: "I'm very proud of being a woman, and as a woman I don't even like the word feminism because when I hear that word, I associate it with women trying to pretend to be men, and I'm not interested in trying to pretend to be a man. I don't want to embrace manhood, I want to embrace my womanhood."

We had to read that a few times over and check every calendar we owned to ensure we didn't just time travel back a hundred years. Because c'mon, Evangeline, who in the world today still defines feminism as "women trying to pretend to be men"? Rumble, rumble – that's the sound of Mary Shelley, Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Friedan turning in their graves.

May we suggest Evangeline try this on for size instead: associate feminism with you, as a woman, having an education and a job, and enjoying all the rights and privileges that allow you to even declare that you're so "proud of being a woman."

Also, please, spend some time with Malala or Emma who will teach you that "embracing your womanhood" is a whole universe more than merely playing fictional "kick-ass chicks".

Related: Priya, the superhero who fights sexual violence 
Related: Emma Watson and celebs talk about closing the gender gap
Related: Powerful women: Beyoncé, Malala Yousafzai and Miuccia Prada 


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