SparkNotes Blog

7 Rad Quotes From Actresses Who Said To Heck With The Patriarchy

If you’re in need of a little go-get-’em motivation today (hey, SAME), we got you covered right here. Huzzah!

You might not think all those ladies who make pretend for a living (and are, in general, unfairly beautiful and famous and rich and all the things) can be a source of real-life ~inspiration~, but these quotes prove that they totally can.  

We rounded up some words of real wisdom from our favorite actresses who’ve swiped left on all that “boys only club” BS and encouraged all of us gals to get out there and fulfill our dreams.

After you read this, you’ll probably get a little twitching sensation in your wrist, but not to worry—that’s just your body’s natural impulse to fistpump kicking in.

Emma Watson:
“I feel like young girls are told this whole idea that they have to be this kind of princess and be all delicate and fragile and that’s bullsh-t.” (2011)

Hear to the hear for that one. (Granted, Em’s playing a pretty classic Disney princess in the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast soon, but Belle’s the brainiest of the bunch, so it’s still pretty on brand.)

“Why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.” (2014)

She’s right. Gender schmender. As Bey likes to say, who runs the world? GIRLS. (Also? This is reason #85402 that Blue Ivy Carter is probably going to be running for President one day. You just wait.)

Lena Dunham:
“The idea of being a feminist – so many women have come to this idea of it being anti-male and not able to connect with the opposite sex – but what feminism is about is equality and human rights.” (2014)

Message: FEMINISM NOT A FOUR LETTER WORD. As she says, a lot of women (especially those in the public eye) tend to distance themselves from the term for fear that it’ll label them as some kind of man-hater, but in reality feminism is removing all gender bias, not angrily shifting the nastiness onto the other side. So, preach it Lena!

Natalie Dormer:
“Some men still have trouble recognizing that a woman can be complex, can have ambition, good looks, sexuality, erudition and common sense. A woman can have all those facets, and yet men, in literature and in drama, seem to need to simplify women, to polarize us as either the whore or the angel.” (2013)

YES, we women are actual human beings with more than two dimensions, so let it be known here and forever more, a(wo)men.

Lupita N’yongo:
“For every little child, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” (2014)

Best Oscar’s acceptance speech ever? Quite possibly so. Lupita really touched our hearts when she paraphrased that popular parental phrase: you can be and do anything you want if you work hard enough.

Ellen Page:
“As a girl, you’re supposed to love Sleeping Beauty. I mean, who wants to love Sleeping Beauty when you can be Aladdin?” (2008)

It really is a whole new world, gals. Lady superheroes (and villains)  are gathering en masse, and the whole concept of a “chick flick” is being 86ed by viewers who want more meat to their story bones. Happy dances for days!

Emma Stone:
“I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself.” (2011)

The mic just dropped itself, really. As we all know by now (RIGHT?!) beauty is way more than skin-deep. Self confidence is the an actual light that shines from within a person. 

Props to all these women for being anything but superficial, even in an industry that has historically be considered such.