It isn't just modern-day celebrities who make awesome speeches about feminism. Back in 1963, screen star Bette Davis was happy to tell the sexist powers-that-be in Hollywood what's what.
PBS unearthed a rare interview with Davis, conducted by columnist Shirley Eder, and animated it for its digital video series, Blank on Blank. Davis was 55 at the time of the interview, and had experienced the mistreatment of women in Hollywood firsthand. In the interview, Davis gets brutally honest about what it's like to be a working woman, especially one with intelligence:
"We all work for men. You know, they're the people in charge, and I think they find women easier who haven't the ability to think for themselves or stand up for themselves. One can make more enemies as a female with a brain I think."
Her thoughts about women in Hollywood could sadly be printed today and seem current.
"There's no writing for women anymore, this is the truth. There is none. […] Women are the essential part of the theater but the writers are not writing about women. I think they're too perplexed about the whole female situation probably."
And she (rightly) predicts that both genders are going to have to change a lot to make it in the modern world.
"I think men have got to change an awful lot. I think somehow they still prefer the little woman. […] The real female should be partly male and the real male should be partly female anyway. So if you ever run into that in either sex you've run into something very, very fine, I think."
The whole clip is worth a watch, if only for the awesome animated depiction of Davis alternately holding a cigarette or speaking through a megaphone. Plus, it's a good reminder that this is an issue we have to keep fighting for if we want to see real changes.
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