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Actress Kirsten Dunst, who graces the cover of Harper’s Bazaar UK this month, caused quite the kerfuffle recently when she expressed how she she feels about being a woman.

“I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued. We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking – it’s a valuable thing my mum created. And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armour. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work”

This did not sit well with the usual suspects. kirsten dunst gender

Jezebel was the first to blast her: “Kirsten Dunst is not paid to write gender theory so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that she’s kind of dumb about it.”

Elle magazine tweeted that she “has some funny ideas about what a relationship should be like.”

Author and columnist Ariane Sommer bashed her beliefs as “regressing to a 1950s archetype of womanhood.”

The Gloss says her thoughts are “messed up.”

Refinery29 states, “Kirsten Dunst has shared her thoughts on gender roles in a relationship — and we’re kind of wishing she hadn’t.”

Uproxx calls her “an insufferable person” who “thinks that women should know their place is in the home.”

Coming to her defense were the usual suspects as well. “Feminists claim to be pro-woman, but they only support ‘correct’ choices and decisions, but Kirsten’s views are timeless,” Katie Yoder of the socially conservative Media Research Center told Fox News.”Femininity has lost its meaning. Our culture and media teach women that success means running after careers and money. Instead, a pro-woman society should emphasize a woman’s importance and worth, no matter her decision in how to live out her life.”

The Independent Journal Review’s Emily Hulsey suggests that those who condemn the 32-year-old actress’ choice are missing the point:

When it comes to gender roles, the key is that different approaches work for different people (and families). True equality is a woman living her own life how she chooses in freedom from coercion. … Those who were so quick to condemn Dunst for voicing her opinion are not letting her have that choice. And they are ignoring the fact that tolerance is a two-way street. It’s a shame to see that, in this situation, those who claim to be the most tolerant were actually as close-minded as they could be.

So does Euno Lee, managing editor at the University of Southern California’s student newspaper, the Daily Trojan:

Refusing to honor her statements and calling them “dumb” apparently constitutes talking about the issue of gender “intelligently.” Jezebel’s discourse harms the cause of actual feminism, which should seek to protect all women, regardless of their personal theories on happiness — not just the ones who further their (rather profitable) editorial agenda. … The best way to advance the cause of feminism is to educate and inform Americans about existing social and economic inequalities between the genders. This is most effectively accomplished through meaningful, constructive discourse which takes into account the opinions of all women, including those who disagree with parts, or all, of the feminist movement.

Refusing to honor her statements and calling them “dumb” apparently constitutes talking about the issue of gender “intelligently.” Jezebel’s discourse harms the cause of actual feminism, which should seek to protect all women, regardless of their personal theories on happiness — not just the ones who further their (rather profitable) editorial agenda. – See more at: http://dailytrojan.com/2014/04/14/jezebel-writer-misses-the-true-point-of-feminism/#sthash.K7PqbaGf.dpuf
Refusing to honor her statements and calling them “dumb” apparently constitutes talking about the issue of gender “intelligently.” Jezebel’s discourse harms the cause of actual feminism, which should seek to protect all women, regardless of their personal theories on happiness — not just the ones who further their (rather profitable) editorial agenda. – See more at: http://dailytrojan.com/2014/04/14/jezebel-writer-misses-the-true-point-of-feminism/#sthash.K7PqbaGf.dpuf
Euno Lee is a senior majoring in English Literature. He is also the Managing Editor of the Daily Trojan – See more at: http://dailytrojan.com/2014/04/14/jezebel-writer-misses-the-true-point-of-feminism/#sthash.K7PqbaGf.dpuf
Euno Lee is a senior majoring in English Literature. He is also the Managing Editor of the Daily Trojan – See more at: http://dailytrojan.com/2014/04/14/jezebel-writer-misses-the-true-point-of-feminism/#sthash.K7PqbaGf.dpuf

I would have to agree with Hulsey and Lee. Feminism means women are free to make choices and so are men. Thus we see more men willing to stay at home to raise the kids, albeit not without its marital costs. And while many women want to work outside the home, a much larger percentage of men prefer to work outside the home.

Regardless, the long fight feminists made to have access and choice should have resulted in a society that is willing to embrace all women’s (and men’s) choices. To shame and judge women for wanting to stay at home is not what we fought for, sorry.

 

 

2 Responses to “Kirsten Dunst, feminism and traditional gender roles”

  1. I get really annoyed when I read about bloggers and media outlets bashing people because they don’t agree with their views. In some ways, I agree with Kirsten Dunst, but in others I don’t. That doesn’t make her opinion less valid because of it. I appreciate the work of women before me so that I could have a management position, but I always thought that the fight was about opening opportunities, not requiring people take them.

    • OMGchronicles
      Twitter: OMGchronicles
      says:

      I agree, Deauna. The beauty of the Internet is that it can encourage conversations — civil conversations — from various viewpoints. No one should feel bad, or be judged or shamed, for being authentic.

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