Over/Underrated 2014 – Part Eight

9 Jan

On Pointe

Emma Watson & Daniel Radcliffe

–Andrea

It’s no secret that I’ve long been a fan of Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe. Generally speaking, that comes with being a part of the Harry Potter fandom. Much of the world thought that after the end of the Harry Potter film franchise, both actors would be too far typecast to have much of a career. Much of the world was wrong. But, it wasn’t either Brit’s acting prowess that put them on our 2014 On Pointe list. Instead, it was their commitment to the feminist cause.

Interestingly enough, I was just having a conversation with Bestie and Husband last night about feminism. Our conversation was spurred by Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting’s flippant remark at the People’s Choice Awards about the “apology tour” she’s on after the anti-feminist remarks she made in a recent interview.

I will repeat to you what I said last night. To be a feminist does mean you want to stop shaving your legs and begin burning your bra. To be a feminist means that you believe in equal rights for both men and women. Period.

For complicated reasons far beyond my scope of understanding, society at large has turned the word “feminist” into a loaded and ugly word. No one explains this more eloquently than Emma Watson, a United Nations Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, did in her speech at the U.N. this past September to launch the HeForShe campaign.

In her speech, Watson says:

I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive.

Why is the word such an uncomfortable one? I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.


Watson isn’t the only Hogwarts alum to speak out for gender equality. Daniel Radcliffe, the chosen one himself, spoke out for feminism in an interview with Stylist magazine, saying, “Well, I think I’m a feminist, just by the virtue of the fact that I believe in equal rights for everyone.”

In addition, when questioned by the Associated Press about the strangeness of becoming a “sex symbol” after so many people watched him as a young boy on screen, Radcliffe said, “My immediate response to that was: ‘Well, the male population had no problem sexualizing Emma Watson immediately.’” Pointing out a sexual double standard while fending off uncomfortable interview questions? Well played, Potter, well played.

DR

To know me is to know that I am not a politically charged person. As I’ve already admitted in my Newsroom post last week, I am regretfully uninformed in quite literally every political topic, ever. I would not go so far as to declare myself a part of a movement in any way, shape, or form. I am, however, a feminist. And to that end I say, “Ten points to Gryffindor!”

 Off the Mark

Shia LaBeouf

–Brook

Until 2014, Shia LaBeouf was the kind of non-threatening, quasi-talented actor I could really get behind.

In movies like Transformers, he played the fast-talking kid smarter than all the adults around him, the super nerdy kid who somehow always ended up with the hottest girl. And if you try to tell me you weren’t a sucker for the first Transformers movie, you’re a liar. And Shia LaBeouf was a really big part of that.

He really started to gain some critical acclaim with movies like Eagle Eye and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

And with that critical acclaim came crazy car accidents and weird outbursts in Broadway theaters.

And we won’t mention that Crystal Skull fiasco.

Guys, there were very clear signs that things were going downhill. Fast..

Gone was smart-mouthed Louis Stevens. And all we were left with was a really weird guy with a really gross beard. Who let people do really weird things to him with really weird implements.

He apparently isn’t famous anymore, and really I don’t think we’re missing out on any great talent here. Despite his popular movies, he never really seemed to have *it*. At least not without a lot of effort.

Since it’s what he wants, let him fade to obscurity. I’d rather see more of Joseph Gordon-Levitt or the like, anyway.

Shia

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