Shailene Woodley

June 10, 2014

She’s now (in)famous for her “I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance” feminism comments, which, coming from someone in the two biggest teen blockbusters this year, with two complex and brilliant female characters was disparaging to hear. (I don’t need to point out that feminism is literally about balance, do I? Equality?)

But I just read an interview with her and Brie Larsen on Vulture in which this excellent paragraph pops up about a recent interview Shailene Woodley did on Jimmy Fallon’s show:

Halfway through the conversation, Fallon, who can border on golly-gee cheerleading during his interviews, said, “How do you feel about being compared to Jennifer Lawrence?”

Woodley paused. “Well,” she said. “Comparisons always lead to despair.” There was sudden silence, and then the audience, which was shocked and angry, began to boo. Fallon said something like “Whoa,” and Woodley held her ground. “As women, we are constantly told that we need to compare ourselves to a girl in school, to our co-­workers, to the images in a magazine,” she told me later. “How is the world going to advance if we’re always comparing ourselves to others? I admire Jennifer Lawrence, but she’s everyone’s favorite person to compare me to. Is it because we both have short hair and a vagina? I see us as separate individuals. And that’s important. As women, our insecurities are based on all these comparisons. And that creates distress.”

According to the Vulture interview, that section was cut from the show and never made it to air. So depressing, when she’s articulate about a very real issue for many people, but especially so for women and girls in the public eye like herself. Just look at how The Guardian (even the Guardian!) portrays successful women in the arts:

So well done to Shailene Woodley for trying to get a vital point across – even if the Jimmy Fallon show didn’t see fit to air it.

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