Today is International Women’s Day — A day to commemorate the movement for women’s rights and to campaign for their enforcement and further reinforcement. In this tumultuous year, for many women this day is particularly special, taking the form of “A Day Without a Woman” — a women’s strike to demonstrate the value they add to society, which they do while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.
Here on Watchers on the Wall we wanted to commemorate this crucial day — and the crucial half of the population that systematically gets the shaft. We are not alone on the GOT sphere: Emilia Clarke agreed to become a guest editor for The Huffington Post UK in its “All Women Everywhere” edition, and she has strong words to share with us on this very special day. Below the cut, Clarke also discusses her nude appearances on Game of Thrones — or more accurately, she discusses why she shouldn’t have to.
In this Huffington Post UK editorial, Clarke expounds on her feminist background and when, much later, she realized the world wasn’t quite like she had learned it should be:
“It was a recognised matter of fact that I, as a woman, was no different to my brother. Just as my mum was no different from my father in their careers, therefore I was raised in an equal earning, equally managed household that showed me anything a man could do, a woman could and should do too. So I grew up with a voice, but it was not a shared voice of a generation, and it was only much later I realised what an incredible, feminist, start to life I had been given.”
She feels an obligation to use her celebrity soapbox to reach further than others can. Guest editing “All Women Everywhere” is the actress’ way to become more involved in women’s rights, influenced by the historic Women’s March this past January 21st, as well as by her acting roles, which likely include the “breaker of chains” Daenerys Targaryen:
“As my best friend would put it, I am a girl-boss, and I am in an industry where if I speak out against inequality I have a platform, and might be lucky enough to have a chance of being heard. The roles I’ve played have given me an insight into what it feels like to be a woman who stands up to inequality and hate, and stands out as a feminist.”
Clarke goes on to address her own experiences with gender inequality, and how the media’s response to GOT has shaped her views on certain issues, particularly nudity:
“Do I get treated equally at work? Not always. Does every woman? No, and the statistics back that up. Do I get asked questions at press junkets by men and women alike, specifically because they will get headline grabbing responses coming from a young woman? Yes. If you’ve watched Game of Thrones then, spoiler, you will have seen me in the nude. There are plenty of ways in which people want me to respond to questions about this fact. And plenty of reasons why I do not feel the need to justify myself.”
Finally, the actress makes an appeal to which I hope everyone in the comment section below pays close attention — Just as people have a right to discuss feminist aspects of the series in a civilized manner (and they will certainly find such a platform on this site), Clarke does too, and her editorial should be equally respected. Her appeal is simple:
“Little small acts of kindness can add up to a big movement. On this International Women’s Day I am not proposing a big idea, I will leave that to the leaders and politicians; instead I propose that each and every one of us start to re-energise our kindness gene, give it power and share it with each other, with our sisters and brothers.
As I read recently, kindness is sexy, it’s good for us, it makes us feel happy and valued. Positive action starts with small individual deeds that accumulate over time and become a movement… a movement toward a more equal society where kindness anchors our feet to the ground while giving us the momentum to keep chipping away together.
With my voice, I hope the feminist mind set my family instilled in me becomes the new normal, and boys and girls are raised to know they are equal.”