At Glamour’s 2015 Women of the Year Awards, actor Reese Witherspoon gave a powerful speech on women, roles written for them, and the absolute dissonance between depiction and reality. ‘”What do we do now?!” Seriously, I’m not kidding. Go back and watch any movie, and you’ll see this line over and over. I love to ask questions, but it’s my most hated question.
I dread reading scripts that have no women involved in their creation because inevitably I get to that part where the girl turns to the guy, and she says, “What do we do now?!” Do you know any woman in any crisis situation who has absolutely no idea what to do? I mean, don’t they tell people in crisis, even children, “If you’re in trouble, talk to a woman.” It’s ridiculous that a woman wouldn’t know what to do,” she said.
Recalling her journey to backing films herself for a better and fairer representation of women, she concluded the speech saying, “I urge each one of you to ask yourselves: What do we do now? That’s a big question. What is it in life that you think you can’t accomplish? Or what is it that people have said that you cannot do? Wouldn’t it feel really good to prove them all wrong? Because I believe ambition is not a dirty word. It’s just believing in yourself and your abilities. Imagine this: What would happen if we were all brave enough to be a little bit more ambitious? I think the world would change.”
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