Fierce Female of the Week: Anne Hathaway

Nothing but respect for MY Princess of Genovia.

Happy Fierce Female of the Week Wednesday! Today’s we’ll be talking all about Princess Mia herself – actress and activist Anne Hathaway. Anne has always been a favourite of mine but, in recent years, she has started standing up to the B.S. and being an amazing ally and activist for human rights.

Anne grew up acting in plays and eventually earned her breakthrough role as Mia Thermopolis in Disney’s The Princess Diaries in 2001. After the film’s amazing success, she went on to star in several major motion pictures such as The Dark Knight Rises, The Devil Wears Prada, and Les Miserables – the latter earning her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. This in and of itself is an amazing accomplishment that makes Anne a total badass, but it’s what she does outside of acting that really makes her shine!

Anne has been a partner with the Nike Foundation to raise awareness against child marriage. She has traveled to many countries in order to stand up for the rights of women and girls. In 2010, she partnered with World Bank for a 2-year mission called ‘The Girl Effect’ in order to empower young women in developing countries. In 2016, she became the UN Women Goodwill ambassador for her advocacy for gender equity.

In March 2017, Anne spoke spoke on behalf of International Women’s Day. She highlighted all the amazing people, and pivotal moments, that have paved the way towards equality. After sharing an anecdote about her childhood and relationship with her father, she discussed the current state of parental leave in America, and the issues with the unpaid leave when a majority of the country is living paycheck-to-paycheck. She also discussed the fact that fathers are not entitled to leave at all. She said this of the issue, “the deeper into the issue of paid parental leave I go, the clearer I see the connection between persisting barriers to women’s full equality and empowerment, and the need to redefine and in some cases, destigmatize men’s role as caregivers. In other words, the liberate women, we need to liberate men.” You can read the transcript of the speech here.

Just last year, Anne was one of the original 300 women who formed the Time’s Up movement. In an interview with Glamour magazine early this year, Anne said this of her own experience regarding sexual misconduct in Hollywood, “While they do not begin to approach the atrocious, galling stories others have shared in recent months, I have had negative on-set experiences, some of a sexual nature. Some are from the beginning of my [20-year] career, some are more recent – all are unacceptable… Being a 35-year-old cisgendered woman who has experienced the everyday, abusive imbalance of the world also made me want to be a part of a movement for change… I know the world can be far worse for others than it has been to me, but I suppose, like most everyone who has been hurt, I want to protect others from going through the worst of what I experienced.”

A month ago, in September 2018, Anne was honored at the Human Rights Campaign annual gala dinner. She received the award for National Ally For Equality and gave an amazing speech. (You can watch the full thing here. The entire speech was amazing and moving, but the most standout moment (aside from her acknowledging her own privilege) was this, “[The] myth is that gayness orbits around straightness, transgender orbits around cisgender and that all races orbit around whiteness… this myth is wrong… Myths are destroyed by the same thing that creates them: a community… I appreciate this community because together we are not going to just question this myth, we are going to destroy it. Let’s tear this world apart and build a better one.”

Aside from her powerful speeches over the year’s, Anne is also always quick to call out casual sexism, racism and homophobia. One of my favourite moments was when she was interviewed to promote the release of Les Miserables and she was asked about her diet for the role. She responded by saying, “this is not a Hollywood diet. I was an actor and I had to do a role and I find it kinda weird the way the media can glamorise this sort of thing. I didn’t lose the weight to look attractive, I needed to look like I was dying.” She didn’t shy away from the interviewer’s attempt at belittling her work and asking her only appearance-related questions.

Anne continues to be an amazing actress, advocate, mother ally, and all-around good person. She inspires me to stand up for what’s right, regardless of backlash. We are proud to call her this week’s Fierce Female!

“I’ve always believed in people’s capacity for goodness. I still believe that people are good. What I’m not so trusting about anymore is their relationship to their own goodness.”