By De Elizabeth
While Emilia certainly isn’t wrong about the unfair inequities between men and women in Hollywood (and in the workplace in general), it’s generally not a good idea to compare anything to racism. For starters, Emilia (a white woman) cannot know what it’s like to experience racism. Knowing about racism and experiencing it for yourself are two very different things. And more importantly, to conflate sexism and racism erases the very specific and personal challenges of each. Both should be talked about and discussed, but they are not one and the same.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that even sexism and gender inequality are experienced much differently by women of color. For example, a recent study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research concluded that because the gender wage gap is closing at such a slow rate, black women won’t see equal pay for 108 years – and the number is even higher for Latinx women. This is why feminism is at its best when it is intersectional – when it is designed to empower and include all women, including women of color and LGBTQ women.
For what it’s worth, Emilia also made some important arguments about feminism and sexuality in her interview with Rolling Stone, pointing out that just because she is comfortable with her body (and often appears nude on camera), that doesn’t take away from her intelligence or belief in what’s right. “Like, guess what? Yes, I’ve got mascara on, and I also have a high IQ, so those two things can be one and the same,” she explained. It sounds like Emilia’s heart is in the right place, so let’s hope she is also able to recognize her privilege and extend that empowerment to all women.