Emily Ratajkowski is not messing around. The model-turned-actress recently wrote an essay condemning pop culture for rewarding aging men who continue to show off their sexuality while hating on women who do the same.
Emily first came to fame after starring in the highly-criticized “Blurred Lines” music video. But ever since it seems like Emily has made it her mission to prove that she’s not that girl and bring issues of sexism to light.
Her article for Glamour does just that. She writes,
Our culture has a double standard that runs so deep, many women have actually built up an automatic defense—attempting to be a step ahead of potential critics by making sure we have “real” reasons for anything we say or do.
Often it’s men propelling these acts of sexism, but women discount one another too: Think about how many times you’ve heard a woman say about another woman, “Oh, she’s just doing that for attention.” We’ve internalized this trope. Our society tells women we can’t be, say, sexy and confident and opinionated about politics. This would allow us too much power. Instead our society asks us to declare and defend our motivations, which makes us second-guess them, all while men do what they please without question.
Emily points to an example within her own life where she stood up to speak at a Bernie Sanders rally and then was criticized online. But this double-standard doesn’t just exist in her own life, she says. Pointing to Mick Jagger and Madonna, she explains:
Look at pop culture: Mick Jagger is 73, and he still sometimes wears his shirt open and gyrates onstage. We understand that this is a part of his performance and artistic brand. Meanwhile, when Madonna, who is 58 and a revolutionary in that same kind of artistic sexuality, wears a sheer dress to the Met Gala, critics call her “a hot mess” who’s “desperate.” But isn’t she just making one of her signature political statements about female sexuality (and, incidentally, about our ageist, sexist culture too)? In any case, they are both performers who undoubtedly like attention. So why does Madonna get flak for it while Jagger is celebrated?
We’re not 100% sure we agree with the whole Mick Jagger thing — we personally think he’s a creep with or without his shirt buttoned, but we get her point. And we agree.
While nothing that Emily writes in her essay is news per se, we do appreciate the time she took the time to articulate these things. It’s important for young women to continue to see other women stand up to sexism and say it’s not ok. Good work, Emily!