I’m going to London again in 47 days. One of the things I’ll be doing while I’m there is taking in a play at the Garrick Theatre. The show is Romeo and Juliet, starring Lily James. The rest of the cast is pretty badass as well, plus it includes one of my all-time favorite actors, Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius). Oh, did I mention Kenneth Branagh is directing it?
I don’t know the politics of the various actors, but I did see a recent interview with Ms. James, where she said this about sexism in Hollywood:
She told the magazine: “I realised really early on, especially because I’m young, that people will take advantage. I’m very open, and I stupidly thought that people would be open and fair with me, but they’re not. I sort of found out the hard way. Of course [I’m a feminist]. I don’t even understand that question.”
Now, unless this is the first time you’ve ever read my site, you’re probably quite aware that I’m not a feminist. That’s not to say I’m anti-woman, think them incapable, or believe them to be lesser than men. I don’t believe any of those things. What I do believe is that modern feminism in the West is poisonous, dishonest, and not something I would ever want my name attached to.
Now, does Lily James feel the same way as Anita Sarkeesian or some goofball like Jessica Valenti? Well, I couldn’t say, because she didn’t really go into detail there. But, even if it turned out that she did, it wouldn’t ruin my affinity for her acting. When I evaluate an artist, I try to strictly look at the actual art they’re putting out. If it’s good, then it’s good. Their personal beliefs and political positions don’t enter into the equation.
I take it even further. For example, I love Woody Allen’s work, especially his old stuff. Some people consider him a deviant unworthy of patronage due to his personal conduct. That’s another factor that I try to avoid entering into my evaluations. (Plus, I remember him getting slimed by talking head feminists, but that’s a story for another day.)
Not everyone feels this way, though. In fact, I’ve heard it argued that supporting someone like Allen is immoral. I’ve also seen people who agree with me on feminism turn around and chastise me for supporting someone similar to Lily James, or for enjoying the new Star Wars movie.
How do you feel about this sort of thing? Am I right or are those that disagree with me right? I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a few weeks now and I’m interested to hear what the response to it is. Don’t hold back if you happen to disagree. I respect it if you do. I just wanted to get some more opinions on this issue.
I’ll be back in a little while with more standard fare.