So, Kristen Dunst set the internet on fire because she said something stupid (which isn’t some new trick for her). Now, I will stand by my previous sentiment that the best movie she ever did was Interview with a Vampire and that the entire production team and cast of Spiderman 3 should be in some kind of Guantanamo bay style prison camp. With that out of the way I will say that I believe the first part of her comment was right.
“I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued. We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking– it’s a valuable thing my mom created.”
She said this in some UK magazine, search for it on Google if you want to know. I’m not writing a dissertation and I’m not going to run all over the net providing source links for stuff that’s easily accessible.
The first part of the quote is probably right. There’s a lot of undervaluing of women who choose to be stay at home moms and who choose to take time off from work to be a home maker. Or women who might not have to even work because their significant other pulls in enough cash. That having been said, there’s a lot of undervaluing of men who choose to do the same, probably more so actually. Being a stay at home dad is something seen as “unmanly” or “wrong” when the idea of what’s part of that person’s identity is totally up to that person as a choice and not society. Men aren’t required to be the bread winners and women aren’t required to home makers. In fact, a lot of times no one is the homemaker. The economy here won’t let them be, unless they’re doing it on top of other responsibilities.
Which brings us to the next part of her comment, which is the part I think many people took issue with:
“And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armor. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s how relationships work.”
No, you really don’t. The idea of knights in shining armor and men needing to be men and women needing to be women has probably done more harm than good for society as a whole. It’s the reason why men who are feminine, even when they’re not gay are seen as wrong and ridiculed. It’s the reason women are not found in STEM careers despite the fact that they are capable of doing them. Hell, it’s the reason why so many young women feel the need to dumb themselves down to fit into what society thinks they should be. And why many men think that they should be that.
I could write a ten page paper for how much I already dislike Dunst, but this issue goes deeper than that because it’s one of the issues that rest at the heart of our societal problems. Gender rights and equality are viewed mostly as a joke these days and seen as bitching.
The comments from various sites that carried this story included arguments and almost every time some guy broke down and just flat out called a woman a cunt. Now I’ll be the first to admit that as curse words go cunt is probably one of the coolest sounding ones, but it carries a sexual connotation and history that, coupled with the subject matter of the argument, makes it vastly misogynistic.
The real problem is that, just like the sub-set of feminists that think every woman should move as far away from traditional gender roles as possible, Kristen Dunst (and other celebrities) don’t speak for anyone but themselves. Regardless of what they think works for them, it doesn’t work for everyone and people had a right to get mad at what was said because it was stupid, a little insensitive and wrong.
Of course this comment came out of the mouth of the same woman who thought Peter Parker should die and there should be Mary-Jane-birthed-spider-babies running around, so when you consider the source stupid seems kind of par for the course.