Helen Mirren: 'Women Are Still Toddlers In This Modern World'

Helen Mirren has never been one to shy away from controversy, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that she has a remarkably strong opinion on feminism and women’s individuality.

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Speaking to the Daily Mail’s You Magazine, the actress said: “Women are still toddlers in this modern world, trying to find their position in the age of sexual liberation, birth control, education and financial independence.

“We’re still finding our path. And yes, we’re making a lot of mistakes along the way.”

Interestingly, one of the mistakes she referred to was allowing men to sling their arm around our shoulders, which, up until now, was predominantly viewed as an act of affection. “It annoys me when I see men with an arm slung round their girlfriend’s shoulders. It’s like ownership. Of course, when you’re young, you want the guy to take your hand and look after you.

“But when I see girls being leaned on, I want to say, ‘Tell him to get his damned arm off your shoulder.’”

This, she said, was a characteristic of our age, wherein women presumably still look to their male partner as the protector and/or the bread winner. Arguably, it’s clear that we’ve made positive progress towards closing the gap between genders over the last decade, however Mirrin makes a fair point in saying that we’re still navigating our way, because we are.

Only in recent years has the feminist movement really started to catch on and quite frankly, it’s only as people keep publicly addressing the issue that we’re reminded to have a voice and take action. Sadly, complacency can be far more appealing than conflict.

So what’s a girl to do? “At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words “f*** off” much more frequently,” said the actress. She also insisted in the interview that we need to take responsibility for what emerges from the film industry and magazines.

Referring to breaking out of traditional female roles like the housewife, girlfriend or victim, Mirren advised: “When women complain about the paucity of roles for older women, I say put your energies into changing the way we view each other in real life – then the rest will follow.”

Image via Mirror.co.uk