Olivia Wilde is speaking truth to power when it comes to the sexism she experiences both on and off set. The sophomore director is all about empowering women, being partners with other women in Hollywood, and breaking gender stereotypes. Even though she’s all about feminism, she is still on the receiving end of double standards when it comes to gender and motherhood.
Participating In A Patriarchal System
The mother of two understands that being a celebrity means she will be ferociously scrutinized by the media. However, what she can’t understand is why the media is so set on pitting women against one another.
In an interview with Elle, Wilde reflected on what it’s like to be under scrutiny all the time. “Having been a known figure for a while…makes me well-equipped to have a Teflon exterior. But it also means that you’re under a different kind of microscope. It’s brought my attention to the media and how it pits women against one another.”
What’s more, Wilde questions why women in society continue to buy into this competition. As the director makes waves with her new movie, Don’t Worry Darling, she shares how the movie addresses our involvement in the patriarchal system.
“I’m very curious about our collective complicity in [upholding] the patriarchy,” admitted Wilde. “I had no interest in making a feminist parable that was judgy or that defined men as bad and women as good. I was much more interested in that tense space where we recognize our own participation in the system that objectifies us.”
When Your Role As Mother Is Questioned
Wilde’s experience in the spotlight also has the public and media questioning her role as mom. For the director, she sees this as a double standard with her male counterparts. “I share custody of my kids with my ex. If I’m photographed not with my kids, people assume I have abandoned them, like my kids are just somewhere in a hot car without me. The suggestion is that I have abandoned my role as a mother. You know why you don’t see me with my kids? Because I don’t let them get photographed. Do you know the lengths that I go to to protect my kids from being seen by you?”
Although her motherhood may be questioned in the media, Wilde continues to teach her children and show the public what it means to empower women. She is committed to directing and starring in movies that uphold a feminist view on women. In fact, Wilde is set to direct two upcoming movies that deal with the “raw determination of women,” an area the director is dedicated to showcasing.
Plus, Wilde admitted that times seem to be changing. Since the #MeToo movement began, women in Hollywood are coming together. “There’s a much stronger sense of community. We were kept in separate rooms for a long time. … [Women] could realize, ‘Wait a minute, why have I been told you’re my competitor? You’re not. You’re actually my partner. How convenient that they told us we were competitors.’”