Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“There is something in the female psyche that desires subjugation.” Actor Eileen Atkins on womanhood

eileen atkins.jpg

Award-winning actor, Dame Eileen Atkins, has said that there is “something in the female psyche” which desires subjugation.

According to Atkins, some women would also enjoy being told to “go in the kitchen and shut up”.

Making the comments in an interview with the Independent on Sunday, Atkins, 81, who was awarded a Bafta and an Emmy for her appearance in the TV series, Cranford, and an Olivier for her role in Honour, said that the Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew was not as outdated as one might like to think.

The play, which was re-imagined in 10 Things I Hate About You, tells the story of Katharina, an out-spoken woman who must be married-off, so that her younger sister Bianca, can be wed. When Petruchio – a vulgar, terribly behaved man – learns of Katharina’s dowry, he agrees to bear the burden. Eventually, Katharina, the ‘shrew’, is tamed by Petruchio, and teaches the other women about the virtues of being an obedient wife.

Not exactly a tale of liberation, but Atkins disagrees:

cranford

Eileen Atkins (far right) in Cranford alongside Dame Judi Dence

“There are still a lot of women who would marry a man such as Petruchio, and get treated as Katherina does – and enjoy being told to go into the kitchen and shut up!” she says.

“I just don't think you can block out the idea that some women desire subjugation,” she continues.

The actor went on to justify her comments through the example of women leaving their homes to become jihadi brides, saying:

“The fact that Isis can attract women to go to a life in which they know they will be totally subjugates, I’m afraid shows that there is something in the female psyche that desires that.”

The actor also went on to say that people over the age of 65 shouldn’t talk about sex, saying:

“I can’t imagine why anyone would want to have that image of an old man and an old woman in the mind.”

Atkins’ one woman-show, Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins, is currently on stage at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Related

Malala Yousafzai.jpg

Who’s really going to change the world in 2016?

jennifer aniston.jpg

The Critics Choice Awards: Fashion highlights

ThinkstockPhotos-502967106.jpg

How well-read are you? Take our New Year literature quiz to find out

ThinkstockPhotos-503302328.jpg

How to make every day feel like a Saturday

chantal unconventional apology project.jpg

Project captures powerful images of domestic violence survivors

drew.JPG

The best celebrity Instagrams of the week

rexfeatures_5505654c.jpg

The Oscars 2016 nominations announced: see who's up for an award

writer.jpg

Writing advice from the best-selling author of Room, Emma Donoghue

ThinkstockPhotos-503992794.jpg

Marie Kondo: Learn how to tidy your home forever in one video

Comments

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Reese Witherspoon's birthday shout-out to the Beckhams' glam evening

by Nicola Colyer
02 Dec 2016

Jessica Chastain on how she learned to love being a redhead

The actress used to struggle with low self-esteem as a result of her fiery locks.

by Moya Crockett
02 Dec 2016

Claudia Winkleman gets honest about her ‘overwhelming’ work schedule

“It left me crying my eyes out”

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Fawlty Towers’ John Cleese pays emotional tribute to Andrew Sachs

Andrew Sachs tragically passed away at 86 following battle with dementia

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher welcome baby boy

But the Black Swan star has vetoed her husband’s baby name

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Beyoncé’s magical new video reveals more of her life behind the scenes

Featuring her wedding day, her friends, and a baby Blue Ivy.

by Moya Crockett
01 Dec 2016

Demi Lovato opens up about her battle with bipolar battle disorder

“My life is a work in progress”

by Kayleigh Dray
01 Dec 2016

“I didn’t ever want to rely on a man to provide for me”

Chelsea Handler on the importance of financial independence

by Kayleigh Dray
01 Dec 2016

Jennifer Aniston wants women to take a stand against sexist media

“Women do far more incredible things than just procreate”

by Kayleigh Dray
01 Dec 2016

“Why are women such doormats when it comes to friendship?”

"We still have some crazy idea that society ‘rewards’ women who are nice to each other"

by The Stylist web team
01 Dec 2016