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TV series, Cranford, and an Olivier for her role in Honour, said that the Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew was not as outdated as one might like to think.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

Adele reveals truth behind George Michael tribute at the Grammys 2017

Adele has revealed that George Michael's family insisted she be the one to perform in his honour

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Feb 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the weekend

From Victoria Beckham's mini-me to Drew Barrymore's beauty secrets

by Nicola Colyer
20 Feb 2017

Chrissy Teigen on cultural appropriation and diversity in fashion

“I want it to be a normal thing to be able to see Asian models”

by Moya Crockett
20 Feb 2017

Angelina Jolie: Brad Pitt will always be part of my family

The actor and UNICEF ambassador has spoken publicly about her divorce for the first time

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Feb 2017

Zoe Saldana reveals surprise baby boy’s name

And the actor opted for an incredibly low-key birth announcement...

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Feb 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Anna Kendrick's new love to a Destiny's Child reunion

by Nicola Colyer
17 Feb 2017

Amanda Knox reveals the truth about relationships in prison

"Relationships help keep us sane, even if they're forbidden or not ideal”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
16 Feb 2017

Susan Sarandon discusses being sexually fluid: “I'm open”

“My sexual orientation is up for grabs”

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Feb 2017

“How you can fight this shameful U-turn on child refugees”

Positive ways to channel your outrage

15 Feb 2017

Chrissy Teigen has no time for #relationshipgoals

A drunken post-Grammys Snapchat with her husband is doing the rounds

by Amy Swales
15 Feb 2017