Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Maisie Williams: “People who aren’t feminist are sexist”

Arya.jpg

Maisie Williams has spoken candidly about feminism in the past. Now the 18-year-old Game of Thrones actress has called for the term to be retired, saying that people should be defined by not believing in equality rather than the other way around.

“We should stop calling feminists ‘feminists’ and just start calling people who aren’t feminist ‘sexist’ – and then everyone else is just a human,” she told EW in an interview. “You are either a normal person or a sexist. People get a label when they're bad.”

The Bristol-born actress, who was just 12 when she was cast as Arya Stark in the first season of Game of Thrones, says that she was asked whether Arya was a feminist in one of her first ever interviews. “I didn’t even know what a feminist was. And then someone explained it to me. And I remember thinking, ‘Isn’t that just like everyone?’ And then I realized everyone is not a feminist, unfortunately.”

Williams has always been open about her feminist beliefs. In December 2014, she told The Guardian that she was impatient with Emma Watson's brand of “first-world feminism”, saying: “I know things aren’t perfect for women in the UK and in America, but there are women in the rest of the world who have it far worse.”

Arya Stark

Maisie Williams takes no prisoners as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. Picture: HBO

At a conference in New York in July 2015, she told the audience that “it's time for society to stop telling girls what they should and shouldn't do” and urged girls to be confident, adding: “Fight for yours, grab it with both hands and hold it like the course of your future depends on it. Because it does.”

But in her interview with EW, she said that she sometimes worries about speaking out for fear of being criticised by other feminists.

“I sometimes really worry about speaking up about feminist subjects out of fear of being bashed by women on social media. And there’s something not right there," she said. “Yeah, sometimes it’s men too. But there are women who are just nasty. I’m trying to do the best I can. I got a voice. I believe in equality and I know I have more power than the average person to reach people. And I just get petrified in case people are rude.”

Williams added that male directors often talk down to her when she meets them to discuss potential projects. “They’re all, ‘Have you seen this film?’ And before you’ve even said ‘No,’ they’re like, ‘Probably not, it’s really great.’”

The creators of Game of Thrones have faced criticism in the past for how women are depicted in the show. Williams told EW that the issue is a source of “constant debate” on set, but said that she believes that the show is balanced in its treatment of men and women. “Women are treated badly on the show, and they’re treated well on the show. But it’s the same as the boys and the girls and the men and the animals. The themes are very dark.”

Picture: Rex Features

Related

Games Of Thrones Season Six Trailer.jpg

Is Jon Snow dead? The full Games of Thrones Season Six trailer is here

EMILY BLUNT.jpg

“I know I've been paid less than men”: Emily Blunt speaks to Stylist

rexfeatures_4893172e (1).jpg

Game of Thrones Star Emilia Clarke can't stand “gratuitous” sex scenes

gran1.jpg

This 90-year-old grandma is the only beach body inspiration we need

bridget trailer.JPG

Bridget Jones's Baby: see the first film poster

481681132_rt.jpg

The eternal sunshine of Ellie Kemper

westwood.PNG

Gwendoline Christie stars in Vivienne Westwood's new Unisex campaign

rexfeatures_4210478q.jpg

Maisie Williams has doubts over Emma Watson's UN speech

Jazz Ohara Calais Camp.jpg

“I quit my career in fashion to volunteer in the Calais refugee camp”

Comments

More

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

Blake Lively is teaching her daughters that perfection is a myth

She wants them to challenge today’s unrealistic beauty standards

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Feb 2017

Scarlett Johansson gets realistic about marriage and monogamy

“I don’t think it’s natural to be a monogamous person”

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Feb 2017

Emily Ratajkowski, Melania Trump and the fight against slut-shaming

Ratajkowski is an avowed Democrat – but she’s ready to defend the First Lady.

by Moya Crockett
15 Feb 2017

Bake Off’s Prue Leith: everything you need to know

So… has the food writer really got what it takes to replace GBBO’s Marry Berry?

by Kayleigh Dray
14 Feb 2017

Why the internet loved Adele’s low-key wedding announcement

You do you, Adele

by Kayleigh Dray
14 Feb 2017