We never feel the need to prefix men with the word “strong”, so why do we do so with women? Actors in Hollywood are calling time on what they regard as a lazy and undermining phrase
She may embody a series of fiercely independent female characters on-screen, but Claire Foy is not a fan of the term “strong woman”.
The actor plays the Queen in Netflix series The Crown, along with Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming adaptation of Stieg Larsson classic The Girl in the Spider’s Web and Janet Armstrong, wife of Neil Armstrong, in a new biopic about the moon walker.
“I have absolutely no interest in portraying what other people think of as strong. It’s a way of making women more acceptable in a male world, and I am just not on board with that,” she tells the Sydney Morning Herald, in an interview this weekend.
“I don’t think women are crying out to see strong women; I think we know we are all strong but we’re just crying out to see women on screen at all!”
Foy is not the only star in Hollywood to have issues with the “strong woman” stereotype.
Emilia Clarke, who shot to fame as Daenerys Targaryen, the crusading Mother of Dragons in Game of Thrones, also has misgivings over the phrase.
“I want to tell you how it feels to play a woman. The end,” she said earlier this year.
“Find another adjective, dammit! I’m just playing women. If it’s not strong, what is it? Are you telling me there’s a weak option?
“A lead in a movie is going to be weak? It just doesn’t even bear having the conversation. So enough already with the ‘strong woman’ please.”
“Why does it have to be a bad thing?” she said. “I’m really tired of people being like, ‘Women are too emotional.’
“Maybe we need more emotion. Maybe we need more people fighting for what they believe in.”