The actor Emma Thompson has given a very good interview on women’s rights. I know everything in the media revolves around celebrity but it’s refreshing to hear someone in showbusiness speak frankly and directly about political struggle. It’s a world away from Bono, needless to say.
I don’t think women are top of anyone’s agenda. I find now is the time for more militancy than ever before. I feel now, in my 50th year, having been very angry and militant as a young woman, that things are not getting better. They’re getting worse; and the sex trafficking industry is an example. I feel that in most places women don’t have jurisdiction over their own bodies. And that if we don’t start seriously addressing the value and the worth of women in the world, this sort of thing is just going to get worse. And I feel that very strongly, and having lived for long enough, actually, to back it up.
Thompson is most exercised over the growing ‘trade’ in trafficking women as sex slaves. She’s helped produce a short film called The Journey that judging from the trailer looks pretty brutal and uncompromising. On its relation to mainstream culture, she says:
Let’s take advertising; the area of women’s magazines, the representation of women. I would ask people to question the way in which they are selling their products. I would ask the government to question the way in which it’s a normal thing to walk into any newsagents and see very overt sexual pictures of women everywhere. This is what our kids grow up surrounded by. Is it any wonder that we buy and sell women on the street in broad daylight? No, it bloody isn’t.
It’s a very interesting brief interview.