Maggie Gyllenhaal accepting Golden Globe

Maggie Gyllenhaal celebrates more roles for “actual women” in Hollywood

Accepting the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries for her role in The Honorable Woman last night, Maggie Gyllenhaal took the opportunity to reject the focus in Hollywood on “powerful” female characters — and instead celebrated the increasing number of roles for actual women. 

“I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about the wealth of roles for powerful women in television lately. And when I look around the room at the women who are here and I think about the performances that I’ve watched this year what I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not, sometimes sexy, sometimes not, sometimes honorable, sometimes not, and what I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film. That’s what I think is revolutionary and evolutionary and it’s what’s turning me on.”

Amen. Here’s to fewer Strong Female Characters and more and more diverse representations of actual women in 2015. As Natalie Portman said last year, “I want every version of a woman and a man to be possible… I want them to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad — human, basically.”

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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