Girl power! As Hollywood continues to make major changes, many stars have come forward to stress the importance of feminism and gender equality.
Ryan Gosling, who shares two daughters with Eva Mendes, told the Evening Standard in June 2016 that “women are better than men.” The Notebook actor noted, “They are stronger, more evolved. You can tell especially when you have daughters and you see their early stages, they are just leaps and bounds beyond boys immediately.”
Meghan Markle, for her part, mused in March 2019 that she and husband Prince Harry were hoping their royal baby would grow up to be a feminist, no matter its sex. “I’ve actually been joking in the past few weeks, I had seen this documentary on Netflix about feminism and one of the things they said during pregnancy is, ‘I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism,’” the duchess said during an International Women’s Day at the time. “I loved that, so boy or girl, or whatever it is, we hope that’s the case.”
The Suits alum gave birth to son Archie two months later, and the couple welcomed their daughter, Lilibet, in June 2021. That October, the Bench author opened up about the necessity for paid parental leave in a letter to the U.S. Congress.
“Like any parents, we were overjoyed,” she wrote of becoming a family of four. “Like many parents, we were overwhelmed. Like fewer parents, we weren’t confronted with the harsh reality of either spending those first few critical months with our baby or going back to work. We knew we could take her home and in that vital (and sacred) stage, devote any and everything to our kids and to our family. We knew that by doing so we wouldn’t have to make impossible choices about childcare, work and medical care that so many have to make every single day.”
Over the years, several women have spoken out about unequal pay in Hollywood. After it was revealed in January 2018 that Michelle Williams made less than 1 percent of her costar Mark Wahlberg’s salary to reshoot scenes from their movie, All the Money in the World, the issue of equal pay was put at the forefront of many conversations. Although Wahlberg ended up donating his $1.5 million paycheck to a women’s organization on behalf of Williams, the Greatest Showman actress still felt the effects of the pay gap.
“[I was] paralyzed in feelings of futility,” the Dawson’s Creek alum confessed in April 2019. “There won’t be satisfaction for me until I can exhaust my efforts ensuring that all women experience the elevation of their self-worth and its connection to the elevation of their market worth.”