Recently this Equality Now acceptance speech by Joss Whedon found its way across social media. If you haven’t listened to it yet, then do yourself a favor and listen now! If you don’t know who Joss Whedon is and don’t really care about him thanking a long list of people for an award that will likely sit on his shelf and gather dust, then think again.
Equality Now is an organization that works for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls around the world. They are advocates for female empowerment and have been working to stop sexual violence and abuse since 1992.
Joss Whedon has a long list of credentials. He is a screenwriter, film and television producer, director, comic book author, composer, and actor. Whedon is known for creating popular television shows, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and the new hit Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He directed the box office hit The Avengers and also known for his work in multiple comic books series.
This award Whedon received was for his courageous support of women’s rights. It was presented to him at an event in 2006, “On the Road to Equality: Honoring Men on the Front Lines”. The one and only, Meryl Streep introduced Joss and he went on to explain how during his career he is continuously asked, “Why do you always write these strong women characters?” He gives a list of replies, but the best one comes at 6:24, “Why aren’t you asking a hundred other guys why they don’t write strong women characters?!” This response caused an uproar of cheers from the crowd and rightfully so. Whedon is creating these roles because it seems normal to him. We see strong women in our lives every day, but in most movies these female cops, fire fighters, or heroines are down played and never the main character fighting crime. Buffy sent the standard, now someone besides just Whedon needs to step up!
The real question here is, why after over six years is this video making a wave now? Well it could be because of Whedon’s new television show or the rise in comic book films. However, I think this video is going viral because women are starting to feel more empowered. We are through with taking the passenger seat in car chases, or hiding behind men in battle. These “strong women characters” are essential to this generation and generations to come. It’s about time that as women, we stop handing off the butt kicking to our male counterparts and take care of it ourselves! Then with women taking over normal male dominated roles there is no telling what is next!