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Meryl Streep says she isn't a feminist while promoting new film about the Suffragette movement

Streep says she is a 'humanist' instead despite a strong track record fighting women's rights

Chris Mandle
Thursday 01 October 2015 11:52 BST

Meryl Streep has said she doesn’t identify as a feminist in a new interview, while promoting her new film Sufragette in which she plays Emmeline Pankhurst, the activist who was instrumental in ensuring women earned the right to vote.

Speaking to Time Out, Streep is asked whether or not she is a feminist - a question more and more women are asked of late - but she says she identifies as something else.

“I’m a humanist. I am for nice easy balance,” she says.

It’s hard to understand what she means by ‘balance’ given feminism is defined as a belief in social, political and economic equality of the sexes.

Streep has previously contacted Congress to urge them to help make discrimination against women illegal. And when Patricia Arquette spoke up against equal pay at the Oscars, Streep was seen whooping enthusiastically in the audience.

But she isn’t the first celebrity to tremble at the mention of the ‘F’ word.

Lady Gaga has previously said she isn’t a feminist as she ‘loves’ men, bizarrely adding that she loves beer and cars and therefore couldn’t be a feminist. Taylor Swift has also denied associating with it in the past, but changed her stance earlier this year (in an interview with Maxim, no less).

It’s possible Streep just prioritises her ‘humanist’ beliefs over anything else, as elsewhere in the interview she says the one thing she would change about the film industry to combat sexism would be to try and challenge male privelage.

“Men should look at the world as if something is wrong when their voices predominate,” she says. “They should feel it. People at agencies and studios, including the parent boards, might look around the table at decision-making level and feel something is wrong if half their participants are not women.

“Because our tastes are different, what we value is different. Not better, different.”

Sounds like feminism to us.

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