Opinion: Feminist thought police takes on Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst is seen at a Lakers game with actor Garrett Hedlund at Staples Center.
Kirsten Dunst is seen at a Lakers game with actor Garrett Hedlund at Staples Center.
(Michael Nelson / EPA)
<em>This post has been corrected, as indicated below.</em>

You can’t say anything these days without getting into trouble with the feminist thought police.

For example, here’s Kirsten Dunst, giving an interview to the U.K. Harper’s Bazaar as part of a promotion blitz for her new film, “The Two Faces of January,” slated for U.S release later this year:

“ ‘I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued…. We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking -- it’s a valuable thing my mum created. And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armor. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work.’ ”

Yeah, so what’s wrong with that? Isn’t “nurturing” supposed to be one of the good things about women that makes them superior to men in some ways because of their greater capacity for empathy? Psychology Today says women are “hard-wired” to nurture, with a “biological need” to care for others.


And how about “being the mother”? Again -- is there something wrong with that? And “staying at home”? Isn’t being a stay-at-home mom a perfectly legitimate option for mothers of growing children? A new Pew Research Center study indicates that the percentage of mothers with children under age 18 who don’t work outside the home has been rising pretty steadily for more than a decade, with 29% of mothers staying at home, in contrast to 23% in 1999, the year the percentage of working-outside-the-home mothers of children under age 18 reached its all-time high.

Finally, there’s that “knight in shining armor.” Here’s the Urban Dictionary’s top definition: “A man that helps out a woman when she is in distress”:

“ ‘Woman: My bag was stolen!’

“ ‘Knight in Shining Armor: Let me chase him down for you!’

“ ‘Woman: Thanks, you’re like my knight in shining armor!’ ”

Doesn’t every woman want a man like that around when things go wrong?

The answers to the above questions in the feminist universe are no, no, no, and no. In the world of feminism, there’s no worse sin than being “feminine.” Unless it’s for “a man to be a man.”

Here’s Erin Gloria Ryan in a Jezebel item headlined “Kirsten Dunst Thinks Ladies in Relationships Should Wife the [Expletive] Out”:


“I’m not going to couch this much because Kirsten Dunst is not paid to write gender theory so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that she’s kind of dumb about it…"

Because women who are “paid to write gender theory” like Erin Gloria Ryan are so exceedingly smart.

And then we have Stacey Ritzen at Uproxx; her piece is titled “Kirsten Dunst Thinks That Women Should Know Their Place Is In the Home”:

"[O]ver the years Kirsten Dunst has continued to be somewhat of an insufferable person, as evidenced by this interview she recently gave with Harper’s Bazaar, in which she has some Very Important Opinions on gender roles.… So, I guess my marriage is doomed to fail because I don’t have kids and write [expletive] jokes for a living and my husband is more of a cat person than a dog person. THANKS, KIRSTEN DUNST.”


In other words, all you have to say is that femininity is a good thing, that there’s nothing wrong with being a stay-at-home mom and that it’s great to have a standup guy to protect you when you’re in danger -- and you’ll be in big, big trouble with the people who are paid to write gender theory.

Nicely, Adam Baldwin (no relation to Alec) -- oops, guess he was playing a knight in shining armor! -- has come to Dunst’s defense with this tweet: “Hi @KirstenDunst: FWIW, NEVER apologize to the mob!”

[Correction, 4:28 p.m., April 18: A previous version on this post and the headline said Alec Baldwin came to Kirsten Dunst’s defense. It was actually actor Adam Baldwin, which Alec alerted us to via Twitter.]



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Charlotte Allen writes frequently about feminism, politics and religion. Follow her on Twitter @MeanCharlotte.