Blue Valentine's Ryan Gosling: The New Voice of Feminism in Hollywood?

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Ryan Gosling Blue Valentine


The ratings war over Blue Valentine may have gotten more press than the stunning film itself -- the movie was originally given the dreaded NC-17 branding before The Weinstein Company (who is also fighting the good fight for The King's Speech) successfully appealed it and earned themselves an R. Surprisingly, it was Ryan Gosling who most notably came to his film's defense -- Melissa Silverstein from Women in Hollywood called him the "Hollywood Feminist of the Day" and was floored by this quote from Gosling:

You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen. The MPAA is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario, which is both complicit and complex. It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film.

Wow. Read Melissa's thoughts on the controversy at Women and Hollywood.

Meanwhile, Gender Studies professor Hugo Schwyzer delves a little deeper in a fascinating study on his eponymous blog hypothesizing just what it is about the sensitive Gosling that women are responding to --

You can’t be a gender studies professor and not be tuned into popular culture. Since I started work in this field, I’ve watched as certain celebrities take on iconic status among feminists; when I was just beginning my teaching career, Camille Paglia had turned Madonna into a particular kind of exemplar. When I was at last year’s National Women’s Studies Association conference, everybody and her sister seemed to be writing a paper about Lady Gaga.

But it’s much rarer when a cis-gendered heterosexual man begins to attract the same kind of attention in feminist circles. Ryan Gosling is starting to do just that, largely thanks to his articulate and impassioned advocacy for sexual justice in Hollywood.

Continue reading Hugo's post at

Have you seen Blue Valentine? Tell me what you thought!

Image courtesy the Weinstein Company.


Morgan (The818) is a blogger and screenwriter living in Los Angeles. She overshares her personal life - complete with curse words -- at, talks art and design over at, and tweets: @the818.


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