Following the success of her new major role in Netflix series Jessica Jones, Australian self-professed feminist Rachael Taylor has opened up about the portrayal of women in media, explaining how they can, more often than not, come across as voiceless and surface-level.
Reflecting on the promise made to her from the show’s writer, Melissa Rosenberg, that her character, Trish “Patsy” Walker, and Jessica Jones (played by Krysten Ritter) “would never be talking about shoes or a boyfriend”, Rachael told ELLE that “women are sick of this simplified version of friendship” where we seemingly always talk about boy drama and other #FirstWorldProblems.
“We are much more complex than just caring about men all the time,” the former-Grey’s Anatomy star (who is doctor Alex Karev’s love interest in Season 7 of the Shonda Rhimes series, mind you) told the fashion glossy. “And the implication is that we’re not interesting and complex and layered enough to sustain a narrative of our own.”
Caring a great deal about gender equality, Rachael also explained that it was good to work on Jessica Jones because of the equal number of male and female directors, and also expressed her distaste for the gender pay gap. “I just can’t get my brain around how I am worth less than a man in my pay check. I don’t get it. I get mad as hell.”
With unofficial ambassadors like Jennifer Lawrence standing up to the industry on the matter, Rachael does admit that we’re heading in the right direction after her neighbour, who was a feminist in the 60s and 70s, assured Rachael of the progress made. The Aussie is committed to seeing these changes continue and prosper.
“There’s a real passing of the baton and it’s up to our generation to take it and go, ‘OK cool, you did a lot of work for us but there is more work to do’,” she explained to ELLE, noting that she’d also like to see men stand up for the cause.
“More than anyone I am rah-rah sisterhood, for sure, but there is nothing sexier than a male feminist,” Rachael said, explaining that we have to change the way feminism is perceived. “Because that’s what it boils down to, gender imbalance is an issue of equality and we’ve got to make sure we find a way to not alienate men from it and not to demonise men, we’ve got to include them in the conversation because we need to be on the same team.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. You can watch Rachael’s empowering character on Netflix now, and read her entire interview over at ELLE. We’d highly recommend it, because this is one woman leading by example with discussions much more in-depth than her relationship status.