Now that it’s been nearly a year since Rowan penned her essay to white feminists, the actress has revealed how she thinks things have changed for the better:
I feel since the year that I’ve written that essay, there’s been more awareness from white women of their privilege, and I’m very happy about that because it’s important that we all help each other, but I think something that I’ve—and I’m not saying that I caused this change, I’m just saying that I’ve noticed—is that girls are much more aware of the power in a selfie and the power in your ability to choose how you’re viewed. People like Tavi, they definitely obviously contribute to that, and that’s something that’s really nice. I think that that’s something I’ve really seen, and people are using social media for really good causes, like people will have pride days and days where you can just really soak in what you love about yourself. But definitely, like you said, Beyoncé’s Lemonade, that changed my life, I’m not even kidding. To be able to have somebody like Beyoncé on this planet right now is so unbelievably important, and I’m so grateful to have her—to have her as a girl and to have her just there to…yeah. I just love her so much.
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#repost @miumiu “I think that the important thing about being a girl is that you get to choose what that means to you, and that’s something not many people realise. You know, we have so many things enforced upon us – you need to look a certain way, you have to have a certain colour hair – but the nice thing is, especially through the internet, people are realising that there are all sorts of different ways of being a girl; there can be so many different interpretations of girlhood.” I took over their page with some #emo feelings on girlhood and social media go check it out 👗 photo by @clarazara
However, Rowan acknowledges that with the good changes there are still struggles to overcome:
I think as more people get more aware, people get more defensive. And when I say that, I mean people who are more privileged, like men. People will think that by pointing out patriarchy and an oppression, that means that all men are horrible people, and they’ll write that on social media, and I think that’s something that’s increased. And there’s this whole debate about whether being PC is just being like political or whether it’s just being a good person, and I feel like that’s something that people need to take into consideration because, you know, people are like, “Oh PC culture is ruining America.” It’s being a good person. If you’re offended when people are not, you know, sexist or racist, then you’re a part of the problem. That’s something that has increased because more people are talking about it, so other people who are not aware will say things like that.
As for the biggest advice she would give to women and girls, Rowan says:
The biggest piece of advice I would give to other women and girls is that it’s really hard, and I feel like we’re promised in like these phrases like, “Never give up,” and stuff like that, it’s going to be easier if you just listen to them. In my experience, and I think the experience of my friends and other women around me, it’s a lot—you have to do a lot for yourself because the world isn’t as friendly to women and girls as it should be, and it’s not as helpful as it should be. So my answer would be to help each other, and to help yourself, and to put yourself first, and to put the other women around you first. Because there’s nothing wrong with those phrases, but I think when they’re put in the context of survival they’re very light, and they don’t quite explain what’s actually happening. Protect yourself and to protect other girls and to form a sisterhood or your version of a sisterhood and to thrive in that.
You can check out Rowan’s full interview here!