There's no denying it, Joss Whedon is awesome, and the more he does, the more awesome he gets. Like this Monday, when he took time out from working on Avengers: Age of Ultron to commit his time and presence to a cause he is passionate about: feminism.
While attending an event for the organisation Equality Now, he spoke out about the need for men to support the cause, noting that it's not enough to just say you are a feminist, you need to show it in everything you do.
Well, they need money, they need volunteers. Action is the best way to say anything...A guy who behaves like [a feminist], who actually becomes involved in the movement, generally speaking, you can trust that. And it doesn't just apply to the action that is activist. It applies to the way they treat the women they work with and they live with and they see on the street.
He also talked about his mother, a woman who clearly inspired his feminist views and his incredible writing of powerful women.
I was raised by a very strong woman, I didn't know feminism was actually a thing until I left home and found out the country didn't run the way my mom's house did. So I have this goldfish, idiot, forgetful thing in that every time I'm confronted with true misogyny, I'm stunned. I'm like, Really? That's like, I don't believe in airplanes. It's like, What century are you from? I don't get it.
He continues to express his shock and disappointment when encountering this kind of behavior, yet manages to maintain a positive outlook. Although he is clear that misogyny is a very real problem, he also believes that change is on the way.
So usually I'm shocked, then occasionally amused, then occasionally extremely not amused, but once I get over the shock, it's very clear that misogyny in our own culture — and not just where they perform genital mutilation and marry off 10-year-olds — runs so deep. When I see this hate bubbling up towards any kind of progress, my reaction is twofold: First, it's horror, and then, it's delight, because you don't get this kind of anger unless real change is actually happening. It is a chaotic time. It's an ugly time because change is happening. It would be lovely to be living after the change has happened.
It's something of a dirty word these days - type "feminist" and see the internet rage build into a tsunami of misguided fury (just look at #Gamergate and the rape threats received by the woman who was filmed walking around New York being catcalled). But it's a word that Joss isn't afraid to use, and he's not just acknowledging the problem; he is actively looking for solutions, he is encouraging his legion of fans to get involved, and he is looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.
Joss, I salute you.