the patriarchy

Helen Mirren Wants Your Shoulders to Be Free

Helen Mirren.
Helen Mirren. Photo: Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Helen Mirren, beloved actor and defender of women worldwide, did another savvy interview this week with You magazine wherein she covered everything from aging — “It’s not for pussies” — to the necessity of not marrying young. She also had some thoughts about men draping their arms around their girlfriends in public:

“It annoys me when I see men with an arm slung round their girlfriend’s shoulders. It’s like ownership. Of course, when you’re young, you want the guy to take your hand and look after you.

“But when I see girls being leaned on, I want to say, ‘Tell him to get his damned arm off your shoulder.’”

Mirren speculated to the mag that women still allow themselves this submissive behavior because ultimately, young women are still “toddlers in this modern world, trying to find their position in the age of sexual liberation, birth control, education and financial independence.” 

Here’s the good news — you, too, can assert dominance in public without uttering a word! According to Body Language for Dummies, “By placing your hand on his back, or when you stand close to your partner and put your hand on his upper arm, you’re demonstrating that you own or are in control of that piece of property.” Go forth and seize the (heteronormative) … day!

Helen Mirren Wants Your Shoulders to Be Free