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Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth.

March 8, 2011

Today, on International Women’s Day, I am celebrating the women in my life, and the menfolk who support us. My mother, sister, aunts and cousins; my idols; my friends and my mentors (many of whom fit in more than one of these categories). Among many, many other things, they are compassionate, smart, strong, playful, courageous, loving, hopeful and curious. They ask questions, they challenge, and they triumph.

I live in an environment where this strength, warmth, and growth is encouraged and appreciated, but I know that all over the world there are women for whom this is unheard of. Women who are uneducated and illiterate; women who are exploited; women who are told they have no worth, and worst of all, women who believe that’s true. (In all of these statements, the “and girls” was unwritten but is unfortunately ever-present.)

For years, television writer/creator/all-around-awesome-man Joss Whedon has been asked the same question: “So why do you write these strong female characters?” In his acceptance speech for an award from Equality Now, he shares a few of his (wonderful, funny, excellent) answers:

My favourite: “Because you’re still asking me that question.”

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