This Is The Real 'Feminist Ryan Gosling,' and It's Awesome

Women are "better" and "stronger" than men.
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Women are "better" and "stronger" than men.

We have to admit, it's hard not to have a crush on Ryan Gosling. Of course there's his swoon-worthy smile and makes-us-feel-like-a-teenager performance in The Notebook (#NeverForget)—not to mention his hilarious good sportsmanship in a meta fashion stand-off with Macaulay Culkin. And now we can add to the list of his appeals that he is a bonafide feminist. 

Gosling has two young daughters with wife Eva Mendes, and his refusal to play into the macho tropes that might apply to some of the characters he’s played is a refreshing example of a male feminist getting it right. When Hello! Magazine asked the actor last year what he looked for in a woman, he replied, “that she’s Eva Mendes. There’s nothing else I’m looking for.” His answer was not about her body or her fame or even her role as the mother of his children—it’s about her uniqueness as an individual woman and all that that encompasses.

Gosling’s role as a celebrated (and pined after) feminist even sparked the creation of a blog, Feminist Ryan Gosling, which was so successful it was parlayed into a book.

Gosling struck again in an interview with ES Magazine last week, explaining how his upbringing has led him to see the double standard that many women face. "I grew up with women so I've always been aware of [how they are objectified]," he said. "When my mother and I walked to the grocery store, men would circle the block in cars. It was very scary, especially as a young boy. Very predatory; a hunt."

He even went so far as to say: “I think women are better than men. They are stronger, more evolved. You can tell especially when you have daughters and you see their early stages, they are just leaps and bounds beyond boys immediately.” Gosling adds that not only are women better than men, in his view, they also make men better. “I was brought up by my mother and older sister. I found my way into dance class. My home life now is mostly women… They make me better.”

We certainly don’t subscribe to a version of feminism that puts women over men—more like one that recognizes the sexes at equal footing but bringing different strengths to the table. Men may generally have more physical strength than women, for example; but if Gosling is saying women are stronger in the face of adversities like sexism and objectification? We’ll take it.

So, thanks, Ryan, for supporting equal treatment and renouncing objectification of women everywhere. Gosling proves that he, like all people, has a worth that is so much more than skin deep. 

Photo: Getty Images