Culture

Beware: Putting Your Arm around Your Girlfriend Is Sexist

"It's like ownership."

English actress Helen Mirren has declared that a man’s putting his arm around his girlfriend is sexist – despite the fact that she was photographed with her husbands arm around her just one day before making this comment. 

“It annoys me when I see men with an arm slung around their girlfriend’s shoulders,” Mirren said in an interview with The Daily Mail on Sunday. “It’s like ownership.”

(Wow. And here I’d been thinking that cuddling was nice and sweet. How foolish of me!)

“Of course, when you’re young, you want the guy to take your hand and look after you,” she continued. “But when I see girls being leaned on, I want to say, ‘tell him to get his damned arm off your shoulder.”

#share#Yes. If you’re a girl and have your boyfriend’s arm around your shoulder, Mirren wants you to tell him to stop it — even if you seem to be enjoying yourself. Because she knows better than you do what’s right for your relationship. (How feminist!)

What’s particularly interesting about this is that there are several photos of Mirren and her husband, director Taylor Hackford, at the Toronto Film Festival on Saturday in which he — trigger warning! – has his arm around her!

Helen Mirren with husband Taylor Hackford

You may be tempted to think that this seems hypocritical, but I’m not going to judge. Maybe she was just too afraid to say anything because, as we all know, the power of the patriarchy often prevents women from speaking.

Yeah, that must be it. After all, the affection displayed in those pictures does look pretty traumatizing.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review.