Big Little Lies and The Handmaid's Tale were the biggest winners at Sunday night's Emmy awards and it's worth celebrating the fact that these two decidedly feminist shows got the recognition they deserved. That alone has us cheering, but we're also thrilled that so many men made a point of using their speeches to acknowledge the injustices faced by women, and the strength women exhibit in the face of adversity.
Their words were important because they sent the crucial message that it's not simply women who should be feminists. Women shouldn't be the only ones fighting for equal pay, reproductive rights, and a society that's not defined by rape culture.
Alexander Skarsgard, who was frighteningly convincing in his portrayal of a domestic abuser on Big Little Lies, used his speech to call attention to all the "incredible women" in his life. He thanked the show's female-led cast for "making this boy feel like one of the girls," a sweet way of turning a common phrase upside down. Is it possible that Hollywood isn't quite as much of a boy's club anymore? If tonight was any indication, we're definitely on the right track.
Riz Ahmed, who brought home a richly-deserved win for his performance on HBO's The Night Of, addressed the oppression and prejudice that's faced by so many people due to their race, religion, or gender.
Backstage, Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who collected her sixth consecutive Best Actress in a Comedy award) expressed hope that the big winners of the night signalled a shift not just in Hollywood, but in the world as a whole. "Let’s hope this is the beginning of something even better in our country — and in the world — because I think the world would be a better place if more women were in charge," Louis-Drefyus said. Veep showrunner David Mandel couldn't agree more and said that, despite his title, Louis-Dreyfus is really the one in charge on the series. (That's what we like to hear!)
But it was The Handmaid’s Tale showrunner Bruce Miller's powerful call to action that ended the night on the perfect note: "Go home; get to work. We have a lot of things to fight for."
We certainly have important battles to fight and when both men and women get involved, we'll be stronger than ever.