Kirsten Dunst, star of "Melancholia" and the Spider-Man trilogy, recently told Harper's Baazar she believes femininity is "undervalued."
"We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking — it’s a valuable thing my mum created," Dunst said.
She also argued that women need a "knight in shining armor" on occasion. "You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work," she said.
Some feminists have targeted Dunst because of her remarks, per Katherine Connell at the National Review. A Jezebel writer said Dunst is an "actress and blonde who looks good in clothes" and is "not paid to write gender theory, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that she's kind of dumb about it," according to Connell.
Other critics said Dunst's comment that men need to be men and women should be women in relationships was disparaging to homosexual people because it only applies to heterosexual couples. Connell believes that's an unfair critique. "By that standard, pretty much all relationship advice offered in women’s magazines is insulting to gay people," said Connell.
Katie Yoder at Media Research Center also defended Dunst, reports Fox News. "Feminists claim to be pro-woman, but they only support ‘correct’ choices and decisions. But Kirsten’s views are timeless," Yoder told Fox.
"Femininity has lost its meaning. Our culture and media teach women that success means running after careers and money. Instead, a pro-woman society should emphasize a woman’s importance and worth, no matter her decision in how to live out her life," she said.
Dunst isn't the only celebrity who has recently expressed comments perceived as anti-feminist by some. Candace Cameron Bure, best known for her role in "Full House," came under fire earlier this year for writing that she takes a "submissive role" in her marriage, according to The Huffington Post.
"The definition I'm using with the word 'submissive' is the biblical definition of that. So, it is meekness, it is not weakness. It is strength under control, it is bridled strength," Bure told HuffPost Live.
"It is very difficult to have two heads of authority. It doesn't work in military, it doesn't work — I mean, you have one president...," Bure said.
Christian writer Sarah Bessey critiqued Bure's views in a blog. "There is a vast difference between mutual submission to one another out of an overflow of love and having submission demanded of you, one-sided, out of a misguided attempt at biblical marriage," Bessey said.
"My husband and I submit to one another as we both submit to Christ. We learned that from our Bibles," she wrote.
Both of these actresses' comments have received widespread support or condemnation. Mary C. Curtis at The Washington Post believes Dunst's comment received a great amount of attention because of ongoing debates about gender equality.
"An actress’ comment is elevated in spite of or perhaps because we can’t escape issues of gender equality and work in the real world, where Democrats and Republicans disagree on whether a Paycheck Fairness Act ... is needed to cut into the national gender wage gap or an unnecessary measure that would increase civil lawsuits.
"When women’s pay issues are the subject of proposed legislation and women voters are being fought over, women’s roles are being discussed, once again," said Curtis.
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