Can the most powerful actress in the world be an honest-to-god rebel?
Not if that actress is Meryl Streep and we’re going by the traditional definition of what makes someone a rebel.
Streep caught a lot of flak this week after she donned a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan, “I’d Rather Be A Rebel Than A Slave.”
— Time Out Film (@TimeOutFilm) September 29, 2015
The photo was apart of a promo for her new movie “Suffragette.” In the film, Streep plays the early 20th century British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who is the woman responsible for the rebel quote.
What made people upset was not Streep claiming she was a rebel — it was the mention of the word “slave.” According to some activists, white people are not allowed to use the term in the context of a movie promo that doesn’t deal with American slavery. Plus, the “rebel” was seen as too close to Confederate rebels, especially with the proximity to the word “slave.”
The magazine that conducted the shoot, Time Out London, issued a clarification that the quote was solely related to the context of the original Pankhurst and apologized for any confusion.
Clearly, Time Out knew the photo would be provocative and start a conversation. It certainly made the tame Streep look a little rebellious.
But for all the focus on slavery and the Confederate States of America, there was something incredibly silly about the annual Oscar winner and three other esteemed actresses wearing a shirt declaring themselves rebels.
Yes, it was for a movie about a woman who rebelled against the prevailing establishment of her time. But the strong implication is that Meryl Streep is somehow a rebel resisting tyranny with a nice, white t-shirt.
But it’s not a stretch for some of the most powerful people in the world — the same people who are the establishment — to declare themselves rebels or outsiders.
Democrat frontrunner and establishment poster girl Hillary Clinton even had the complete lack of self-awareness to recently declare herself the ultimate outsider. Her evidence was that she was a woman running for president. (RELATED: Hillary Laughs: ‘I Can’t Imagine Anyone Being More Of An Outsider Than The First Woman President’)
Except the entire Democratic Party leadership is behind her, and so are some of the wealthiest and most influential people in the world. In order to be an outsider, the establishment needs to be worried about you, not acting as your biggest cheerleader.
There’s a funny trend among those who lean to the left to always portray themselves as allied against the “system” or the “Man.” However, the Left occupies the lion’s share of positions of power — in media, academia, the White House, you name it.
So how can people like Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton envision themselves as rebels when they are the establishment?
Because in a society that prizes rebellion (even when it doesn’t have a cause) and with an ideology that worships the underdog, liberal leaders have to make themselves out to be rebels.
They imagine that the establishment, instead of being ruled by their own kind, as being dominated by oppressive, heteronormative white men straight out of the 1950s.
It’s why prominent academics and journalists can say with a straight face that America is still dominated by white supremacy when we have an African-American president, no tolerance for institutional discrimination and numerous opportunities for minorities in this country.
The same fantasy also enables feminists to rail against some mythical patriarchy when the majority of college students are now female, the glass ceiling has long been shattered and no other civilization in history has respected women’s rights more than the present Western culture
That idea that the West is still ruled by the “patriarchy” is the particular notion that allows Clinton and Streep to paint themselves as fighters against the machine. Streep’s t-shirt, besides being a marketing coup, was likely making a subtle connection between the suffragette struggle in the early 20th century to the ongoing fight for “gender equality” today.
Except there is no institutional resistance to gender equality (whatever that happens to be) and all the powers that be are fully in favor it — unlike when women were requesting the right to vote.
The reason that leftists still maintain the rebel farce is because if they admitted that they were the ones in control, not only would they no longer be cool, but they would have to come to terms that their ideology is largely one concerned with keeping power in the hands of the powerful.
Strangely enough, their opponents — the ones the left thinks of as embodying the evil “Man” — are the ones who have a better claim to the rebel label. Those who lean right or hold views contrary to the urban elites can face job loss, IRS audits, mockery from all corners of the media, diminished opportunities in prestigious careers, censorship and even arrest. (RELATED: The Rule Of Law Only Matters When The Left Says It Does)
But don’t expect any conservative to show off their defiant t-shirt on the cover of a glossy magazine.
Some of the left may have been offended by Streep’s ridiculous photo, but they only have themselves to blame for why the actress with the most Oscar wins in history would think she’s a rebel defying servitude.