Helen Mirren’s Commencement Speech at Tulane University
Hollywood actor Helen Mirren delivered the commencement speech at Tulane University in New Orleans to the batch of 2017. She is one of the best known and most respected actresses with an illustrious career that spans stage, screen and television and has won many awards for her performances.
She received an honorary degree from the University.
The 71-year-old advised the students to be feminists, irrespective of the sex or race.
1 ) In her keynote address, she emphasised on many aspects of feminism, politics and on internet trolls. The academy award winner shared Helen’s Top Five Rules for a Happy Life:
- Don’t be in a rush to get married,
- Treat people just like people
- no matter what sex you are, be a feminist
- don’t be afraid of fear
- don’t over complicate things.
She said, “No matter what sex you are, or race, be a feminist. In every country and culture that I have visited, from Sweden to Uganda, from Singapore to Mali, it is clear that when women are given respect, and the ability and freedom to pursue their personal dreams and ambitions, life improves for everyone.”
2) Helen though forcefully calls herself a feminist, but admits that earlier in the past she used to resist calling herself a feminist.
“I didn’t define myself as a feminist until quite recently, but I had always lived like a feminist and believed in the obvious: those women were as capable and as energetic and as inspiring as men. But to join a movement called feminism seemed too didactic, too political,”
3) Helen stated some of her experiences while travelling across the world and found that women if treated well, can help in the development of the entire nation.
“In every country and culture that I have visited, from Sweden to Uganda, from Singapore to Mali, it is clear that when women are given respect and the ability and freedom to pursue their personal dreams and ambitions, life improves for everyone.”
4) In her lecture to the graduates of the University, she encouraged everyone to become a feminist. She in her own style addressed the gathering with many jokes and straightforward statements. She casually talked about her tattoo and hell’s angels. It depicts a Mayan inscription, “in lakesh.” And means, “you are me and I am you,” she said. It’s “a more beautiful way of saying ‘We’re all in this together.'”