From Olivia Colman in The Favourite to Nicole Kidman in Destroyer, a wave of female characters are challenging what makes a woman ‘likable’
The L word is in the news again, this time because of Democrat senator Elizabeth Warren’s decision to run for the US presidency. “A common observation of Warren is that she’s simply not likable enough to win the presidency,” said the Daily Beast. “There have been questions about whether Ms Warren is ‘likable’, a word that tends to be used in regard to female candidates rather than men,” said the Finacial Times. And Politico tweeted: “How does Elizabeth Warren avoid a Clinton redux – written off as too unlikable before her campaign gets off the ground?” And so on.
Ironically, in 2016, Warren was perceived as “infinitely more likable than Hillary”. But now she has thrown her hat into the ring, commentators are lining up to remind us how uncomfortable they are with powerful women, and also how uncomfortable they are with admitting it – since their doubts are invariably couched in terms such as “there have been questions about …” In other words: “Many people say …”
What's not to love? The new wave of 'unlikable' women in film