Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling + Sheryl Sandberg Rep Feminism at SXSW

SXSW and Women’s History Month overlap every year, but this one seemed extra special, as some of our favorite feminists were there to speak some truth to the giant crowds.

It’s been a good year for feminists, as more and more women take the top spots in the business and entertainment worlds. And all the boss ladies are out and about in Austin, where they’re talking to festival-goers about the importance of empowering the “Girls” of today to be the bosses of tomorrow.

+ Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is the new CEO of Facebook. She runs a site that has 1.3 billion active users. So basically, she’s like the ruler of a very large online country that makes up over a fifth of the world’s population.

Sandberg unveiled the Ban Bossy campaign at SXSW. In its inaugural PSA, famous female bosses, including Beyoncé, Condoleezza Rice and Jane Lynch, dis the word “bossy” and instead call themselves, “The Boss.”

+ Watch “I’m Not Bossy. I’m The Boss.”

The point of the campaign is to shed some light on the fact that hardworking women are often called “bossy” (or another word that starts with “B” that I can’t use here) instead of being praised for their talent and intellect.

Ban Bossy aims to change that by closing the confidence gap and teaching girls to wanna be the boss like Bey and Leezy. (I just nicknamed you, Condoleeza.)

+ Lena Dunham

“Girls” actress and creator Lena Dunham gave Monday’s keynote lecture at SXSW. During her talk, she compared the recent success of “Girls” star Adam Driver with that of his female co-stars. She also criticized her industry, which typecasts female actresses but lets men play “good guys and bad guys, sweet guys and scary guys.”

“It’s a rough scene,” she said. “It’s hard to always offer comforting words on that topic. I think about this in relation to the cast on my show, which consists of three very talented women and also some very talented guys.” Dunham said her costar, Adam Driver, “has had a bang-up year in movies which could not be more deserved because he’s a ferocious genius with an incredible work ethic, and I’ve learned so much from him. But the girls are still waiting patiently for parts that are going to honor their intelligence and their ability.”

“The world is ready to see Adam as a million different men,” she added. “It’s not ready to see Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet or Jemima Kirke stretch their legs in the same variety of diverse roles. Allison is relegated to All-American sweetheart. Zosia is asked to play more flighty nood-nicks. Even though both are capable of so much, they’re not asked to do it. And this is not a knock on Adam’s talent, which is utterly boundless and he’s exactly the actor who should be doing all this. It’s a knock on a world where women are typecast and men can play villains, Lotharios and nerds in one calendar year and something has to change and I’m trying.”

+ Mindy Kaling

During her panel at SXSW, actress slash boss lady Mindy Kaling said that all of the guys on her staff identify as feminist. That’s probably because, contrary to popular belief, feminism is a belief in equality for all, and all men should believe in that.

In fact, feminists like Mindy don’t want extra praise for their work; they just want the same amount a man would get for the same work. “You shouldn’t be applauding the women writers on my staff, that should just be the way it is,” she said. “Don’t let people put you in a pageant you never wanted to be in.”

Photos: (Getty)

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