Finding my own feminism
In an extract from ‘ Feminists Don’t Wear Pink ( and other lies)’, Irish actor Evanna Lynch ponders the meaning of being a feminist
I’ m sitting i n the office of a well- respected casting director in New York, making amiable conversation and desperately trying not to bleed through to this woman’s couch. The meeting had swiftly taken a turn for the better when I reached for my conversational jackpot piece and struck gold – the casting director was also a cat lady.
Her eyes light up as I mention how I flew my beloved sidekick, a precious Persian by the name of Puff, across the ocean to room with me for two months in New York City. It’s a risky move, mentioning a cat in this environment, when statistically, a career woman living in New York is much more likely to have a dog ( office- trained, travels well, the size of a small bag of groceries) and if she does, she will swiftly judge me and end the meeting sooner than anticipated, or worse, she will feel my own irrepressible disdain for dog people and I’ll never hear from her again. But, oh joy, she has a cat! Two cats, in fact!
Suddenly, we are gal- pals. Suddenly, I feel rays of light emanating from my career prospects, which have just brightened considerably. We will make movies together, Mrs Reputable New- York- City Casting Lady and I! She will think of me when casting her next quirky independent rom- com and I’ll audition, winningly, and afterwards she’ll ask, “How is your sweet, sweet cat?” and I’ll say, “Great, thank you, hope one day you’ll get to meet her,” and she’ll wink and call my agent the minute I leave the room – because cat ladies look out for each other.
This delightful series of events and be- Magazine October 6, 2018 yond whizzes through my mind as I lean forward, phone outstretched, to share with her the outtakes of the latest most adorable series of photos of Puff lounging in a strip of sunlight, when I feel it: that curious, not uncomfortable, stomach- flipping sensation – whether with joy or horror, it is entirely situational – of uterine lining unmistakably falling from somewhere within your lower midriff to somewhere you hope and pray, in that moment of prolonged suspension, is generously, gloriously padded. You may unclench your Kegels, however, dear reader, and rest assured that I was wearing those moisture- wicking, period- drinking, feminist wonder- panties that Facebook bullies people into buying. Unfortunately for me, I’d chosen the day of an important meeting to test- drive these muchhyped panties and I should mention, dear horrified male reader, that when you’ve been plugging your most vexatious orifice sealed snug with super- plus tampons for the last 10 years of menstrual activity, the distinctive drop feeling can be extremely jarring and frankly panic- attack inducing. I don’t know what possessed me to buy them, the panties. I’m not good with bodily functions; I ghosted and eventually unfriended a girl who potentially heard me fart through a thin bathroom wall ( I hope you’re well, Vicky); I cover my ears and wail in distress when my American girlfriends exchange ‘ poop’ stories; I can forgive just about any bad behaviour from boyfriends – mysterious disappearances, tardiness, prefers men – so long as he smells dreamy. But one evening, while browsing Facebook, there were the panties, again, in my face. There was Mila Kunis, eyes wide, i nhibitions vanished, eulogising the period panties in a short promotional video. And even though I didn’t have a particularly strong affinity with Mila Kunis, and even though I hated the idea of my menstrual blood pooling in my knickers and staying there defiantly, and even t hough I ’ ve