The Golden Globes are just over, but among many inspiring speeches given by the winners, Michelle Williams‘ stands out from the rest. Williams won Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture for TV for her role in Fosse/Verdon. During her acceptance speech – which, as all her past ones, seems to turn into a cultural movement due to her powerful words- she approached the topic of women’s rights to make their own choices. In this case, a woman’s right to choose when or if she has children.
A hot topic, an tabu subject that is rarely brought up in conversations, a generally criticised issue that is usually described in terms close to shame or regret.
Most women have had, or will have an abortion in their life – regardless of the reasons, and aside from having other children. It is a matter of choice, and to be real – thank God we do live in a year when we have this right to exercise at all.
“When you put this in someone’s hands you’re acknowledging the choices they make as an actor. Moment by moment, scene by scene, day by day. But you’re also acknowledging the choices they make as a person. The education they pursued, the training they sought, the hours they put in. I’m grateful for the acknowledgement of the choices I’ve made and I’m also grateful to have lived in a moment in our society where choice exists, because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice,” Williams began her speach.
“I’ve tried my very best to live a life of my own making, and not just a series of events that happened to me. But one that I could stand back and look at and recognize my handwriting all over. Sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise. But one that I had carved with my own hand. And I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose.“
She went on to say, “To choose when to have my children and with whom, when I felt supported and able to balance our lives as all mothers know that the scales must and will tip towards our children. Now I know my choices might look different than yours, but thank God or whoever you pray to that we live in a country founded on the principles that I am free to live by my faith and you are free to live by yours. So, women 18 to 118, when it is time to vote please do so in your self-interest. It’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them but don’t forget we are the largest voting body in this country. Let’s make it look more like us.”
Even though Williams never used the word abortion, her speech definitely seemed straight-forward. What a refreshing moment it is to hear women talk about this experience as something that can be seen as positive, rather than daunting, negative, even ruining.
Williams has a 14 year old daughter with her late partner Heath Ledger, and is now reportedly expecting her second child with fiancé Thomas Kail. She is a woman with a right, like all of us are.