How Far Has Feminism Come Since Billie Jean King's Historic Win over Bobby Riggs?
Following a private screening in New York of the just- released film Battle of the Sexes, lead actress Emma Stone, who plays tennis pioneer Billie Jean King in the film, and Billie Jean King herself sat for a panel to discuss the issue "How Far Has Feminism Come?" The event came just a day before the national #openingweekend of the movie highlighting the historic match between King and Bobby Riggs.
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King, a longstanding supporter of gender equality and pay equity recalls "daydreaming about my sport, thinking there are white spectators, white players, white clothes, all white, and I asked myself ‘Where is everybody else?’" She says that was the spark she needed to "help change the world to become more inclusive."
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Stone too was impacted by taking on the role of a feminist icon. In addition to having to add 15 pounds to her small frame to appear more like King on screen, she expressed the awesomeness what the "original nine [women] went through to split off and form WTA [Women’s Tennis Association] for a dollar because they were not being paid equally."
Stone continued, "we stand on her shoulders in the fight for equality. A young girl had the courage to speak out. She taught me that you can push through your fears and still have a voice."
Battle of The Sexes is in theaters now.