Michelle Williams’ intentions during her Golden Globes speech calling on women to vote in the 2020 election may have been good, but they missed the mark, according to some.
While accepting the award for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for her role as Gwen Verdon in Fosse/Verdon, Williams made an impassioned plea for women to “vote in your own self interest” — a notion that many pointed out is complex and problematic.
After thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and speaking for a bit about a woman’s right to choose abortion, she concluded her speech by telling women: "18 to 118, when it is time to vote, please do so in your own self interest. It's what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them. Don't forget, we are the largest voting body in this country. Let's make it look more like us."
There was plenty of applause in the room and on Twitter, mostly from white feminists:
Michelle Williams for the win. Brilliant #GoldenGlobes— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) January 6, 2020
Michelle Williams gave the speech of the night while creating a human under her dress because there is no better multi-tasker than a mother. We should probably elect one. #GoldenGlobes— Molly McNearney (@mollymcnearney) January 6, 2020
Michelle Williams beautifully articulated abortion rights without shame or apology and called out the bullshit double standard that women shouldn't center women at the ballot box. Good on her. More of that.#GoldenGlobes— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) January 6, 2020
"I'm grateful for the acknowledgement of the choices I've made & also grateful to have lived at a moment in our society where choice exists, because as women & as girls things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice," Michelle Williams AGAIN drops truth! #registertovite— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) January 6, 2020
But Black folks were quick to point out that white women in the last election did vote in their own self-interest. What Williams failed to recognize is that many white women benefit from upholding white supremacy, even if it means people of color (including the 96% of Black women who have consistently voted in their own self interest and against Trump and other Republicans) will suffer.
Here are some tweets that should enlighten Michelle Williams, and hopefully encourage her to direct her speeches specifically toward the 53% of white women who voted for Donald Trump:
Dear Michelle Williams,— Mari. (@thepaperframes) January 6, 2020
White women do vote in their own self interest. 53% of them proved that in 2016.
When Black Women vote, we vote for our survival - for our lives. #goldenglobes2020
“Women, it’s time to vote in your own self-interest” - Michelle Williams— PragmaticObotsUnite (@PragObots) January 6, 2020
Correction: WHITE WOMEN, it’s time to vote in your own self-interest, because Black women have been voting in our own self-interests. #GoldenGlobes
They're praisng #MichelleWilliams' speech?— Lynn V #PrimariesSoWhite (@lynnv378) January 6, 2020
Here are exit polls from 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016.
White Women DO vote in their self-interest: to uphold White Male Patriarchy.
SHE SHOULD'VE ADDRESSED WHITE WOMEN.
BLACK WOMEN always get our shit right! pic.twitter.com/zFPciA6NpF
I appreciate Michelle Williams speech but that should have really been geared to the 53% of white women who voted for trump and the GOP— ABlackWomanWhoDontGiveAF*ck (@battletested5) January 6, 2020
We black women already know who the GOP is..white women need to catch up..thats real talk..
Listen I love Michelle Williams, but black women have been voting in their own (all of our own) self-interest forever. The problem is white women. Always has been. We need to call each other out. Ignoring the fact that we, specifically, are the problem is lazy and unhelpful.— Caroline Brooks (@carolinebrooks_) January 6, 2020
I see self interests vary by Race!— IllinoisNewDemocratRicoP (@reesetheone1) January 6, 2020
Black women voted dem 96-3 bad 94-4 in 12 and 16
White women votes 56-42 and 53-43 GOP In the same period.
Yet folks celebrating Michelle Williams?!
For speech lacking self awareness?! https://t.co/zk5rlNSgkF pic.twitter.com/eRy9AjDf8i
I loved Michelle Williams speech but she needed to clarify and say White Women. We didn’t vote for Trumpito. Black Women cant be the only ones that have a clue— Kathia Woods (@kathia_woods) January 6, 2020
It was bold of Williams to use her platform to speak up, but hopefully she’ll be more targeted with her words next time.
Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal Media, LLC via Getty Images