While it’s probably fair to say that I am irrationally obsessed with Ocean’s 8, without having seen it, I think it’s also fair to say that this is entirely warranted. Not only does it feature some of my favourite people in Hollywood, but they all also happen to be women – an all-female cast leading a Hollywood film, which in the US has already smashed the box-office record of all the other Ocean’s films (all fuelled by testosterone). This is momentous, particularly in the current climate. I’m also a total sucker for the press tour, which currently sees the cast touring the world, giving interviews and attending premieres in order to promote the film. One of the most recent interviews between the cast and the Today show in the US was particularly enjoyable – not just for the banter between cast members but also because Anne Hathaway shared a story about breastfeeding at work. And it was a tale of positivity! Which is no common occurrence.
When she started filming Ocean’s 8, Hathaway had a very young baby whom she was breastfeeding. Speaking of that time, she shared the following:
“I was so happy, because I was breastfeeding, and I had that moment where I was like, ‘Is this going to be a positive environment to be able to do that in?’ but everybody was fantastic. I remember there was one moment where we were shooting a little long and I just kind of went, ‘Uhhh,’ and the girls were like, ‘What’s wrong?’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry, I should have pumped an hour ago.’ And the girls just like formed around me and they were like, ‘We need a break. We need a break. Annie needs to go do this.’ And it was just like, I mean, who gets that? Everyone should, obviously.”
The film and all the press activity around it is debunking so many ridiculous notions of women, work and parenthood, most of which are peddled by the media
Sure, Hathaway is speaking from a very privileged position and a lot of women don’t have such support in the workplace or elsewhere. But it genuinely just feels great to hear of a woman – any woman – having a positive experience while trying to balance working with being a parent. And I really don’t think it’s any coincidence that this happened in a workplace where many other women were present.
It’s also refreshing to see a group of successful, powerful women supporting one another and clearly enjoying a great working relationship. All too often, we’re fed narratives of cat fights and competitive behaviour between women that seem to be entirely fabricated by the media. Women are not permitted to all be successful together in the same way that men are – they’re pitted against one another, whether they like it or not.
To sum up – if I have to, because I could extol the virtues of the Ocean’s 8 cast until the cows come home – the film and all the press activity around it is debunking so many ridiculous notions of women, work and parenthood, most of which are peddled by the media. Whether or not you want to see the film (obviously you want to see it), you can’t ignore the fact that a group of women getting on, getting stuff done and talking honestly about it all is a great thing that will hopefully have far-reaching consequences.