Marilyn was the breath of fresh air that the stale social morays needed. Her candor and honesty was refreshing to the public, and with it, very subtly, the nation’s views on women’s sexuality began to change.
Marilyn was a rare woman- she could seduce and entice men, yet still seem suitable to bring home to mother. She could endear herself to women without them feeling threatened. Most importantly, she showed the world that you could be a sexual being, you could be aware of and even revel in your own body without being slutty.
She was that rare woman who could retain elegance while undressed, and this showed the women of America that yes, you could be sexual without being immodest, that you could be sensual without being crass, that you could seduce and please your husband at night and still be a proper society woman during the day.
Marilyn was a feminist before there was such a word. When the studios wanted to pigeonhole her in dumb blonde roles, she not only defied them and moved to New York, she started her own production company, one of the first women to ever do so. Not only was Marilyn a pioneering woman in the movie industry, she also helped to overhaul the studio system.
The studios used to tell actors what movie they’d appear in, like it or not. Marilyn fought for and won the right of script, co-star, and directorial approval-unheard of in those times. The sheer moxie of a woman in the 1950's to demand and be granted such power and respect is a facet of Marilyn that is sadly overlooked nowadays.
However, her influence is still felt- strongly. Every time a woman can direct or produce a film, she has Marilyn to thank. Any time an actor or actress can reject a script, they have Marilyn to thank. Every time a woman can stand up for herself and tell the powers that be to shove it- she has Marilyn to thank.
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