By Anne Cohen
Spoiler alert: This post contains some quotes from Battle of the Sexes.
Battle of the Sexes made me want to pick up a tennis racket. Not to actually play tennis with — no one wants to see that — but as a handy weapon to smash the patriarchy.
From the trailer, it would be easy to assume that this movie, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell, would be some kind of feel-good sports story about the groundbreaking 1973 match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. But just like the match itself, which transcended sports to become symbolic of the fight for women’s rights and equality everywhere, this movie is so much more than just that. It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come — and how far we still have to go.
In fact, many times throughout the 2-hour run time, I had to remind myself that the events pictured had taken place more than 40 years ago. So much of the almost comically sexist dialogue felt like something I had heard recently — on the campaign trail, in the news, on Twitter. Almost half a century later, women are still having to defend their right to share a stage with men, from boardrooms, to political parties, to tennis courts, and beyond. 44 years after Billie Jean King proved that a woman could play as well, and even better than a man, we are still fighting for equality.
Of course, there has been progress. Only 15 women served in the 92nd Congress, which was in session from 1971 to 1973. In 2017, that number has risen to 105. But that’s still only 19.6% of the total seats in Congress, when women make up 50.8% of the U.S. population, according to the most recent census. Women still earn roughly 80 cents to the male dollar, and that number is even lower for women of color, and varies between states. In fact, research suggests that it will take until 2152 to close the gender wage gap entirely.
There are still those who deny that sexism remains a problem in our modern age. And so, I thought we could play a little game: I have compiled some of the most cringe-worthy quotes from Battle of the Sexes and set them side by side with modern quotes about women from politicians, media personalities, and more. Can you guess which are from the movie, and which are real?
Click though the slideshow — the results may surprise you.
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