Keira Knightley has penned a powerful essay on feminism and motherhood and has blasted the impossible standards placed on women as well as the double standards faced by working mums.
The essay, which appears in the upcoming book, Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies), titled ‘The Weaker Sex’, the 33-year-old detailed her own post-birth experience and slammed Kate Middleton for her “perfect” appearance just hours after giving birth.
Hide. Hide our pain, our bodies splitting, our breasts leaking, our hormones raging. Look beautiful. Look stylish, don’t show your battleground, Kate. Seven hours after your fight with life and death, seven hours after your body breaks open, and bloody, screaming life comes out. Don’t show. Don’t tell. Stand there with your girl and be shot by a pack of male photographers.
Keira’s daughter Edie was born the day before Kate gave birth to Princess Charlotte on 2nd May 2015.
Keira, urged women to be more open and honest about their experience, writing directly to her daughter as she recalled her birth.
My vagina split. You came out with your eyes open. Arms up in the air. Screaming. They put you on to me, covered in blood, vernix, your head misshapen from the birth canal. Pulsating, gasping, screaming.
You latched on to my breast immediately, hungrily, I remember the pain. The mouth clenched tight around my nipple, light sucking on and sucking out.
I remember the shit, the vomit, the blood, the stitches. I remember my battleground. Your battleground and life pulsating. Surviving. And I am the weaker sex? You are?
The actress also discussed the sexist double-standard that working mums face.
I turn up on time, word perfect, with ideas and an opinion. I am up with you [her daughter] all night if you need me. Sometimes I cry I'm so tired. Up with you all night and work all day... My male colleagues can be late, can not know their lines. They can shout and scream and throw things. They can turn up drunk or not turn up at all. They don't see their children. They're working. They need to concentrate.
Be pretty. Stand there. Tell me what it is to be a woman. Be nice, be supportive, be pretty but not too pretty, be thin but not too thin, be sexy but not too sexy. Be successful but not too successful. Wear these clothes, look this way, buy this stuff.
I work with men and they worry that I don't like them. It makes them mad, it makes them sad, it makes them shout and scream. I like them. But I don't want to flirt and mother them... I don't want to flirt with you because I don't want to fuck you, and I don't want to mother you because I am not your mother.
This article originally appeared on marie claire