6 Times This Year When Charlize Theron Was A Badass Feminist

It's been a big year for Charlize Theron.

The South African actress, who has long been outspoken on issues of women's empowerment, turns 40 on August 7th. She's been widely lauded for her kickass, gender role-defying turn as Imperator Furiosa in 2015's "Mad Max: Fury Road," for which she shaved her head, underwent intense physical training, and spent months living in a remote part of Namibia. And in recent interviews, she's been dropping some serious truth bombs about feminism, representation of women in Hollywood and equal pay.

Here are six of her most awesome feminist moments from the past year:

When She Pushed Back Against The Gender Pay Gap
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When the Sony hack revealed how unequal pay is for men and women in Hollywood, Theron reportedly insisted that she be paid the same salary as her male co-star Chris Hemsworth for their upcoming film, "The Huntsman."

When She Reminded Girls That Being A Feminist Is Awesome
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In a June 2015 interview with ELLE UK, Theron explained why feminism is crucial to closing the gender pay gap -- and why we need to teach young girls what feminism really means. "This is a good time for us to bring this to a place of fairness, and girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing," Theron said. "It doesn’t mean that you hate men. It means equal rights. If you’re doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way."
When She Explained That 'Women Are Just As Complex And Interesting As Men'
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During an interview at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Theron perfectly responded to a question about the feminism of "Mad Max:"

"You know what I think is even more powerful about it? [It's] that I think [director George Miller] didn't have a feminist agenda up his sleeve, and I think that's what makes the story even more powerful, especially how the women are represented in it. It's just very truthful, and I really applaud him for that. I think when we use the word 'feminism' people get a little freaked out, it's like we're somehow, like, being put on a pedestal or anything like that. George has this innate understanding that women are just as complex and interesting as men, and he was really interested in discovering all of that. I think through just his need and want for the truth he actually made an incredible feminist movie."

When She Criticized Hollywood's Views On Aging
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In an April 2015 interview for W magazine, Theron explained how she cares less about what people think of her now that she is older.

“I think, like many women, I was judgmental toward women as they aged," she said. "Women, in our society, are compartmentalized so that we start to feel like we’re cut flowers and after a while we will wilt. I realize now that’s not the case -- we can celebrate every age. That’s my encouragement to 20 year olds who are terrified of getting older: Don’t have a nervous breakdown and don’t hit the Chardonnay too hard. Getting older is not that bad."

When She Explained Why It Was Important For Her To Look Physically Strong In "Mad Max"
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In a May 2015 interview with The Telegraph, Theron talked about how hard she trained for "Mad Max," and why it was crucial for her to look physically strong in the film.

"I'm not a fan of scrawny little girls pretending to kick butt in movies, I just don’t buy it," she said. "And I hate those moments in movies where the tiniest little arms are hitting a guy who is four times her size and we are supposed to believe it."

When She Spoke About The Limited Roles For Women In Movies
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In a May 2015 interview with The Guardian, Theron spoke about how women in films are often pigeonholed into two simple types of roles: “You’re either a really good mother or you’re a really good hooker," she said. "The problem with how movies represent women goes right back to the Madonna/whore complex. You can’t be a really good hooker-mother. It’s impossible.” She added: "Women thrive in being many things. We can be just as dark and light as men. We’re more than just nurturers, more than just breeders, we’re just as conflicted."

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