Daenerys Targaryen is quite the girl-boss on Game of Thrones, and so is the talented actress who portrays her. Emilia Clarke celebrated International Women's Day (March 8) by penning a personal essay about her feminist upbringing and how she hopes to improve the world as said "girl-boss." Kindness, she believes, is the new sexy.
"One act of kindness can take your day from bearable to enjoyable in a heartbeat," she wrote for The Huffington Post U.K. "Having the confidence to look someone in the eye, and speak to them as an equal, regardless of their gender, race or sexuality — that is kind. It is a small gesture towards showing that person that they are acknowledged."
Clarke feels especially fortunate for her childhood, which she says was "shaped by a true sense of equality." Her parents equally managed their household, and treated Clarke the same as her brother, teaching her that "anything a man could do, a woman could and should do too." Not everyone grows up with this lesson, of course, so Clarke is doing her best to change that.
"There are days where I feel like a guilty feminist," she confessed. "What am I actually doing every day to stand up for women’s rights? My personal experiences, and my understanding of the bigger issues of inequality, aren’t enough. What can I take part in, against hate and oppression, to ensure that the women’s movement continues, and strengthens and grows?"
She decided that kindness is a small step that anyone anywhere can take. "Positive action starts with small individual deeds that accumulate over time and become a movement ... a movement toward a more equal society where kindness anchors our feet to the ground while giving us the momentum to keep chipping away together."