Emma Thompson 'not sure how great' sexual revolution was as was 'a bit predatory'

Emma Thompson. (Wire Image/Getty Images)
Emma Thompson is due to star in Goodluck To You, Leo Grande, in which she hires a younger sex worker. (Wire Image/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Dame Emma Thompson has shared her opinions on the sexual revolution of the 70s and 80s – often referred to as a time of liberation – and they offer a somewhat different perspective.

The actor and screenwriter, 63, said she felt that feminism today is more progressive and balanced than it used to be.

"I'm not sure how great the sexual revolution was. I'm not sure whether it benefited us in the ways that are loudly bruited these days," Thompson told Times Radio.

"It made us more available, I suppose, for sex, because we weren't going to get pregnant, but I don't know."

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Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson attend
Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson are co-stars of Good Luck To You, Leo Grande. (Getty Images for Tribeca Festival) (Michael Loccisano via Getty Images)

This comes ahead of the release of her new film Goodluck To You, Leo Grande, in which her character Nancy Stokes, a retired RE teacher and widow who has never had an orgasm hires a younger sex worker, as discussed with Mariella Frostrup.

"It also introduced something else, which felt to me and feels to me now when I look back on it a little predatory and certainly, which led I think directly," she said, "to the sort of ladette Nineties, where women were supposed to be just like men."

Thompson added, "Now for me, feminism is not about women becoming more like men. It's not about that.

"It's about finding our space, enlarging our space, and the ways in which we work in the world in order to balance things out."

Thompson has been married to actor and second husband Greg Wise since 2003, and has two children.

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Emma Thompson attends the
Emma Thompson has also described the sexual revolution as a 'very complex issue'. (Getty Images) (Dave J Hogan via Getty Images)

Separately, last week, Thompson spoke about how young people's expectations of sex "can be very disturbing indeed".

“I think some things are worse when I hear stories in schools about boys and what they expect from girls – and I mean that the easy access to porn, so anal sex is because it’s so freely available to watch in porn," she told Sky's Beth Rigby.

“If you talk to young people about their sexual knowledge and what they expect and what they think sex is, it can be very disturbing indeed.

“I think it can interfere with their sexual development because it’s all been taken away, industrialised and fed back to them in a completely un-indigestible form.”

Speaking on the sexual revolution then too, she described it as a "very complex issue".

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“It’s not like we had that and then everything was better. 'And now young people, it’s all better,' she gave as an example.

“It’s never like that in human experience, we take a step forward and then we tie ourselves into weird knots because the fact of the matter is we have no respect at all for our sexual desires.

“We ridicule them. We make them the butt of our jokes. We don’t respect what our desires are.

“And we find when they’re odd, which they often are we find them shameful and ridiculous.”

Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is due to be released in UK cinemas on 17 June.

Watch: Emma Thompson admits being naked at 62 was 'very challenging'

Additional reporting PA.