As you might imagine, this evening was full of women talking about Weinstein, and the traumas they’ve endured working in the industry. Jennifer Lawrence told an absolutely appalling story of being forced to do a nude line-up as a way to shame her into losing weight, and when she complained to a male producer, he was appalled — because, as far as he was concerned, she was TOTALLY bang-worthy (that’s not the phrase he used). Reese Witherspoon said that she was assaulted by a producer when she was sixteen; her speech in its entirety deserves a read. I really thought this part, toward the end, was a damn smart thing to say at an event thrown by a major magazine full of fancy guests with powerful gigs:
For the young women sitting in this room, life is going to be different for you because we have you, we have your back. And that makes me feel better because, gosh, it’s about time. I just also want to say as a course of action because sometimes people, they talk about things but I was really thinking last night, what can we do, what can do we do? And I just want to say, there’s a lot of people here who negotiate quite frequently with different companies and heads of companies, and I think maybe during your next negotiation, this is a really prudent time to ask important questions like, who are your top female executives? Do those women have green-light power? How many women are on the board of your company? How many women are in a key position of decision-making at your company? Asking questions like that, I found, it seems so obvious, but people don’t ask those questions.
Reese has gotten years of shit for being persnickety and bossy, but damnit, everyone, maybe she’s just bossy because SHE’S RIGHT.