14/12/2017 "The Post" Premiere, Washington DC, USA
14/12/2017 "The Post" Premiere, Washington DC, USA
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07.12.2017 Meryl Streep calls Harvey Weinstein allegations 'gargantuan example' of disrespect during Massachusetts Women's Conference

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Just a day after TIME Magazine released the "Silence Breakers" as its Person of the Year, amid the fiery movement to bring sexual harassers and abusers out of the shadows into the light, two prominent women's rights activists met in Boston to talk about it.
Meryl Streep answered questions from women's rights activist Gloria Steinem at the Massachusetts Women's Conference in Boston on Thursday. A crowd of 12,000 mostly women, and some men, looked on from their seats at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center as the two talked about it all, from Streep's new role playing Katharine Graham in "The Post," to the Harvey Weinstein accusations, to the future of the country.

The exchange shifted from playful fun -- Streep throwing her head back with laughter -- to solemn introspection, retrospection and everything in between.

The Weinstein case, Streep said, was "the most gargantuan example of a kind of disrespect that permeates every industry."

"I have a lot of theories," Streep continued. "Maybe it's in response to the women's movement...these abuses are about dominance."

Streep discussed that while there is progress on many company executive boards, government bodies and other organizations, there is often a lack of equal representation, which impact the way business is conducted.

"There are always three women on a board, and nine to 12, or 14..." Streep paused. "Other people."

Kathy Horgan, the chief human resources and citizenship officer at State Street, proved Streep's point nearly 20 minutes prior. Horgan boasted that State Street had 47 percent female employees. Its board is comprised of 30 percent women, its management committee 25 percent.

"Like most of corporate America, we have much more to do," Horgan admitted.

Streep not-so-slyly announced a campaign formed by her and other well-known actresses. "We're going to make a set of non-negotiable commands," she said.

"We're after 50-50 by 2020," Streep later said emphatically to applause. She did not elaborate if that plan is for a specific body or organization.

Steinem interjected with her own feminist views, specifically her belief that gender stereotypes are learned and normalized at a young age.

Steinem claimed today's events compare to the plot of "The Post," a movie set in the Richard Nixon era which focuses on the difficult choices made by Katharine Graham and journalists at the Washington Post regarding the Pentagon Papers.

"I would like to say we're at the moment of that now," Steinem said. "Because if the people in control of the MGM tapes that have Trump being...talking about sexual harassment...all that he said before the tapings of his shows. And being racist, and being anti-semitic. And if those tapes were released it might be the tipping point now."

Streep responded, "I don't know," appearing to want to steer clear of the topic.

Toward the end of the discussion, Streep proposed switching roles and asking Steinem a question instead. "What're you having for lunch?" Streep joked.

"Trump," Steinem answered, the room bursting into laughter.

Streep went on with her question. "Two steps forward, one step back. Are you hopeful about this?" Streep asked.

Steinem said she feels the current "backlash" climate is different. She pointed to analyses that show the United States will, in short order, no longer be a majority European-American or white country.

"And to me...that's great," Steinem said. "There are a lot of people who got born into an idea that they had, you know, a particular place in society. And that's part of the reason we're getting this backlash...it's a very racist group," she said, again without referencing a group specifically.

"I do feel there is a majority change of consciousness....and we are just not going to put up any more with systems that tell us that we are ranked."



Gloria Steinem interviewed Meryl Streep at the Mass. Women's Conference in Boston. The two discussed sexual harassment, women's leadership and feminism.
08.12.2017 00:02:21
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