This Week in Women: Chloe Sevigny + More Fight Workplace Sexism
It takes approximately two seconds walking around the city to see it: a rogue pair of eyes looking a woman up and down like a piece of premium, Grade A meat. Oftentimes men even tell a girl to smile. It’s a regular nightmare for women who are just trying to get from Point A to Point B. Often, women who are harassed on the street don’t find a reprieve at work because, unlike transitional lenses, men don’t change depending on where they are–they act just as sleazy in public as they do anywhere else.
Sexual harassment and sexism in the workplace tends to be an emotional minefield for women trying to advance their careers and reject unwanted advances. This week in women reinforced the sad reality that it doesn’t matter how famous you are or what industry you’re in, women face no shortage of fucked up sexual advances while shattering all of those glass ceilings and sometimes, the only thing you can do is fight back and speak out.
Donald Trump’s Big Bad History of Workplace Harassment Revealed
If Donald Trump wasn’t at church on Sunday, he probably should’ve been so he could try to pray away the searing expose on the New York Times about his troubled history of sexism and sexual harassment. Using material from over fifty interviews with people from the Trump Organization, Miss Universe, and more, they painted a divisive portrait of Trump as a man both obsessed with beautiful women and a businessman who helped many female employees rise through the ranks to become leaders. Although one woman, Rowanne Brewer Lane, has pushed back about how her story was portrayed, the piece remains an illuminating look at how the Republican Party’s presidential nominee has behaved around women throughout his life. He may switch his policy views once a week, but when it comes to sexism, Trump has been consistent for years.
Chloë Sevigny Clapped Back at Hollywood’s Sleazy Male Directors
During her panel at the Cannes Film Festival, Milk fav and perennial Cool Girl Chloë Sevigny talked about the ugly side of working in the film industry. After recounting situations where three different major directors offered unwanted sexual advances in exchange for film roles, she wondered about how it would affect young actors. “If you’re young and impressionable and really want the part, it might be a tempting avenue, but I hope not.” Yet looking back, she said, “I would consider it Hollywood. Was it sexual harassment? It’s such a fine line.” Sevigny isn’t alone, either. Megan Fox, Charlize Theron, and Ashley Judd have all talked in the past about the nasty sexual advances they’ve experienced. When it comes to the high-profile film industry that rewards women who look good with film rolls, beauty often trumps talent.
France’s Female Leaders Speak Out with a “Statement Against Sexism”
On the other side of the pond, seventeen prominent French women protested misogyny with a bold open letter they called the “Statement Against Sexism.” The women, including International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, are former or current French government ministers who aren’t here for the sexist bullshit they’ve put up with, and spoke out after eight women put former Green Party politician Denis Baupin on blast for his history of sexual harassment. He was the vice president of the national assembly, but has since stepped down, which is one step forward in the fight sexism and sexual harassment. France already has a fine of $33,600 and jail sentences of up to two years for this behavior, but it isn’t enough. The women who signed the statement can only hope that their action will help everyone in the long run. “Enough,” they wrote. “We will no longer be silent.”
Images via The LA Times, Vocative, The NY Post, Tumblr, and The Independent.
Stay tuned to Milk for more week in women updates.