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Natalie Portman suggests how to put gossip to good use

Posted at 10:40 AM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 12:40:22-04

Natalie Portman has a to-do list for our culture.

At Variety’s Power of Women event last week, Portman outlined several suggestions to help end sexual harassment and violence. Included in her list of suggestions was to “gossip well.”

“Stop the rhetoric that a woman is crazy or difficult,” Portman said when accepting the award for her work on behalf of Time’s Up. “If a man says to you that a woman is crazy or difficult, ask him, ‘What bad thing did you do to her?’ That’s a code word. He is trying to discredit her reputation.”

Portman other ideas ranged from donating to Time’s Up and popularizing equal pay to a one-year moratorium on film and television stories in which women are harmed.

Portman also referenced the legal challenges most survivors of sexual violence face, citing the criminal case against Harvey Weinstein in which he has pleaded not guilty to five sex crime counts.

“Our legal system and our culture protects the perpetrators of sexual violence, not its victims,” she said. “Harvey Weinstein, the man whose name has become synonymous with sexual violence, might never suffer any legal consequences because of that. What other women in our industry and in other industries have been silenced and shut out in that way?”

Portman ended her speech by saying, “Many men are behaving like we live in a zero-sum game. That if women get the respect, access and value we deserve, they will lose. But we know the message of the mammaries: The more milk you give, the more milk you make. The more love you give, the more love you have. And the same can be said of fire. When you light someone else’s torch with your own, you don’t lose your fire, you just make more light and more heat.”