“There is no stable future for a world in which crimes committed against women go unpunished" — Angelina Jolie Pitt, Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees”
So many powerful women spoke up, stood up and stepped up this week, we had to start counting. Here’s our tally of the women we heard loud and clear, from Monday, July 11, 2016 on, in chronological order:
⇢ Hillary Clinton stepped up … after picking up Bernie Sanders’s endorsement in New Hampshire. Can it be that a woman might break the presidential glass ceiling? More will be revealed, from now until the Big Votes come in. Even though Sanders has her back, convincing his 13 million fans in the primaries might be an uphill trek.
⇢ Jennifer Aniston spoke up about being “fed up” with blatantly sexist media coverage of women … by writing an essay for the HuffPost. The actor/producer/director is “not on social media” but wants “to participate in a larger conversation” about, she wrote, “the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’ the ‘First Amendment’ and ‘celebrity news.’”
No, she is not pregnant, she announced, and, moreover, “the way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty.”
“Here’s where I come out on this topic: we are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child,” Aniston declared. “We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone … Let’s make that decision consciously, outside of the tabloid noise.”
⇢ The UK’s new prime minister Theresa May spoke up and stood up … after being appointed by the Queen. May, the UK’s second female prime minister, devoted the most poetic portion of her speech to “the ordinary working class family”:
"The government I lead will be driven, not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives.
"When we take the big calls, we'll think not of the powerful, but you.
"When we pass new laws, we'll listen not to the mighty, but to you. When it comes to taxes, we'll prioritise not the wealthy, but you.
"When it comes to opportunity, we won't entrench the advantages of the fortunate few, we will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you."
⇢ Former longtime Fox News host and Stanford graduate Gretchen Carlson spoke up about workplace harassment … for the first time since filing her sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News chairman, Roger Ailes, who fired her in late June, 2016 — allegedly the last of many retaliatory moves aimed at punishing her for complaining about male co-workers’ sexist behavior on-air and off, as well as rebuffing Ailes’s own sexual advances.
Describing in the suit Ailes’s alleged powerfully disgusting, sexist comments, spanning over the course of Carlson’s 11 years at Fox News, Nancy Erika Smith — Carlson’s lawyer — was denounced in a Fox News statement: “Between chasing ambulances and headlines, the truth seems to have been run over by Nancy Erika Smith.”
In a press interview with her lawyers present, Carlson responded to questions about why she continued to work at Fox News if the work environment was egregiously hostile: “I think it’s hard when you’ve been a victim — you keep thinking things are going to get better.”