Book Club stars Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda Remains An Icon With Her Response To #MeToo

Truly a legend.
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We’ve covered a lot of terrible responses to the #MeToo movement, so it’s always nice to cover someone who actually gets it when it comes to what women are fighting for. Of course, we can’t expect anything less from Jane Fonda, who routinely reminds us why she’s always going to be a badass. “I never thought I would live to see this happen,” she remarked at a recent event for the upcoming HBO documentary about her life, Jane Fonda in Five Acts. Ever the feminist she also maintained that the movement must extend beyond Hollywood, be intersectional, and prioritize closing the wage gap as well.

And when it comes to the men at the center of the accusations? Fonda, citing Charlie Rose’s attempted comeback, said: “Guys are trying to make a comeback and they haven’t done the work, it doesn’t matter how much time, if they haven’t done the work, then why should they come back?”

While Fonda said she has “tremendous compassion for boys and men,” and that “we just have to fix them, or at least show them the way,” she also had some harsh words as well:

“Men are trained not to be empathic, not to be emotional. So it’s not easy what they’re trying to do. But they have to try to do it! So it doesn’t matter if it’s been two weeks or two years. It just matters what kind of changes they’ve gone through. Why not do what the guys who lose their union jobs in Pennsylvania do? Work at Starbucks, f**k it! Oh, poor top-paid executives who can’t get his job back. F**k it! Sweep the floor at Starbucks until you learn! If you can’t learn, you don’t belong in the boardroom. And there are plenty of women who do belong in the boardroom.”

Yes. Good. Say it louder for the people in the back.

This is an important statement to have a powerful woman say because the concept of a comeback tour for men like Rose or Louis CK is not a particularly good one. These men have shown little remorse, and just stepping out of the spotlight for a while isn’t the same as mending their behavior. It’s not even up to these men to decide if they’ve changed enough; it’s up to the women they’ve hurt. And Fonda is absolutely right: a man who abuses his power has no business being in power, and there are plenty of qualified women who deserve to have that position.

This is not the first time Fonda has spoken about #MeToo. Last year, she addressed the movement, saying “It feels like something has shifted. It’s too bad that it’s probably because so many of the women that were assaulted by Harvey Weinstein are famous and white, and everybody knows them. This has been going on a long time to black women and other women of color and it doesn’t get out quite the same.” This quote is just as important as her statements on the perpetrators, as women of color’s stories have been pushed to the side when it comes to focusing on Weinstein’s victims.

In short, Fonda understands the movement better than half the people who’ve come forward to make terrible statements about how the movement is just here to divide men and women (looking at you, Sean Penn). She’s always been an activist and a voice of reason, and it’s great to see her continuing to use her platform for good. Now, can she play a superhero or what?

(via Variety; Image: Paramount)

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Image of Kate Gardner
Kate Gardner
Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.