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Meryl Streep Continues to Be One BAMF, Calls Hollywood Men Out on Lack of Empathy for Women

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Meryl Streep is having a banner week (as one does, when one is Meryl flipping Streep). After announcing at the Tribeca Film Fest earlier this month that she and New York Women in Film and Television have established a Writer’s Lab for female screenwriters over 40, the actress also attended the Women In The World Summit and talked representational issues alongside Selma‘s Ava DuVernay, Pakistani documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and Jon Stewart.

When asked by Stewart if “the very act of stepping into a male-dominated area” like film can be perceived as a victory, Streep replied,

A lot of it has to do with imagination. This act of empathy, that women go through from the time we’re little girls—we read all of literature, all of history, it’s really about boys, most of it. But I can feel more like Peter Pan than Tinker Bell, or like Wendy. I wanted to be Tom Sawyer, not Becky. And we’re so used to that act of empathizing with the protagonist of a male-driven plot. I mean, that’s what we’ve done all our lives. You read history, you read great literature, Shakespeare, it’s all fellas, you know?

They’ve never had to do the other thing, and the hardest thing for me as an actor is to have a story that men in the audience feel like they know what I feel like. That’s a really hard thing. It’s very hard for them to put themselves in the shoes of a female protagonist, it just is. This is known to the studios, they know it’s the toughest suit of clothes to wear.


It’s really exciting to see that Queen Streep is in a position now with her Writer’s Workshop where she can discuss lack of representation in Hollywood without needing to give any attention to men whose knee-jerk reaction to concerns over gender parity is to tell women to create their own work—she’s working outside the system and offering insight on how the system can be changed. So haters, kindly


You can watch the panel in its entirety below:

(via Pajiba)

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