Variety’s Power of Women event showcased the might and camaraderie of women
It’s not easy being a woman in this world–especially when that world is the archaically patriarchal one that Hollywood occupies. From wage gaps to sexual harassment, the women of the film and television industry put up with a lot of outrageous antics. It’s a hegemony that is stuck in it’s arrogant ignorance and one that is stubbornly fighting against change. Whether it’s women’s continuously unfair treatment or the constant dilemmas with racial representation, Hollywood has quite a ways to go before they become the progressively inclusive industry that they so brazenly tout to be.
In an effort to turn the tide and honor the women of the industry who have so zealously fought for equality and other philanthropic efforts, Variety (in collaboration with Lifetime) hosted a luncheon entitled Power of Women at the bank-turned-restaurant Cipriani in Midtown Manhattan. With honorees Jessica Chastain, Chelsea Clinton, Audra McDonald, Gayle King, Shari Redstone and Tina Knowles Lawson, the Variety event was a bonafide A-list affair that oozed elegance. Coupled with speakers Lena Dunham, Salma Hayek and Kate Walsh and guests Gretchen Carlson, Ashley Graham and Christie Rampone, the event was a regular who’s-who of celebrities. Before their luncheon, The Knockturnal had the opportunity to talk to a few of the esteemed women as they graced the red carpet.
The Wage Gap: From Hollywood to Soccer
The fact is famous–women earn 79 cents for every dollar that a man makes at work. Some dispute the factual accuracy of the statement while others argue that the fact obscures how intense that wage gap is for women of color. Jessica Chastain frequently discusses her insistence on receiving the same pay as the male co-star on a film, leading her to reject major triple-A blockbuster roles. But her efforts sent a tidal wave across the industry. The actress told Variety that “even though I lost that film, I’ve created a boundary. I drew a line in the sand.”
But beyond the realm of acting, the gender wage gap has had strides in other jobs as well–namely soccer. Having recently won their case for more equal pay, the US women’s national soccer team is poised to have as much as a 30 percent increase in their base salaries. Speaking about the recent win, soccer legend Christie Rampone said, “the girls have been holding out and being confident. We’re closing the gap and it’s a continuous battle of staying strong and true to our beliefs.”
The two-time World Cup winner went on to say, “it is a full-time job and we’re on the road 260 days out of the year. The girls are committing themselves–they’re stressful jobs and we just want to be paid the way we should be.” When asked whether this major victory for equal wage pay could inspire the same to happen to other women’s sports, Rampone jubilantly said, “absolutely. You can see what the US hockey team and obviously what softball has done in the past. You have to speak up if you want to appreciate and respect what you’re doing.”
The “Mad Men” Years Unfortunately Never Left
Don Draper and his sharply dressed colleagues knew how to sell the product, their agency and their vision. But what they never seemed to understand was the word “no” when it came from a woman. Unfortunately, it seems that that workplace paradigm has seldom shifted significantly over the past half century. According to the Huffington Post, nearly 1 in 3 women have been sexually harassed at their place of work. The abhorrent statistic signals the lackluster attempts being made to quell inappropriate behavior.
Women are constantly badgered at work by their male coworkers. Whether it’s a boss, an intern or a colleague, it seems that women are much more susceptible to be harassed in their workplaces than their male counterparts. After Bill O’Reilly’s very public (and expensive) implosion at Fox News, coupled with Roger Ailes departure from the same network last year, many believed that a huge blow had been dealt to the shamefully lascivious paradigms of male workplace behavior.
It was thanks to Gretchen Carlson’s brave decision to unveil Ailes’ sexual misconduct that led dozens of other women to step forward and reveal their experiences with Ailes. Speaking at the Variety event, Lena Dunham voiced her support of Carlson’s decisions saying, “when you work in a corporate infrastructure the challenge of coming out about sexual harassment is so massive, and to see a woman who surmounted that, and bravely made space for other women to do the same, is just deeply inspiring.”
When asked what advice she could give to less powerful women who feel they’ve been sexually harassed Carlson said, “I wish I could speak to all of them. I’ve heard from thousands of women and I’ve responded to all of them.” Carlson went on to say, “if I can just be inspiring to any of them to stand up and believe in themselves and jump off that cliff like I did–it’s so hard–then I’ve done my job. I hope that my experience gives them hope that they can do it too.”
The former Fox & News host realized that, “for so long, I was the voice for the voiceless. And now we’ve really started a movement. So many more women have been inspired to stand up and speak up.” But Carlson was quick to add, “there’s still a lot of work to do but we’re going to continue doing this. There’s a feel in the air.” There most certainly is and if this event proves anything, it’s that this is only just the beginning.
Notable attendees were gifted with some amazing products. See below:
|BareMinerals||GEN NUDE™ Matte Liquid Lipcolor||Lip gloss|
|colourpop||Cannoli Highlighter Trio||Face Shimmer|
|Fab Fit Fun||Complimentary Box|
|First Aid Beauty||Face Moisturizer||Skincare|
|Gloss Moderne||High-Gloss Conditioner||Conditioner|
|Jinsoon||Nail Polish||Nail Polish|
|Knock Knock||To Do Pad||Notepad|
|Lulu Dharma||Tote Bags|
|Natural Life||Headbands||Sport Hairband|
|Pixels||Makeup Bag||Makeup Bag|
|Postmates||Giftcard||$100 Gift Card|
|RX Bar||Bar||Protein Bar|
|SheaMoisture||Blow Out Creme||Blowout Cream|
|Sigma Beauty||P82 – Precision Round™ Brush||Makeup Brush|
|Skin Laundry||Renewing Eye Cream||Eye Cream|
|Supergoop||2.4 oz Body Butter||Body Butter|
|Tyra Beauty||Smoky Smize Eyeshadow Palette||Eye Shadow Palette|
|Yes To||Paper Mask||Face Mask|