Jessica Chastain has never been one to keep her feminist views to herself, whether it's about politics or female stereotypes in Hollywood. So it's no surprise that the Oscar nominee swiftly responded to the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein that emerged in early October.
"I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere," Chastain tweeted on October 9. "To deny that is to create an environment for it to happen again."
She also expressed her frustration that Weinstein's alleged victims were shamed for not speaking up sooner, despite the fact that his behaviour was an "open secret" in Hollywood and plenty of men also had the option of ringing the alarm. "I'm sick of the media demanding only women speak up. What about the men? Perhaps many are afraid to look at their own behaviour," Chastain wrote.
Chastain's passion about the issue and unwavering support for the "silence breakers" has me cheering, but she recently shared that a famous actor sent her an email telling her to "calm down" about the Weinstein allegations, Vulture reports.
"I was tweeting a lot at the time and actually got an email from a well-known actor that said, 'Calm down,'" Chastain said during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show. "I found that heartbreaking and can only think he didn’t understand the movement that was happening."
As many have pointed out through amusing but painfully accurate memes, never in the history of being told to calm down has anyone ever calmed down. But, more importantly, this unnamed actor is feeding into the myth that women are hysterical and frequently blinded by their emotions. Sure, Chastain and millions of others are emotional about Weinstein and the avalanche of accusations against other powerful men — but we have every right to be, and (fun fact!) women are capable of being emotional and simultaneously making strong, important points.
But don't worry — Chastain won't let anyone silence her, even if it's a big shot actor. "I’m going to speak my mind about any injustice that I see. I’m not afraid of anything in terms of that," she told The Daily Beast. "And I think the greatest myth that an industry can create is to make people feel like they’re easily replaceable. I’m not going to allow that into my life."
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.
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