While conversations around sexual harassment in the entertainment industry have been rife since the start of the #MeToo movement, the last six months have seen a rise in politically fuelled conversations around street harassment, safety precautions and violence against women.
In a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Atonement actress Keira Knightley has spoken out about the collective experience of harassment against women, detailing her own thoughts on widespread societal misogyny. In a profile discussing her career, family life and the pandemic, the 36-year-old announced that "everybody" she knows has faced some kind of harassment from men.
When asked if she had personally been a victim of harassment herself, the actress responded, "Yes! I mean, everybody has. Literally, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been, in some way, whether it’s being flashed at, or groped, or some guy saying they’re going to slit your throat, or punching you in the face, or whatever it is, everybody has."
Though Knightley has previously stayed quiet about her personal experiences, she says that recent conversations about street harassment made her see the situation differently. "It was when women started listing all the precautions they take when they walk home to make sure they’re safe, and I thought, I do every single one of them, and I don’t even think about it. It’s fucking depressing."
Referring to the discussions around the death of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, Knightley also spoke in favour of Baroness Jenny Jones’ stance on the ways in which women could be made to feel safer in Britain: "I love that politician who said there ought to be a curfew for men and men were outraged, and you think – but there’s a curfew for women and there always has been."