Jessica Chastain Details Why It Can Be So Scary For Women To Come Forward

2017 has been an empowering year for women, who are finally feeling that they will be believed if they come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault. While countless people, including celebrities, have shared their #MeToo stories, we, as a society, still have a long way to go before we can confidently say we've made lasting progress.
One reason for this is that there are still so many people, predominantly women, who aren't taken seriously and are made to feel that their lives and careers will be destroyed if they accuse or call out someone for improper sexual conduct. The Hollywood Reporter writes that in a recent interview with The New York Times, actress Jessica Chastain shared that she, too, was afraid her comments about Harvey Weinstein would have a lasting, negative impact on her future in entertainment.
"As an actor, I have a lot of fear, thinking that if I speak my mind, or something that feels like it deviates from the norm as a woman, am I going to be made to disappear in my industry?" she asked.
Chastain also said she was "terrified" that she was "destroying her career" by speaking out against sexual predators in Hollywood. It didn't help that an unnamed, well-known actor reached out and told her to "calm down" with her remarks either. Thanks to her support system, she realized that what she was doing was of utmost importance and decided that no matter what impact it'd have on her career, she was going to continue fighting.
"In the way that only good girlfriends can do, they helped me eliminate fear and understand that the only way to change something that's wrong is to change it, not ignore it," she added. "And rather than saying it's an industry-wide issue, it's more than that. It's a society-wide issue. We can't ignore farmworkers or women who have been invisible."
She's right; we can't ignore women who aren't privileged enough to be in the spotlight. It's often these women who face the biggest repercussions for speaking out, since no one is going to write stories about their bravery or rally behind them. For many, the thought of losing a stable job with steady income is out of the question because their entire livelihoods depend on it. To truly make progress, we need to start bolstering all women by changing our societal culture, our work cultures, and the lessons we teach in our homes.
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