Tina Fey, Viola Davis, and others showcase 'Power of Woman' at Variety's annual event
Variety's annual event emphasized how the #MeToo and Time's Up movement changed the course of Hollywood and empowered many more women to come forward and fight for their right.
Variety held its annual Power of Women event at Cipriani on Wall Street, presented by Lifetime Television. The event usually focuses on honoring the important woman and discusses the charitable works that the event stands for. However, following the MeToo and Time's up movement, things in the event were a bit different this time around.
The luncheon focused on emphasizing how the movements changed the course of Hollywood and empowered many more women to come forward and fight for their right. Celebrities like Tina Fey, Viola Davis, and others came forward and delivered some empowering speeches about the movements. Here's looking at some of the best quotes from the event.
# Host Samantha Bee spoke about the importance of hiring a woman
"Some of you may know me from my late night show Full Frontal, where I help fulfill the quota of late night shows not hosted by a Jimmy. I get to work with amazing women every day and produce the kind of segments that are important to us. James Corden came close to scooping us on our whole act about the rural maternal-health crisis but we totally beat him to the punch. Like: two segments on women’s health during sweeps week would have been embarrassing. Maybe next time, chump! Plus, everyone loves our all-you-can-eat tampon bar at lunch."
"So if you are in the position to hire people, take it from me and hire women. Sometimes you just gotta put your money where your mouth is and go for it. They’re incredibly smart, they smell like flowers, and you save a fortune because they only cost a fraction of what you pay men."
# Padma Lakshmi on the need to have adequate treatment for endometriosis for all
"Most women with endo don’t get properly diagnosed for a full decade …. I began to realize that I was being penalized because I have a uterus. I have a vagina. That’s right a vagina, a love box, a pleasure cave, my privates, my punani, my down there, the Bermuda triangle, a coochie, a yoni and the C-word. Oh, and to put it in the words of our articulate commander-in-chief, a pussy."
# Tina Fey on why women are not cappuccino machines
"When I first started out, female comedy writers were treated a bit like cappuccino machines, where if you tried to hire a few more between seasons, people would look at you like 'but we have one! It’s you'. We have one. And God forbid the one you had was a little bit broken because then it’ll be like: Oh, you know, we had one before and it didn’t work. We got rid of it."
"Somewhere in that time early on in my career I kind of made a vow to myself to not accept that privilege of being the only woman in the room, to make sure that I was not a cappuccino machine, and to use any power that I had to create opportunities for others."
# Viola Davis on how sexual violence disproportionately affects women of color
“I don’t think that people really understand that when sexual assault happens to a woman, she describes it like a death. Usually, that’s how it becomes, that’s how it described. Let me tell you about the time and the day that I died. She leaves her body and the journey to becoming a survivor and overcomer, to bringing the oppressor to justice, is a long road. And more than likely she is suffering from PTSD, dissociative disorder, she has flashbacks, she has eating disorders, suicide, depression … it is traumatic."
"And so if you could imagine how horrific that is, then also imagine that a black woman is 66 percent more likely to be assaulted again if she is raped before the age of 18. That 96 percent of the people who are sex-trafficked are women, and 77 percent of them are women of color. Which is why usually nothing is done about it …. if you can wrap your mind around it, if anything is lower than people see that being a woman, it’s being a woman of color."
# Tarana Burke on MeToo movement
"I’m so desperate to change the narrative about the #MeToo movement before it’s too late. Right now the conversation is mired in misconceptions. People think this is about naming and shaming and that it's about taking down powerful men, but they’re wrong. Even the women who came forward around Harvey Weinstein, they didn’t ask for what happened to him. They didn’t even think it was possible. They were simply trying to be heard and be seen and believed."
"That’s all most survivors want, to not be the only one holding on to their truth. And finally, we have a language that provides some space for that. With two words, folks who have been wearing the fear and shame that sexual violence leaves you with like a scarlet letter are able to come out into the sunlight and see that we are a global community."
# Alicia Keys on why one must stay optimistic
"We are more on fire than we’ve ever been — and look at all the action that’s around us: women running for office in record numbers, women banding together in the entertainment industry, women demanding an end to disparity in the music industry, like equal representation on the Grammy stage. We were told we need to step up. Well, you feel that step up now?"