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  • Eve Ensler perform The Vagina Monologues. While I was laughing,
    my feminism carried from my head into my Dna. It took a long time, though, because I was brought up
    with the disease to please…
    Bl: A lot of women suffer from
    that disease.
    Jf:
    No kidding. To show you the
    extent to which a patriarchy takes
    a toll on females; I’ve been raped,
    I’ve been sexually abused as a
    child and I’ve been fired because I wouldn’t sleep with my boss and I always thought it was my fault;
    that I didn’t do or say the right
    thing. I know young girls who’ve
    been raped and didn’t even know
    it was rape. They think, “It must
    have been because I said ‘no’ the wrong way.” One of the great things the women’s movement has done
    is to make us realize that [rape
    and abuse is] not our fault. We
    were violated and it’s not right.
    Bl: Having played two characters
    who were sexually abused, I’ve
    done a lot of work with victims of sexual abuse. We can’t take any
    steps backward in allowing people
    to think abuse is their fault. It’s the people-pleaser disease.

    “The Men in my life were wonderful, but victims of a patriarchal Belief system. I felt Diminished

    Brie Larson: When I started
    acting I told people, “Filmmaking is my form of activism,” and they
    replied, “You’ve got to meet Jane. She will be your anchor.” I’ve felt the
    signs were pointing to you for
    years, so I’m honored to be having
    this conversation with you now.

    Jane Fonda: Thank you, that 
    means a lot.
    Bl: At what moment did you first identify as a feminist?
    Jf:
    I grew up in the ’50s and it took
    me a long time to apply feminism
    to my life. The men in my life were wonderful, but victims of a [patriarchal] belief system. I felt diminished. Eventually I decided I wasn’t going to give up who I was
    in order to please the man I was
    with. I became an embodied
    feminist when I was single and saw 

    Shirt by Balmain; earrings by Charlotte Chesnais

            
    Credits

    Words: Emma Sells. Fashion: Jessica Steuart. Photograph: Bruce Anderson

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