This is heartbreaking
Words by Alim Kheraj
In a brave and heartbreaking interview, Hollywood legend Jane Fonda spoke about being raped and sexually abused as a child for the first time.
The interview, which was published in Net-A-Porter, was conducted with fellow actor Brie Larson, and saw Larson ask Fonda about being a feminist.
Fonda, whose Netflix dramedy Grace and Frankie is expected to return later this month, spoke about what it was like growing up in the ’50s, noting that she became a feminist when ‘I was single and saw Eve Ensler perform The Vagina Monologues. While I was laughing, my feminism carried from my head into my DNA.’
The pair discussed the patriarchy, and it’s overarching omnipresence, with Fonda bravely opening up about the real personal impact it has had on her life.
‘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,’ she said.
Continuing, Fonda told how she knew of other girls who had been raped but ‘didn’t even know it was rape’ because ‘they think, “It must have been because I said no the wrong way.”‘
Jane Fonda also spoke about her activism, both against the Vietnam War and for women’s rights.
‘One of the great things the women’s movement has done is to make us realize that [rape and abuse is] not our fault,’ she said before adding, ‘We were violated and it’s not right.’
She then addressed people who criticize celebrities for being activists and for speaking out.
‘Everyone has the right to speak up; it doesn’t matter what you do,’ Fonda said. ‘Whenever there’s been an important revolution or social upheaval, artists, actors, writers and poets are always the people that can reach into areas that politics can’t. If you know you’re right – even when people call you bad words – you can keep going.’
We’re so in awe of Jane Fonda for opening up in such an open and brave way, and we’re sending her all our thoughts and love and thanks for sharing her story.
If you’ve been affected in anyway by this story, you can contact Rape Crisis here for help and support.
From the editors at HelloGiggles