Sexism is everywhere: in corporate America, in schools and in sports. But according to Meryl Streep, it doesn’t have to exist in Hollywood any longer.
That’s why she’s teaming up with her fellow actors to change the culture in the movie capital of the world and forge a level playing field for all. Glamour reports that at the Massachusetts Conference for Women, Streep told Gloria Steinem that she’s working with other actresses to stamp out sexual harassment and lead the charge in creating an environment of equality.
“Right now I’m getting together with a bunch of actresses that you know very well, and we’re all sort of going to make a set of nonnegotiable demands,” she said. “We’re after 50-50 by 2020.”
Spurred to create change by the numerous allegations against former film producer Harvey Weinstein, Glamour says Streep sees him as the most egregious case of the sexism that exists in Hollywood and beyond.
“The thing about Harvey Weinstein is that he is sort of the most gargantuan example of a kind of disrespect that permeates every industry, every enterprise,” Streep said, according to Glamour. “I’m not sure why. I have a lot of theories — maybe it’s in response to the women’s movement. Maybe it’s in fear of the women movement. But these abuses are about dominance.”
And changing that notion of dominance starts with lifting more women into high-ranking positions of power, says Streep, who thinks that “it starts at the top, none of these shenanigans would have filtered down and been tolerated.”
Offering a suggestion for every industry, Glamour said Streep summed up her argument by urging employers — and white men in power — to hire beyond their own ‘type’ to increase not only the diversity of employees, but also diversity of thought.
“White hires white. A guy who wears his baseball cap backward hires a guy who wears his baseball cap backward,” she said. “So we have to encourage the people who are currently in power, who are of one gender, to open the door.”