Six things we learnt from Gloria Steinem and Jennifer Aniston's Makers Conference Q&A


Candice Chung


At the first ever Makers conference on Tuesday, where prominent leaders and thinkers gather to discuss "the agenda for women in the 21st century", Jennifer Aniston chats to her buddy Gloria Steinem in an hour-long Q&A.

The pair talk about everything from 'sleeping your way to the top' to coping with haters from the sisterhood. 

Oh, and we learn that Gloria Steinem is thin-skinned, a "hope-aholic" and every bit as charismatic as you'd imagine. Here are five top moments from the Q&A. You can read the full transcript here. enjoy! 

1. In the fight for gender equality, being misunderstood by people you admire is much more hurtful than criticisms from haters. 


"The most hurtful thing is not what comes from our adversaries, it’s what comes from our friends. Because for the most part, if my adversaries liked me, I would know I was doing something really seriously wrong [laughs]. Being misunderstood by people whose opinions you value is absolutely the most painful.
Also, you might never stop feeling misunderstood but sometimes it helps to relinquish control.

"I try to realise that some of it is my own feeling of control. You know, “You don’t agree with me? Let explain it again.” So I try to be self-critical."

2. Boys are told their bodies are instruments, but women are made to feel that our bodies are ornaments.

"[Women and girls] are made to think so much about how we look on the outside. That’s why I think sports for girls is so important. It depends on strength and agility and it’s one of the ways we learn what our bodies can do. Boys actually suffer too. If you ask men about their body image, they will tell you they look better than they do. And if you ask a woman, she’ll tell you she looks worse. So I think we each need to come to some point of reality.

3. Being a woman and our value and our worth is still associated with our marital status or whether or not we have procreated.
GS: "Well, I guess we’re in deep shit."
JA: "That’s what I thought. Just wanted to make sure that was the case. That we are, in fact, in deep shit [laughs]." 

4. Equal pay isn't just good for women. It's good for everyone.
GS: "We also have to understand that equal pay for women is not just for women -- it would be the greatest economic stimulus this country could possibly have. If you just paid women equally to men for the work we’re already doing, it would be $200 billion more a year into the economy. Women are not going to put it in a Swiss bank account. They are going to spend it. It’s going to create jobs. But when you hear about economic stimulus, you hear about rescuing crooked bankers. You don’t hear about equal pay for women."

5. There's a good reason people feel so threatened of feminism.
GS: "Because it’s a big revolution. Feminism, or Womanism, or whatever it is you call it, is taking away the single biggest unpaid labor force in the world, the single biggest underpaid labor force in the world. And it’s taking away control of reproduction. And reproduction is even more important than production. So it is a serious threat. It’s common sense -- most people believe it. But it isn’t in the power structure. Some people are against it because they don’t know what it means. Some people are against it because they do know what it means."

6. All that talk about ladies using their 'sex appeal' to get to the top is total BS. 
GS: "If women could sleep their way to the top, there'd be a lot more women at the top. I’m just here to tell you it doesn’t work. You just end up humiliated and inauthentic."

Jennifer Aniston, despite claiming she is no "Barbara Walters" at the start, is an awesome interviewer. She quotes Steinem back to Steinem, casually refers to her as a 'friend' and eloquently commended Obama's focus on equal pay for women in his State of the Union speech. She even asked why Steinem never ran for office! Seems to us she'll make a pretty damn fine journo.  

Source: Huffington post