The planet needs women

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 am, January 27th, 2018 - 29 comments
Categories: feminism, us politics - Tags: , , ,

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin discuss women’s friendship, sisterhood, equality, and the power of women to change the world.


29 comments on “The planet needs women”

  1. Equality…Just not wealth equality.

    so, you know, not equality at all.

    I miss the days when you didn’t have to be a millionaire to be the voice of a ‘movement’.

    As an older woman Its not that these stories don’t interest me, its just how this stuff is framed as political… can we really expect change from Trickle Down Feminism…how are we really expected to relate to these stories, any more than a working class man can relate to say Elon Musk or Alec Baldwin talking about their struggles, their strengths and sharing their wisdom.

    Personally I’d find it way more interesting to see two of Fonda and Tomlins housekeepers discussing female unity.

    • miravox 1.1

      Well said Siobhan, and in particular, this:

      Personally I’d find it way more interesting to see two of Fonda and Tomlins housekeepers discussing female unity.

      I’m getting a little tired of wealthy, white women explaining what feminism is. Not because what they say is not important or interesting (sometimes it is), but because I’ve heard their version so many times.

      I like that some in the #MeToo movement get that their political work must be inclusive of women with who haven’t won the fame lottery, but it would have a greater impact if they occasionally used their fame and power to give up their seat at the top table for women without celebrity.

      • weka 1.1.1

        do you think they should be silent (Fonda and Tomlin)?

        I agree about power sharing. I also want wealthy white women to be activists and speaking out and using the privilege they have. And yes, they can use it better, for sure.

        The thing I liked about the video was that it was two elderly women speaking. That’s worth paying attention to. It affirms being old and female.

        They’re also speaking power to their own class. That is very important.

        • Siobhan

          did you read my comment?…I in no way implied they should be silent, I enjoy reading the experiences of people of all classes, my point is there appears to be talk of a ‘Movement’ and a ‘Resistance’ and it’s face is largely made up of women of one class.

          They can fight their battles…good on them, but the pressing issues for 90% of American women are not being addressed..
          women without health care,
          women struggling with multiple part time jobs,
          women whose husbands, sons, fathers are in prison,
          women in prison,
          homeless women and women with housing vulnerability and insecurity,
          access to clean water and good food, education….

          abortion and contraception is the one exception..that gets talked about in the movement, because that effects women of all classes.

          • weka

            No, I didn’t read your comment, I was reply to miravox. And my question was a genuine question, I was curious if they thought that a useful activist position for those two women was to remain silent. It wasn’t a criticism.

            • Siobhan

              Time is an issue for all of us, but It helps when replying to a comment, that itself is a reply to a comment…to read the original comment!
              usually that adds more context and background and in this case would have covered your query to miravox

              Asking if its a ..”useful activist position for those two women was to remain silent” is not the point, and seems almost sarcastic, the point being made here is many are feeling that certain voices are dominating this movement especially in the MSM, and as has been learned (supposedly) through the multiple waves of Feminism, it is not helpful for the privileged voices to drown out the masses.

              • weka

                the reason I replied to miravox and not you was because I can’t be bothered with the aggro and I trust miravox to take my comment at face value or check out what I mean. I’ve clarified what I meant and I’ll ask you to do the courtesy of believing me. I wasn’t being sarcastic, I was genuinely interested.

                A single post on TS isn’t drowning out the masses. I don’t see Tomlin and Fonda as taking part in drowning out the masses simply by being on a TED talk. I’m fully aware of the issues around white privilege and I’m ready to move onto a more nuanced politics and debate around that.

          • weka

            “my point is there appears to be talk of a ‘Movement’ and a ‘Resistance’ and it’s face is largely made up of women of one class.”

            Really? Because that’s not what I am seeing at all. I’m seeing a lot of strong voices from other than white upper class women.

          • Macro

            “my point is there appears to be talk of a ‘Movement’ and a ‘Resistance’ and it’s face is largely made up of women of one class.”

            In the US I’m not sure that that statement is entirely true:

            White women voted for the alleged sexual predator Moore at the rate of 63 out of ever 100 while black women votes voted against him at the rate of 98 out every 100.

            Nation wide the approval rating for Trump amongst Blacks has continued to decline From around 20% to 15% (11% nationwide from black women) This includes voters and those who were unable to make the voting booths in 2016 – when only around 8% of Black voters voted for Trump.

            The Resistance Now movement has seen a dramatic increase in the number of women standing for office in the forthcoming 2018 mid terms. And over the past year in a number of special By elections women have stood and been elected to office including hispanic, native american, black and white.

            Female candidates are already earning victories — of 55 women EMILY’s List had endorsed in the 2017 elections, at least 32 won and 3 were headed to run-off elections (as of November 8, a few races remained too close to call). Winners included Danica Roem, the first trans woman ever elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, and Vi Lyles, the first African-American female mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. Ashley Bennett decided to run against John Carman of the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders in New Jersey after Carman made a sexist joke about the Women’s March; on November 7, she unseated him.


        • miravox

          No, I don’t think they should be silent. I’m happy that they’re vocal. It is good to see them using their privilege because celebrity is listened to. But I have heard them many times before (especially Fonda and I think she’s great). But they do speak from a position of wealth and celebrity power.

          I was thinking how much more powerful would it be if they used their celebrity to allow others to be heard (as was signified at the Golden Globes with the MeToo movement).

          • weka

            “I was thinking how much more powerful would it be if they used their celebrity to allow others to be heard”

            this is a good point (I don’t know if they do that elsewhere or not). Here’s hoping some of them get it.

      • Carolyn_Nth 1.1.2

        I think your response may be largely impacted by the way Jane Fonda and the interviewer dominated the discussion.

        I thought the discussion was interesting, but not earth shattering. However, Tomlin is more the interesting one, IMO.

        Tomlin grew up in a working class family in Detroit. Her father was a factory worker. She went to a technical high school, and then to a local uni.

        Tomlin is a lesbian, and was kinda out at a time when very few women in entertainment were, especially women in movies and on TV.

        The video discussion above also mentioned the 2 women’s work-friendship with Dolly Parton. Parton is an underestimated entertainer who writes songs and sings about her working class roots – growing up on a very limited income.

        Sarah Smarsh wrote a very good article about Parton and working class feminism last year in the Guardian.

        Smarsh comes from a similar background to Parton, and writes about class and feminism quite a bit.

        • Fran

          IThank you CN, you have said what I was thinking.

          Also I suspect they were asked to do the interview because of their Netflix series in which they are close friends. This series is activism in action, it is subversive, hilarious, breaks taboo’s etc.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Thanks, Fran. I have read about that TV show – hadn’t seen it, but thought the above video was probably linked to it.

            Sarah Smarsh’s article says that middle class women talk alot about theory, and that is necessary to feminism. But, working class women tend to do feminism through action, and that is also very necessary.

            I think there is a muted kind of resistance to Jane Fonda’s theorizing by Tomlin in the above video – kind of like a metaphorical eye roll: e.g. when Fonda says she’s been reading all these books about female friendship, and said she’d sent some to Tomlin prior to the interview, I think there was a kind of sarcastic reply from Tomlin.

          • weka

            I tried watching that and couldn’t get through the first episode. Maybe I’ll give it another go, thanks.

        • miravox

          “I think your response may be largely impacted by the way Jane Fonda and the interviewer dominated the discussion.”

          Yes, I do I agree with this assessment. Also that I’m much more interested in Lily Tomlin – because her story is less familiar as well as the perspective she could bring if she had a bit more space in that interview.

          The Dolly Parton reference is valid too. But again, as with Fonda, I’ve heard her story many times before – as an enormously entertaining guest and still-relevant artist she has been a magnet for talk show hosts. Her rags to riches story, like Fonda’s activism, is slightly mythologised now, I don’t believe that many younger people entirely believe it, or believe that the poverty in her early life was a reality for the majority in her community (still is). Graham Norton in particular is very fond of Dolly.

          I’d love to see these women interview (or have a discussion with) a later generation of women who mirror themselves. That could be enlightening and produce a connection between different generations of feminist and working class women, instead of the current baby boomer/millennial divide, with argument and blame flying in both directions (sorry Generation-X you are invisible in this current messed-up generational discourse).

          Thanks for the Sarah Smarsh link. I like how she discusses the connections between feminist activity and economic agency and another good take on Parton’s life.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            To me age is not the basis for choosing who I attend to. It is what people/women have to say, and the diversity of their experiences – and what they can contribute to the future.

            I agree Jane Fonda has been heard a lot, and is a favourite of the mainstream in the US. I am less interested in the things Fonda was saying about female friendship, than other issues for diverse groups of women – especially the ones suffering most under patriarchy and capitalism.

            Are you including Fonda and Tomlin in “boomers” (which has become a pretty derogatory term in recent times)? Both are too old to be boomers. They were born in the latter part of the 1930s. The baby boom didn’t begin in the US til about 1945, or a couple of years earlier… or even a couple of years later according to some.

            Tomlin was therefore born in a working class family coming out of the 1930s depression.

            I’m interested in hearing/reading about new and in depth experiences, understandings and practices of feminism, no matter what their age.

            Sarah Smarsh is someone I follow on Twitter because she does bring me some new and well-thought through experiences and explanations.

            I am also still very interested in reading about Angela Davis, Sheila Rowbottham (UK socialist feminist who came to the fore in the 1970s) – and in NZ politics Metiria Turei, Marama Davidson, Golriz Ghahraman, Kiri Allan, Jeannette Fitzsimons, Sue Bradford….. – all of whom, I think, consider themselves feminist, but don’t get that much positive mainstream media attention.

            To me it’s not the age of the commentators, the politicians, or activists that is the issue, it’s that the mainstream media only picks up regularly and positively on certain kinds of women.

            Older low income women don’t get much of a say about their struggles (which sometimes is impacted by ageism), especially not older women of colour – as continues to be the case for many younger women.

            • miravox

              “Are you including Fonda and Tomlin in “boomers” (which has become a pretty derogatory term in recent times)?

              Not, at all. Just commenting on the messed-up generational discourse that infuriates me. In this there is there can only be two groups that matter – built on certain characteristics based on appearance – older or younger. Demographically it’s bullshit. I should have mentioned the general invisibility of the so-called silent generation along with Gen-X.

              I get the importance of listening to older women, I like to hear their stories as much as any other because mainly I either Identify it, or am learning something from it, but sometimes I just enjoy it (which is the case with this video – I wasn’t learning much, but it’s a lovely discussion). I agree entirely with your last two sentences.

    • One Two 1.2


      So very well said…

      At what point does it all become ‘undeniable’…

      That the ‘true path’ is being hidden with misdirection….

      False idols and other ‘tricks’..

      I enjoy your commentary here when you do post…

  2. Bearded Git 2

    ….and Trump will get sod-all women’s votes in the mid-terms, deservedly. Talk about crash and burn.

    • Siobhan 2.1

      but who can they vote for?..I’m not in the habit of referencing Time Magazine, but this article is pretty on point…you don’t get victory through being ‘Anti Trump’, that’s what they relied on in the last election and they lost,
      And its very hard to win over non voters and soft Republicans when you don’t seem to stand for anything. (Actually, I’m sure they do stand for something, but thats information best kept to their donors, not the general public)

      And while its difficult to know where to start with Hillary, this sort of thing re;sexual harassment, does not bode well

      “The complaint was taken to Ms. Doyle, the campaign manager, who approached Mrs. Clinton and urged that Mr. Strider, who was married at the time, be fired, according to the officials familiar with what took place. Mrs. Clinton said she did not want to, and instead he remained on her staff.

      Ms. Doyle was fired shortly after that in a staff shake-up in response to Mrs. Clinton’s third-place finish in the 2008 Iowa caucuses. And Mr. Strider never attended the mandated counseling, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.”

      • Sam 2.1.1

        After the RWNJ purge of 2016 I was intrigued by the standard and what they could achieve by the hypocritical morality of the Trump nomination, observing because it is not my duty to chart the possibilities. As Trump has grown more powerful, his tendrils deep in the deepstate, his cancer is one with its flesh, if it is simply torn free will cause a skism of the Wests greatest minds. The announcement of the Wall it was unthinkable, even after Trumps ascension to the White House it is even more unthinkable. Trump must be made to overplay his hand.

      • rhinocrates 2.1.2

        It seems to be a parallel of Godwin’s law: eventually every conversation ends up with Hillary Clinton, at which point it is useless. Hillary Clinton is now irrelevant.

        Why is she such a black hole for left thought? Trump is obsessed with her, endlessly recriminating and relitigating because he’s sick, but what is the damn point for the resistance now? What does it PRACTICALLY accomplish NOW? Some sort of weird retrospective justification for focussing more on stopping her than Trump, some sort of obsession with demonstrating purity as in, “So we lost, but I was right!”?

        She lost, Trump’s in power, he’s a threat. Fighting the Judean People’s Front is simply stupid.

  3. eco maori 3

    The planet needs all Lady’s to step up and take there equallty and changeing the way the 1 % run OUR WORLD. KA pai

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