“Women need to talk about how they made money and not feeling ashamed of it.”
OK, a quick recap: While presenting Best Makeup at the 2002 Oscars with Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe told his now ex-wife to reveal the winner because “You make more than I do.” (Jump to 1:42-1:52 in the below video.)
Did you forget about that one? Well, so did Witherspoon, as she recently admitted on the podcast The HFPA in Conversation: “You’re reminding me of that! I forgot that ever happened. But you’re right, he did say that, and no, it wasn’t scripted.”
She went on to say that she had no idea Phillippe would be saying that on stage, and that it had left her “a little bit flummoxed in the moment, too.”
Witherspoon referred to the moment again later in the podcast before diving deeper into “a double standard that exists in our society.”
“There’s so few women that make a lot of money that sometimes they’re shamed for it, and sometimes they are expected to give more and do more and be more to others in the same position that say a male movie star would not be expected to.”
“And that’s just a double standard that exists in our society. But I do think gender norms have changed quite a bit since that moment in 2000.”
“I do think there are more women making money. I think there’s more conversation around the division of domestic labor and that men are capable and happy and willing to do things that maybe their fathers didn’t do when they were growing up.”
“But I think it all gets back to the point that we need to talk. Women need to talk about money and how they made money and not feeling ashamed of it.”
Witherspoon also shared a story about her daughter Ava feeling “so embarrassed” after her classmates brought up that her mother was one of the highest-paid female-identifying actors in Hollywood.
“I said, ‘Don’t ever feel ashamed of a woman making money.’ There are women all over this world who don’t have an opportunity or an education or the ability to make money.”
“And the more women who make more money, will give more money away, will take care of their societies, will take care of their communities, will do more with that money.”
“So don’t ever feel bad about your mom making money, and don’t ever feel bad if you make money, and don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if it’s more than your partner.”
“And that’s a lesson that I had to learn because my mother certainly wasn’t in that situation and neither was my grandmother. I’m still navigating that as a woman.”
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