I’m not sure if you saw this same headline in November of last year, but it made my heart beat faster just seeing the title. Something about it caught my eye and I could not click the link fast enough. The headline read: “Mila Kunis slams sexist Hollywood producer in powerful open letter.”
If I’m being honest, I do not know much about Mila. We’ve never met and I have only seen a few of her movies. I know she is a talented actor, but I really didn’t know much else about her. But, by the time I was done reading the first few sentences of her open letter, I was like OMG, Mila is a total badass.
First off, if you haven’t read her open letter, PLEASE read it. It’s right HERE. It’s not too long. Honestly...it’s so good.
Now that we are all on the same page of agreeing on Mila’s badassery, can I just tell you why I loved this open letter so much? Because we wrote a similar open letter a year earlier. In December of 2015 we told a different version of the same story. The details were different, the circumstances different, but the message was the same:
Speak your truth, even if it costs you something.
Something we learned from our experience is that if it’s happening to us, it’s happening to other women too. Mila also acknowledges that and that’s why we feel so passionate about speaking to women about sharing their truths. We believe the more women speak their truths and share their stories, the more the stigma will begin to change. We are not “troublemakers” for speaking out. We are not being b*tchy or hormonal. We have a voice and we will use it.
One thing I loved about her article was that Mila acknowledged that she didn’t have to fear what speaking out would do to her ability to put food on the table. Or her ability to work in this town again. Those threats can be paralyzing and we were told the same thing. “You’ll never work again in this town. You’ll be known as b*tches if you tell this story.” We know firsthand how those kind of comments can be terrifying and scary, but they are empty threats. Truth will never lead you down the wrong road.
We need to be aware of the gender gap and all participate in making strides to change that.
Another thing that we believe is crucial in order to see change, is having other women suppoort each other. Never forget that if you are a cheerleader for other women in your life, you will never lack friends.
Ladies, we are smart. We are capable. We are world-changers and life-givers. Let’s remember that if you have been mistreated, wronged, or put in a corner...you can say something. You can stand up to the voices and people that tell you that you can’t. The old-school thinkers want us to stay quiet, to deny our truths and to silence the power that’s within...and they do this because they’re afraid. They are afraid of the unlimited power that’s inside of a woman who believes in herself. Draw a line in the sand and say no more.
I love this quote:
“But it's these very comments that women deal with day in and day out in offices, on calls, and in emails — microaggressions that devalue the contributions and worth of hard-working women.” She goes on to say: “I'm done compromising; even more so, I'm done with being compromised. So from this point forward, when I am confronted with one of these comments, subtle or overt, I will address them head on; I will stop in the moment and do my best to educate. I cannot guarantee that my objections will be taken to heart, but at least now I am part of creating an environment where there is the opportunity for growth. And if my comments fall on deaf ears, I will choose to walk away.”
Yes. All the praise hands emojis, YES. Women, let’s address these comments head on. Let’s not keep quiet. And men, don’t let your fellow gender make these kind of comments. We will and can change the status quo one person at a time.
Mila, thank you for telling your story and sharing your truth. We need more people using their platforms and shining a light on these stories. And you, reader, tell your story. The world needs your stories, your vantage point. We need you. Don’t let fear tell you what to do. We will all be here cheering you on.
Kate (and Jill too)