Most Shared

Trump's election was a major wake-up call for Maggie Gyllenhaal. Here's what changed.

A late-night TV interview is a guide to recognizing privilege and putting it to good use.

Trump's election was a major wake-up call for Maggie Gyllenhaal. Here's what changed.

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal stopped by "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" to discuss her new show, "The Deuce," but audiences got a lot more than that.

"The Deuce" is an upcoming HBO drama in which Gyllenhaal plays a sex worker. The show grapples with a number of uncomfortable topics, misogyny and power structures among them. Gyllenhaal's conversation with Colbert eventually turned to — as so much seems to these days — politics.

"I think when we were making the show, it was last summer, it was the election," she said. "Sometimes we'd be watching the debates on our lunch break. All of these conversations were bubbling under everything. We were shooting when Trump was saying, 'I can grab women's pussies if I want to.'"


GIFs from "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert"/YouTube.

Trump's election caused Gyllenhaal to reflect on where we actually are in society and how it compares to where we thought we were.

A man who, as Gyllenhaal alluded to, bragged about grabbing women's genitals would receive tens of millions of votes. A man who had been accused by 15 women of sexual assault or harassment would become president. A man who allegedly walked in on a teenage girls' dressing room would hold the highest office in the land. A man who once said it was OK to refer to his daughter as a "piece of ass" would be the next leader of the free world.

Whatever ideas anyone had about misogyny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and Islamophobia being relics of America's past went out the window with Trump's election. And for Gyllenhaal, it was a wake-up call.

It's foolish to think any of those things had truly been eradicated from our society, but for some, it was easy enough to pretend these problems didn't exist.

Gyllenhaal didn't want to be complicit in America's culture of misogyny any longer, so she made a conscious decision not to let things slide anymore.

As any woman can surely attest, sexism and misogyny are everywhere. They are forced to pick battles and begrudgingly accept sexist behavior as part of working, living, existing in this world.

But as Trump's election demonstrated, putting up with the small acts of sexism can reinforce a dark, dangerous, and pervasive culture.

Realizing her privilege as a well-off Hollywood actress, Gyllenhaal could just as easily continue to let the little things slide. But she didn't want to do that anymore.

For her sake, for the sake of our country, and for the sake of our future, it's imperative to push back against injustice in all its forms.

Gyllenhaal declared that she's "not gonna take it anymore," and while she didn't exactly elaborate on what she meant by that, it's a good start.

Those of us in positions where we can fight back against bigotry and sexism should do so because it's not just about us as individuals, but us as a collective society.

Watch Gyllenhaal's interview below (she starts talking about Trump and misogyny around 7:30 into the clip).

True

Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

Keep Reading Show less
via Cathy Pedrayes / Instagram

Sometimes the most innocuous question can give a predator all the information they need to stalk, harass, or assault a woman. That's why Instagram's "safety queen" Cathy Pedrayes has made a series of videos showing women the best times to lie to a stranger.

We've all been raised to tell the truth, but when it comes to being safe there's no reason we should feel compelled to give out personal information to a random stranger. Pedrayes' videos do a great job at not only showing women when to lie and but how to feel comfortable doing so.

Pedrayes originally started making videos about philosophy and being a "mom friend," but soon fell into making clips centered around safety because of her unique background.

Keep Reading Show less