Jane Fonda is a remarkable woman.
From her support to the civil rights movement in the 1960s to her involvement with several feminists causes to, let’s be real, her iconic workout videos, she’s been an inspiration to many.
And in this new interview with the also amazing Brie Larson, Jane is really just taking our appreciation of her to an entire new level.
Jane, who turns 80 this year, kicked things off by giving some real talk about feminism — particularly about the struggles of growing up as a woman so many years ago.
“I grew up in the ’50s,” she explains, “and it took me a long time to apply feminism to my life. The men in my life were wonderful, but victims of a [patriarchal] belief system. I felt diminished.”
She says that the first time she truly felt she was a feminist was when she saw Eve Ensler do a performance of The Vagina Monologues — which would have been in the mid 90s at the earliest.
“It took a long time” for her to call herself a feminist though, “because I was brought up with the disease to please.”
She went on to say, and this is where things really take an intense turn, that “To show you the extent to which a patriarchy takes a toll on females; I’ve been raped, I’ve been sexually abused as a child and I’ve been fired because I wouldn’t sleep with my boss and I always thought it was my fault.”
“That I didn’t do or say the right thing.”
“I know young girls,” she says, “who’ve been raped and didn’t even know it was rape. They think, ‘It must have been because I said ‘no’ the wrong way.'”
“One of the great things the women’s movement has done is to make us realize that [rape and abuse] is not our fault. We were violated and it’s not right.”
This is the first time Jane’s ever publicly said that she’s been raped — after so many years of speaking up for women’s rights, it must have taken a lot for her to share this.
It’s not the only thing she shared though. She also discussed her controversial opposition to the Vietnam War.
“I didn’t become an activist until I was 31,” she says. “When I found out what was really happening in Vietnam I didn’t care if I ever worked again; I considered leaving the business to become a full-time activist.”
She recalls that “My father was terrified for me. He remembered the ’50s when people’s careers were destroyed.”
Jane even adds that, with Trump as president, “It’s possible the [Hollywood] blacklist will be brought back.”
And on the topic of Trump, she says that there are many battles to be fought, including but certainly not limited to the fight against defunding Planned Parenthood.
About being an activist for so many years, she says “Honey, I am almost 80 years old. If you want to make it to the long-haul, you have to take care of yourself.”
“I get more than eight hours sleep every night; I meditate twice a day for half an hour; I eat right; I workout.”
“I always tell activists: ‘This is going to be a long struggle. We have to stay strong.”
Yes, Jane Fonda. Just … yes.