Natalie Portman’s Step-by-Step Guide on How to Topple the Patriarchy (Watch)

Natalie Portman did not hold back in her acceptance speech at Variety’s Power of Women event presented by Lifetime, making the case for improving efforts to ensure gender parity across industries.

After shouting out Time’s Up’s new CEO and president, Lisa Borders, the “Vox Lux” actress kicked off a speech centered around seven guidelines that she advised the audience to abide by, ranging from not depicting violence against women in the projects they’re involved in to donating to Time’s Up to hiring three women in positions that they don’t ordinarily occupy.

She namechecked Brett Ratner and his lawyer Marty Singer, who recently dropped a defamation case against Ratner’s accuser, Melanie Kohler, after Kohler received legal defense aid from Time’s Up.

“He saw that she could not be bullied legally just because he has hundreds of millions of dollars and she does not,” she explained.

Portman also talked at length about Harvey Weinstein, lamenting the fact that the Manhattan district attorney dropped one of the cases against him and slamming the way Weinstein’s concerted effort to discredit his victims robbed the industry of a whole generation of women.

She pointed out that women are matriculating from graduate schools at the same rate as men, yet, “in our industry…only 11% of the top 250 films last year were directed by women.”

“If any group you are part of only has people that look like you, change that group,” she implored, as part of her third principle, “listen. “Be embarrassed if everyone in your workplace looks like you.”

“Stop the rhetoric that a woman is crazy or difficult,” Portman advised, while elaborating on her fifth principle, “gossip well.” “If a man says a woman is crazy or difficult, ask him, ‘What bad thing did you do to her?’ That’s a code word. He is trying to discredit her reputation.”

Portman concluded by connecting humans’ phylogenetic class, mammals, to how the distribution of power works.

“Many men are behaving like we live in a zero-sum game. That if women get the respect, access and value we deserve, they will lose. But we know the message of the mammaries: The more milk you give, the more milk you make,” Portman explained. “The more love you give, the more love you have. And the same can be said of fire. When you light someone else’s torch with your own, you don’t lose your fire, you just make more light and more heat.”

“Light a woman’s torch,” she said. “The light will multiply and the heat will intensify for all of us.”

Watch the full speech above.

More Film

  • Rihanna5th Annual Clara Lionel Foundation Diamond

    NAACP Winners List 2020: Updating Live

    The 51st annual NAACP Awards, hosted by Anthony Anderson, are currently underway in Los Angeles. Angela Bassett, Billy Porter, Lizzo, Regina King and Tyler Perry are competing for entertainer of the year. On Friday night, early winners were announced, including “Just Mercy,” which picked up the award for best ensemble in a motion picture. OWN’s [...]

  • The Salt of Tears

    'The Salt of Tears': Film Review

    Handsome twentysomething Luc is a trainee joiner, a craft inherited from his doting single dad: a man at once proud of his son’s continuation of their trade, and hopeful that he’ll do something greater with it. When Luc asks his father if he ever wanted to design furniture rather than simply build it, the reply [...]

  • Time to Hunt

    'Time to Hunt': Film Review

    As context for those unaware, South Korea does not have the equivalent of the United States’ Second Amendment. Instead, the country enforces strict gun control — privately owned weapons must be stored at the police station — and fatal shootings hardly ever happen there. That’s important to know when watching Korean movies: It explains why [...]

  • SF Studios, Cinematic Inc. Join Forces

    SF Studios, Cinematic Inc. Join Forces on 'Comet in Moominland,' 'When the Doves Disappeared,' 'Omerta'

    SF Studios is joining forces with Antti J. Jokinen’s leading Finnish production banner Cinematic Inc. to develop and produce the animated feature “Comet in Moominland” and “When the Doves Disappeared,” adapted from Sofi Oksanen’s bestseller. “Comet in Moominland” and “When the Doves Disappeared” are being made by both companies as part of a five-picture deal. [...]

  • Tiger Rising

    Exclusive First Look: 'The Tiger Rising' Starring Queen Latifah

    Queen Latifah and Madalen Mills star in Ray Giarratana’s “The Tiger Rising.” The drama is based on Kate DiCamillo’s New York Times Bestselling children’s book and produced by Deborah Giarratana and Ryan Donnell Smith.  Highland Film Group is handling worldwide sales, which are under at the European Film Market in Berlin. The Tiger Rising” is [...]

  • The Berlinale Bear is Seen in

    Berlinale Enlivened by Anti-Chile State Violence Protests

    A politically charged Berlin Film Festival was further enlivened on the third day of the European Film Market by a demonstration targeting Chilean armed forces. On Saturday, the Martin Gropius Bau, the site of the EFM, saw a group of anonymous protestors unfurl a big banner from one of the market’s upper floors, with activists [...]

  • Vadim Perelman, Ilja Zofin, Lars Eidinger

    'Persian Lessons' Eidinger, Perelman Say Film Offers Parallels for Today

    Director Vadim Perelman and frequent Berlinale film star Lars Eidinger on Saturday championed their new Holocaust-set “Persian Lessons” as a timely, very German tale of how that dark history is closer to us than it seems, made uniquely possible by the fact that most of the film’s production team is not German. The film’s world [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content