Jessica Alba has shared her experience of being a woman in the film industry, explaining that she’s been “getting out of” situations of sexual harassment throughout her career.
The #MeToo movement has successfully highlighted the depressing reality that pretty much every woman has encountered some form of sexual harassment in her life.
From office workers to Hollywood actors, the social media revolution has united women across the globe to show that literally anyone can be affected – and now Jessica Alba has addedher voice to the masses, too.
Speaking to CNN Talk Asia, Alba explains that, when she first started out in the industry, she didn’t know how to speak out against situations she wasn’t comfortable with.
“I don’t know, I guess you shouldn’t have accepted it, but, as a young actress growing up in the business, you just accepted that that’s the way you were going to be treated,” she said.
However, after landing her first role before she was even a teenager, Alba soon picked up plenty of practice navigating her way through the notoriously sexist industry.
“You could either go this way or that way with it, and do I think I could’ve gotten some opportunities if I would’ve done this versus that? Sure, but for me, that’s just not something I was comfortable with, frankly,” she said. “I mean, I’ve been doing this since I was 12.
“Imagine, imagine what that’s like.”
According to Alba, one of the biggest problems exposed by the #MeToo movement is the lack of support between female actors. The solution, she says, is mentoring – and she wishes more women would reach out to their younger peers.
“No-one gave me a handout. No-one gave me an opportunity,” she explains. “I had to fight for it, but it would be nice if I had some people who helped me along the way and I didn’t have to fall on my face so much, and it would’ve been also nice to have more women mentor me and help me along the way.”
As a mother of two daughters, though, Alba has been given the opportunity to practice what she preaches at home. Indeed, she has taken it upon herself to instill her children with the confidence they need to trust their own instincts – and say no when they find themselves feeling uncomfortable in a situation at work.
“It’s important for me to talk to my girls about them knowing you have control over your body and over situations you want to put yourself in, and there’s warning signs and there’s that feeling in your stomach and you have to listen to that feeling, because usually you get that feeling before anything ever happens, but it’s probably going to be different talking to my son about that stuff.”
Alba’s comments show just how widespread the deeply ingrained issued of discrimination against women, particularly in this industry, are. But as always, the more we speak out and shine a light on the treatment of women at work, the closer we get to eradicating it.