I must confess, I missed Meryl Streep’s speech at last night’s Golden Globes, but the explosion of my Facebook feed prompted me to “Google-ize it”. It didn’t take long to understand why she was being applauded for her comments.
The multi-award winning actress delivered a thoughtful and sincere commentary on what we’ve witnessed in this alternate universe we now call reality. I’m going to check any partisan feelings I have at the door here, and instead talk about class and professionalism.
Meryl Streep used truths to explain her position. She referenced the myriad of backgrounds shared by the actors being recognized Sunday night. (Truth) She expressed her disappointment over Donald Trump’s mocking of a New York Times reporter with a disability. (There is video evidence of this, although Mr. Trump denied it in one of several Twitter explosions today.) She noted the high expectations we should have of people seeking the country’s highest office. (I pray we all believe this to be true.)
She did not directly attack Mr. Trump’s skills, or leadership, or looks, but instead questioned his behavior.
Within a few hours Donald Trump called her an over-rated actress. Over-rated (Is this Opposite Day?) … with 19 Academy Awards, receiving the Cecil B. Demille Award last night, 30 Golden Globes, and hundreds of others. I suppose he believes all of those recognized critics to be poorly trained as well. It’s one example in a long list of superficial and demeaning criticisms of women – ranging from former employees, to his ex-wife in a Vanity Fair article, to calling women gold-diggers, to insulting fellow candidates, to calling women names like ‘Miss Piggy.’
Opinions are subjective, and we all have a right to have them. We all have a right to express them, but leaders, and those in public positions, have an obligation to present well-argued positions based in fact, and not from a Twitter-handle.
Beyond that … an actress shared an opinion at a Hollywood function. I firmly believe that any other President-elect would not have even acknowledged such criticism with a response, publicly or privately. I believe they surely have much more important work to do, such as preparing for the Presidency.
So what’s my point? Again, I’m NOT going to be partisan here. Good behavior is not a Democratic or Republican position. It’s a tenet of humanity. It’s the foundation of our faith in each other.
Beyond that, we as women cannot continue to accept a male-dominated world where offering pithy and demeaning comments of our skills, looks or behavior is okay. I call on all of us to join Meryl Streep and rise up to say NO. This is not acceptable behavior from family members, bosses, co-workers and certainly not our leaders.
And to our President-elect. Grow up. Not everyone will like you, but it’s your job to stay above the fray and lead our country. Let me back up a minute, don’t lead us all into a world where ridicule and bigotry is acceptable. Lead by the objectives and goals set forth by our Constitution. Lead so you can look the next generation in the eye and say you did your best. Lead so history will look kinder on you than it is expected to.
To Meryl. Thank you. Thank you for using a night that should be all about you and your accomplishments, to fire us all up and ignite passions that we must keep aflame for the next four years.