There’s a lot going on in this country right now discussing women’s bodies and the right for women’s health to be funded by the government and standing by Planned Parenthood. I see that you’ve been really active on social media with that kind of stuff. To lend your voice to that movement that is really becoming central to the conversation right now, and obviously, this is a women’s publication and we staunchly stand on the side that says everyone should have rights, should have access to take care of their own reproductive health and in ways that seem fit. Could you talk about why this is so important to you, both as a woman and as someone who has a platform to weigh in on?
Yeah I think it’s interesting. Twitter and social media is a very hard place to have an in-depth conversation about almost anything. It’s sort of an amazing tool, you see with the Earth and access to news in a different way and real-time events, but it’s also a conversation that happens in 140 characters and it’s quite a complicated conversation. I feel like all I can do is be who I am and say what I believe, and I actually don’t think I have the right to tell anyone else what they should believe, but I want to be able to speak up and say that it’s okay for me to when I think it’s right, and everyone else should be able to do that, as well. It’s very hard.
It’s interesting, standing with Planned Parenthood was the first time that I had interactions on Twitter that were profoundly upsetting. I got sent pictures of dead babies. I was called disgusting and horrible. It’s so sad because my standing with Planned Parenthood says very little about whether or not I think you should have an abortion. I don’t plan to know anyone else’s mind, but I do think it is my decision whether I would like to or not. And I’m not saying I would or wouldn’t. I’m saying that is my choice and that’s a very private choice and the government should not have a right to tell me what I should do with my body. Now, people will disagree with me and I’m completely open to discussion. I think abortion specifically, and let’s be real, Planned Parenthood does many other thing besides abortions and will be losing many other programs besides abortions, which I think is less than five percent of the services that they provide, but for me, that decision is profoundly private, and I understand why people get so upset. I’m not offended by people being upset because there is a certain idea—it’s about when does life begin and what you believe to be life.
That’s going to be different for everyone and some people may not agree with it, but you cannot tell me how to live in my body and I think that’s very, very important and I think it’s a very dangerous breach of the government reach, not to rhyme, to take those options away. And they’ve shown that taking those options away doesn’t stop people from having abortions. It makes them much less safe, and I think that it’s a very dangerous path to go down. So, I say that because, as a woman, that’s important to me, but I also would love to have a real discussion about what that is. And I don’t know if Twitter is the place. As I learned, the reaction was completely—it wasn’t a conversation—and I’m happy to lose those people as fans because I don’t feel like, if you are going to call names and say horrible things about me as a woman, or send me pictures of dead babies, like, that’s not a conversation I want to be in. But I think that’s sad because I think we should all be talking about this, as opposed to throwing shit at each other.
You just summed up a really nuanced conversation in relatively short sentences and in a way that NYLON and the women who work here are very much aligned with. I’m so glad to hear you. That was incredibly articulate, basically, which is awesome. I think that there’s something definitely going on in the last year or so with women really taking a stand to own their sexuality in a funny way. I was just thinking about everything from kicking off with Bridesmaids to the rise of Amy Schumer to sex comedies starring women, and I think that there’s something a little disruptive to the status quo about that, that I would imagine being a little scary if you’re not totally comfortable with women being raunchy, weird, sloppy, horny creatures.
Mhm, which is just a misunderstanding of what it is to be a woman if you’re not okay with that. So unfortunately, I think people need to move on. Just because one woman is representing something that is not your taste does not mean that is a wrong representation of being a woman. I’m not saying that being a woman means you have to sleep around and have sex with multiple people. I’m not saying that being a woman means you have to be chaste until marriage. Being a woman is many things and again, it’s up to us. The whole point of feminism is choice, and so to suddenly be like, “Well, I think it’s gross that Amy Schumer is like, ‘I can take a dick any time I want.’” Fine, but there have been multiple representations of men on television and in our films for years, and they’re allowed to be many different things and it’s not the definition of what a man is. It’s the same problem with diversity in our existence. If you have one representation of a race on screen, it comes to represent all their race. It’s the same thing. If you only have one representation of a woman, they come to represent and it becomes something to fight over. But I think the point is that we need more representation of the different ways you can be a woman and a strong woman or a vulnerable woman, and that’s the issue.
And I think that to make it even more nuanced, I think that’s more important in comedy, you know? To have more than one type of comedic voice heard for women or adding to a chorus, which I think is really beginning to happen. I mean, that’s easy for me to say in my office from New York…
Yeah, I live in Brooklyn, I spend lots of time in L.A., we live in big cities, and you know, I would guess mostly liberal… I grew up in San Francisco. My mom is a poet who writes about sex. I’m drinking and very open about all of that. So, I grew up around this world, I’m very comfortable. And I understand that some people may not be comfortable and they can choose not to participate in that way, but to say that it’s wrong or to not show that those women exist is an issue.