I’m not here for celebrity culture, but I am here for Oprah

Not everything needs to be torn apart in order to advertise progressive credibility. Sometimes good things and powerful moments can be celebrated — and this is one of those times.

I was once a young progressive on the internet, eager to position myself as Most Left with every hot take. I confidently dismissed everything as neoliberal faux-activism, not truly progressive, and certainly never good enough. It’s not difficult to do this, as these days political movements and activism, more broadly, have been co-opted by capitalist forces in many ways, and often what passes as “activism” or even as “political” is little more than narcissism, individualism, marketing, or fashion. That said, it is possible to take these critiques too far, to hunt for ways to destroy rather than to build, and too many young progressives online have learned that s/he who attacks first and most vehemently will be rewarded, regardless of the validity of the critique.

To be clear, I believe celebrity culture is a bad thing. I do not believe in turning wealthy celebrities into political leaders or political activists for no reason other than the fact they are visible, attractive, and famous. Most of these individuals are unqualified and unsuited for these positions. But I also don’t believe that every time a person who qualifies as a “celebrity” speaks, she is necessarily insincere or deserves to be dismissed. Within feminism, in particular, all women matter. Even the rich ones, even the actresses, even Oprah. Actually, especially Oprah.

On Sunday night at the Golden Globes — an evening undoubtedly usurped by female solidarity — Oprah Winfrey, media mogul, philanthropist, actress, talk show host, and yes, billionaire, was honoured with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” She is the first black woman to receive the award. A long of list people I don’t find particularly interesting or important, but who are viewed as very interesting and important due to their ability to succeed in Hollywood, have been recipients of the Cecil B. DeMille Award over the past 75 years. I say this not as an insult to these individuals, most of whom I know little about (with the exception of Woody Allen, who deserves all the insults we can muster), but because I don’t generally find actors to be very interesting. In general, they are overly made up, very small, orange-tinted narcissists with plastic surgery that has become normalized on screen but looks creepy in real life. In general, these people are not people who tend to offer particularly brilliant or informed cultural, social, or political insights. Oprah, on the other hand, is interesting and important. Both as a woman and as a recipient of this particular award.

Oprah is not simply “a celebrity.” She is not just “a rich woman.” She is not a figurehead or a phony. Oprah, lest we forget, was born dirt poor to a teenage mother, and grew up in the inner city. She suffered sexual and physical abuse at the hands of men. She experienced oppression in the most acute, direct way, as a poor, black, woman, and has struggled with issues familiar to so many of us, as women living in a misogynist culture, as a result — from body image to depression. She is interested in people, in stories, in building a better world, and in the truth.

Her success story is not one I favour, mostly because I don’t believe billionaires should exist, and because I think the American Dream — that is, the notion that if an individual works hard enough, he or she can overcome systemic oppression (which really means, “become wealthy”) — exists as a means to distract people from effecting change that would make a difference in everyone’s lives, not just their own. But Oprah, as a woman, is our sister. And Oprah, as a woman who was presented an award at a ceremony that is generally reserved for celebrations of things that aren’t important, used this opportunity to speak for and highlight the plight of women like her mother, and like her, had she not gone on to become Oprah. In fact, despite her background and struggles, she did not speak about herself at all, but instead spoke about the women American media has historically relegated to the margins.

In her speech, which left so many of us, myself included, teary-eyed, she spoke about Recy Taylor, a black woman who was abducted and raped by six white men in Alabama who were never held to account for their actions. (Not only did these men escape punishment, claiming the rape was “consensual,” but Taylor was harassed and threatened, forced to move as a result.) She reminded us that Rosa Parks was not just a seamstress — too tired to give up her seat to a white man, that white America painted her as because this story was more digestible and comfortable than the truth — but a seasoned activist. (Indeed, Parks was the NAACP worker who became the lead investigator on Taylor’s case, and fought for justice on her behalf.) Oprah spoke about the importance of journalism and a free press. She spoke about the truth. And she spoke about all those women and girls around the world, here and gone, who have not been able to speak up for themselves. Who were not in a position to say, “Me too,” because they could not have done so and survived. Instead of thanking her colleagues in the industry, she said:

“I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.”

Oprah reminded the world that #MeToo is about all of us — about all women. There is no job or amount of money in the world that protects women from sexism and male violence, so actually the voices of wealthy actresses do matter in all of this. Importantly, there are millions of women the world doesn’t hear from, and that the world forgets, because they aren’t beautiful and famous. But divide and conquer is not a strategy that will achieve anything for women, as a whole. And women, as a whole, are who we are fighting for. Rape is not more tolerable inside Hollywood than out. And while we can — and must — talk about class and race divisions that make some women’s lives much harder than others’, we need not abandon anyone in the process.

Too many self-righteous leftists have dismissed the feminist movement throughout history. Women’s issues are never important enough and women’s politics are somehow always derided as misguided — a distraction from the real issues. Unless we are attacking one another, we seem to always be doing it wrong. The right, of course, pushes this narrative as well. Just last month, a Trump-supporting “street artist” put posters of Meryl Streep up around Los Angeles with the words “she knew” on them, in an effort to blame her for Harvey Weinstein’s abuses. Conditioned to choose solidarity with men, women fall too easily and too often into this trap, going after sisters rather than perpetrators.

That the left continues to play this game today is not only disappointing, but counterproductive. Every movement, every action, every woman who speaks is dismissed as too privileged, too rich, too middle class, too educated, too white, too employed, too “cis,” too politically flawed, too pretty, too old, too somethingtoo anything — to speak and to be worth listening to. This case is no different. Time’s Up, which dominated the Golden Globes, saw a number of actresses bring activist women as their “dates,” and speak about sexism on the red carpet instead of designers. This was still, according to many, shallow and purposeless. Despite the focus on working class women (Oprah herself made clear the movement was explicitly intended to go beyond “women of Hollywood,”) Time’s Up was criticized as being “privileged” and not doing enough. The #MeToo movement, which saw thousands upon thousands of women around the world boldly come forward with a truth that had previously been suppressed, ignored, and dismissed — has been written off countless times, by those who apparently can do better (but have yet to offer an alternative as visible or as galvanizing), as being about nothing more than “rich white women.” Oprah — a victim of abuse herself — was immediately subjected to an online smear campaign, as people tut tutted those celebrating her speech by sharing photos of Oprah and Weinstein, intended to make her appear both hypocritical and culpable in the man’s abuse. (As though all of us haven’t been in rooms with, shaken hands with, kissed, loved, been friends with, been neighbours, sisters, daughters, and wives to — and surely been photographed with — rapists.) She has been written off as a neoliberal, a billionaire, and a celebrity. And while she may indeed be these things (don’t get me wrong, these positions and the systems behind them deserve critique), she is also a woman who has suffered as a woman and who has bravely told the truth and used her position to galvanize people.

I don’t want a celebrity-driven, Hollywood-centric movement. I don’t want a movement that fails to address race and class. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want women who are actresses, who have money, or who are “celebrities” to speak out and to declare solidarity with other women. It certainly doesn’t mean I don’t want a woman like Oprah, who is powerful, who has changed lives, and who, on Sunday, used that power to speak about real women and real women’s lives — women who have historically been silenced. This was — and is — an important moment. Not everything needs to be torn apart in order to advertise progressive credibility. Sometimes good things and powerful moments can be celebrated — and this is one of those times.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • BornACrone

    They’ve started to use Oprah as a weapon against Hillary, too — playing the Ginger-and-Maryann game of turning one into the popular girl and the other into the plain girl.

    It pissed me off for about three milliseconds until I realized what they were trying to do: GET US AT ONE ANOTHER’S THROATS AGAIN. The idea that women can unify scares the shit out of them until it runs down their legs. And if they can start a catfight between Hillary voters and Oprah fans, that will defang this movement.

    I refuse to play that game. I will not be Balkanized. I will not be turned against ANY woman. I will NOT take that bait. And goddamn it, if Oprah decides to run for president, I’m voting for her. Sure, I’d prefer someone with real political experience, a Gillibrand or a Harris (or a Clinton). But since we’ve already decided that political experience isn’t necessary and celebrities are fair game, I will be goddamned straight to hell if I will hold a woman to a stricter standard than society is prepared to hold a man to, particularly one so accomplished and whose career was built on the premise that ordinary women’s experiences and emotional lives were to be ennobled and taken seriously in front of a national audience FOR AN HOUR EVERY DAY.

    And at least she’s a REAL business tycoon who actually earned every penny she has instead of just sucking at Daddy’s wallet.

    If she looks like she is going to storm the battlements, then she’s got my sword at her beck and call. And anyone who looks down on me for it can go fuck themselves. Anyone who tries to make my hate her by dangling catfight bait in front of my nose by comparing her to Hillary is in for a rude-ass shock. If this is where things are at now in American politics, we can do much, much, MUCH WORSE than choosing a wildly successful woman with real experience of sex- and race-based oppression, a survivor of violence who never gave up, and a workaholic who earned every cent she has by shining a spotlight on the private struggles of ordinary women the world over. And she has years of experience at spotting lies and bullshit and calling it out publicly.

    • Tinfoil the Hat

      WOO-HOO! You are on FIRE!

  • FierceMild

    Absolutely agree, Ms. Murphy. Oprah is a leader; she’s almost a force of nature. She has chosen to use her power and position for the good of those who have no power or position. She deserves respect and reverence. Oprah’s blackness is also important because she is living proof that a black woman can represent ‘humanity’ as a whole. I believe her actions will help more of women find the courage to use our powers for good.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Agree!

    • lk

      One thing I like about Oprah is that she never forgets or hides where she comes from. Yes, Oprah is filthy rich now, but it doesn’t seem like she has ever forgotten what it is to be poor nor does it seem like she is quick to throw people of the working class under the bus

      I think its a mistake to dismiss someone who is currently wealthy as automatically being disconnected from or unwilling to help the working class or the very poor. Some people who become wealthy use their voice, their power and their money to help people who have been screwed by the sexist systems males have created.

      I find it odd that the Time’s up/ #metoo movement is being criticized as being about the privileged (and whatever privilege these women in Hollwood had certainly did not protect them from sexual harassment, losing out on jobs because they refused to sleep with someone and so on)–when the movement has gone so much further than hollwood actresses and has included woc’s, women from low-income backgrounds and etc. For example, the link below that talks about female farm workers signing a letter in solidarity with women in hollywood who spoke out about sexual assaults.

      My favorite line from their letter: “Even though we work in very different environments, we share a common experience of being preyed upon by individuals who have the power to hire, fire, blacklist and otherwise threaten our economic, physical and emotional security. Like you, there are few positions available to us and reporting any kind of harm or injustice committed against us doesn’t seem like a viable option. Complaining about anything — even sexual harassment — seems unthinkable because too much is at risk, including the ability to feed our families and preserve our reputations.”

      http://time.com/5018813/farmworkers-solidarity-hollywood-sexual-assault/

    • Topazthecat

      Oprah isn’t doing any good for women when she promotes harmful sexist,Mars and Venus Gender myths,Violet Blue a woman pornographer,and Fifty Shades of Grey!

      On Oprah’s site featured in her O Magazine July 2007 Violet Blue’s picks of Quality Adult Films For Women

      http://www.oprah.com/relationships/quality-adult-films-for-women

      Pro-pornography Violet Blue on Oprah

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5y7R28ZswM

  • Hekate Jayne

    lk said in the What’s Current thread about how the media is reporting on the golden globes and the women there with shit like “solidarity is sexy”.

    That is because the media is a male system. And males retain power by utilizing all of the male driven systems simultaneously so we are constantly bombarded with how “society” views issues while males manipulate the message into one that benefits them.

    So of COURSE, they are going to shit all over Oprah and the message that she was conveying. Because she expressed solidarity with ALL of us, and she was very clear. Male media can’t attack that message without it being obvious what they are doing. So males do what they are masters at doing—they manipulate, they obscure the message, and the best way to do that is to attack the woman.

    I don’t care about rich people (side eyeing you, France, and that letter from a few rich French women….), and I tend to be annoyed by rich women because they are rich usually from pandering to males and selling us out (again. France.) Oprah is very definitely an exception as she actually is a success story that didn’t inherit wealth.

    And if she is annoying males, that just makes me like her even more.

    • Cassandra

      Don’t you love how there’s always someone to come around and scold anyone who makes *any* generalization? So we all have to write things like this if we write anything at all:

      “…annoyed by rich women because they are rich usually from pandering to males and selling us out (again, France, except not all France, of course. Of course there are many women who are disgusted by that ridiculous piece and I am not impugning all the women of France, only the rich ones who signed that letter, of course.)

      OR

      When men rape us (not all men, of course, because there are some wonderful men who are disgusted by rape, so I am certainly not lumping all men in with the rapists.)

      And on and on.

      God forbid anybody write short sentences or generalize, ever. Because unless you qualify everything you say with “not all…” everybody will think that you mean ALL THE WOMEN OF FRANCE. ALL the women of France are rich and totally support that letter. Oh, that’s not what you meant? I haz so confused.

      s/

      • Hekate Jayne

        I actually said exactly this:
        “A FEW RICH French women……”

        And here is something. An hour before I answered this notallfrenchwomen, a woman wrote a post in What’s Current, saying that she hoped that we didn’t think badly of the entirety of France. She wasn’t addressing me, she was just chatting.

        So I posted to her that, of course, we don’t think that France is evil. Then an hour later, I received this little verbal slap, lol.

        You and I, Cassandra, are in the states. I certainly don’t want to be lumped in with a lot of USA crap. And I am sure that women worldwide don’t lump us all in together.

        But perhaps dudebro is tired of notallmenning, and now he has found a fresh way of nitpicking women with France. Redletter day for dudebro! Notallfrenchwomen!!

  • lk

    I swear, Meghan read my mind with this article..she highlighted my favorite part of Oprah’s speech:”I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue.”

    I loved that Oprah talked about the many women who don’t have voice, who have no option but to remain in jobs or relationships where there is abuse in order to eat, have clothing.

    One thing that annoyed me when so many Hollywood actresses came forward was that people kept saying things like: Well, if you are being abused at work just get another job. Or if there is abuse in that field, don’t work there.

    If only it were so simple….Many women are not in a position to just get another job. For many women (especially in countries with no social safety net or a very weak welfare system), they may have to continue working at a job where there is abuse simply to survive. And in pretty much every single job field, women are abused.

    I believe there is a time to criticize, but there is also a time to recognize when people with power are doing something right…and give them praise for that. Right now, many of the women in Hollywood are being a voice for the voiceless and giving hope to women who have felt alone and lost in their situations.

    Right now the #metoo, time’s up movement gives me hope because it is not just liberal nonsense about choice…there is actual acknolwedgment of how sexism keeps women out of jobs, traps them in jobs where there is abuse, traps them in poverty.

  • Alienigena

    I remember expressing a liking for Oprah (I had been watching her show on occasion since 1982) in 1996 to a fellow filmmaker at an artist run centre and hearing his contempt for my feelings and Oprah. I think I mentioned Streep in another article (credulity around her not hearing any stories about harassment or abuse) because as someone who is never really in the loop re: gossip I still heard the gossip about relationships between professors and students while attending university. I don’t hear gossip now but that is because I don’t tend to socialise at work at all. I grant that it is possible to not be aware of such things if you are focused on your own career and business. But given my experience in a family of willful unknowers. I will admit to maintaining some skepticism. But the responsible parties are still male and institutional in any case.

    I have more reservations about electing another celebrity to office than the writer. I think of Justin Trudeau as a celebrity more than a politician and he was elected at least a year before Trump was. Trudeau has been in the public eye since he was a child and he is treated more like a rock star than a prime minister. He apparently sees himself more as a figure head than a working politician which isn’t appropriate as we already have the Governor General for ceremonial activities without political import. I really like Oprah but wouldn’t vote for her. She supports medical practitioners who promote pseudoscience (e.g. Dr. Oz) and I have had it with people like that. I have a real chronic illness that cannot be wished away or positively thought into non-existence. I have to say I feel a bit enraged by the quacks and misinformation spreading celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow and anti-vax celebrities) that currently have significant influence over what people believe and how they behave (refuse to vaccinate their children).

  • Rachael

    Thank you so much for this! I got teary watching her speech too. I love Oprah and there’s no bloody way I’m falling for this ridiculous smear campaign to silence her (and the rest of us). Sure, she’s a celebrity, and yes she’s rich, but why does that automatically mean she’s worthless? We have better brains than that.

  • northernTNT

    Excellent Meghan.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you!

  • Marla

    Great read. However, I fear Hollywood and its fuckstain celebrity culture offspring will turn the #MeToo movement into another pseudo-drama. Why?

    “Women’s issues are never important enough and women’s politics are somehow always derided as misguided”

    That’s why.

  • Carmen Chesson

    Great angle on this. I’m one of the heavily critical ones as celeb culture is malignant and the movement does feel like it has become Hollywood-centric. Oprah’s speech was potent because she is wonderfully articulate, acknowledged other classes of women “whose names we’ll never know” and comes at this from the vantage of genuinely enduring hardship and abuse herself.

    You are absolutely correct in that we shouldn’t be going after Oprah on this, but the dozens of men whose (pseudo) solidarity pin wearing was accompanied by deafening silence once again.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I am and have always been veeeeery critical of celebrity culture, elevating celebrities to ‘feminist icon’ status, and of, general, positioning wealthy neoliberals as feminist leaders (I mean, you can see all my commentary around Beyonce, for ex), but I do think Oprah is different, in ways, and that her speech was excellent. I was mostly frustrated at the immediate attempts by leftists to one up one another by tearing her down. Her voice matters and her experiences matter. She did a very good thing by taking that platform at the Golden Globes to say what she did.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    I admire Oprah for what she has overcome, and for her tremendous and underappreciated acting talent. I am glad she spoke out.

    The “Dear Sisters” letter from the “Hollywood Women” – meh. It’s not just wealthy celebrities *or* blue collar, low-paid women who are harassed and assaulted. It’s every goddamn woman who is born to this earth. The “we see you, poor brown ladies and we so very much respect the scutwork you perform because we will not do it and we’re starting a Legal Defense Fund for you!” just rang very hollow for me. Seriously? The woman who rips your pubic hair out by the roots or cleans your posh hotel toilet or minds your children or picks crops needs a lawyer? Sure. That’s exactly what she needs.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes totally. Women are ALWAYS doing it wrong. They are too smart, too inexperienced, too cold, to nice, too emotional, not emotional enough…. We just can’t win.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks Danny!

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    Hmmm. Brilliant idea, actually.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    According to Jezebel, all the #MeToo backlash is the fault of second-wave feminists. “Liberal” second-wave feminists, too boot. Which is a contradiction in terms, BTW. “Liberal” feminists are the third-wave fun feminists who brought us “enthusiastic consent!” and “sex positivity!” and other male-friendly gaslighting.

  • Joy of Resistance

    Some very good points about how they play us against each other, but I’m afraid that what is getting lost here is that Oprah DOES have a political profile and if you really look at it, it’s very much in line with the neoliberalism of both Obama and Trump!

    The sudden emergence of an “Oprah for President” social media “event” (somewhere between a “trend” and a “movement?), the day after the speech, has pressed my alarm buttons–because I remember how she backed Bill Clinton’s Welfare “reform” bill which destroyed the safety net–permanently–for so many women and attacked the very principle of government being the “last resort” for helping people (in place since the Roosevelt era). I think that she did this was not an isolated example but was in line with Oprah’s political philosophy.

    Clinton’s bill was named “The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996”. It was not a coincidence that “personal responsibility” was the central theme of Oprah’s oeuvre on TV. Her show had about 30 million viewers and a very large influence on people.

    As Bill Clinton was pushing for passage of his welfare ‘reform’ bill, Oprah presented a show entitled “Should we pay for her children?” She began by referencing the previous night’s speech in favor of the bill by Clinton. The show featured current welfare recipients and former AFDC “beneficiaries.”

    Oprah framed the purpose of the show as one in which the studio and TV audiences were to “question whether this [welfare] experiment has failed.” It was indicative of her commitment to a self-sufficiency “bootstrap” philosophy” and that all problems should be solved by individuals becoming “better” and not by society collectively.

    It also dovetailed with her involvement with a “spirituality” group/belief system called “The Secret”, which pushed a pseudo-scientific ‘law of attraction’ which claims that thoughts can change the world directly. Oprah did many shows featuring “The Secret”–whose philosophy fit in perfectly with the the right wing ideology that everything is up to the individual–quintessential neoliberalism.

    Oprah’s rags-to-riches story has, unfortunately been used to prove that government entitlements are “handouts” and unnecessary–and she has completely colluded with that version of her life. She has also done some very good work on encouraging women to come forward with stories of childhood abuse–as she herself has done. And she has contributed a a great deal of “charity” work (as opposed to movement building) to help people in crisis. But a great and heartfelt speech should not eclipse the neoliberal core of her beliefs.

    As tempting as it is to play with the idea of an immensely popular Black woman candidate, there is a political amnesia in the push for “Oprah for President”. I fear that Oprah as President would wind up being be a “kinder gentler” version of Paul Ryan, based on her “personal responsibility” rhetoric, that so dovetails with the approach of the right wing.

    I want to highly suggest that people read Janice Peck’s book: The Age of Oprah: Icon for a Neoliberal Era: well as Kim D. Hester Williams’ article “Fix My Life”: Oprah, post-racial economic dispossiession and Precious’ transfiguration of PUSH” https://tinyurl.com/y8zbxobv to get a fuller picture of what Oprah Winfrey represents politically. There is also some very important analysis of Oprah’s neoliberalism at blackagendareport,com

  • Meghan Murphy

    xx

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m with you on these critiques, sister! I must say, though, that I’m not particularly hopeful the US will elect someone who doesn’t have neoliberal views…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Totally. I’m so tired and frustrated at seeing women be blamed for men’s behaviour….

  • Tobysgirl

    Thank you for the book recommendation and the link. I have never seen any Oprah Winfrey movies and the article tells me why. How much responsibility does Oprah bear for the fact that young African-Americans think they are to blame for their status in society? They are, of course, having the neoliberal message pounded into their heads continuously, but a message delivered by Oprah carries far more weight than the same message delivered by [fill in your favorite white racist commentator].

  • Hanakai

    Oprah made a magnificent speech. And there is much to commend her for, she is a remarkable woman, and she has used some of her wealth to help and do good. And without doubt, she would make a better president than the present turdman in the Oval Office.

    That said, it always bothered me how science-illiterate she is and how she used her show to give credence to anti-vaxser’s like Jenny McCarthy, and how she touted unproven alternative medicines and the insane New Age ideas that if you are poor or sick, it is because you failed at positive thinking. Give me a break. The anti-vaxxer stuff was the worst —- nothing has saved more lives and been more salubrious for the public health than vaccinations. Oprah should have given equal time to autopsies on children who died from measles and other preventable diseases because stupid media gave voice to ignorant anti-vaxxers.

    Here is a piece on how Ms. WInfrey helped to create the irrational anti-science bent of Amerian culture: https://slate.com/health-and-science/2018/01/oprah-winfrey-helped-create-our-irrational-pseudoscientific-american-fantasyland.html?via=recirc_engaged

    Oprah is not going to run for president. She has a great life. She has an estate near Santa Barbara, a huge estate in upcountry Maui, a dozen other residences all over the place, the freedom to do whatever she wants. She is not going to give that up to be a prisoner of the Secret Service and the White House.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Yeah it seems unlikely she would bother putting herself through that hell, when, like you say, she enjoys a good life…

  • Marian

    Agree. I don’t know all the names you gave, but I loved the film performances of Rosanna Arquette and Mira Sorvino when they first burst on the scene. I always wondered why their promising careers suddenly halted. Now I know. This goes back over 100 years. How many gifted actresses, with cinematic presence and star potential, had their careers stalled because they didn’t conform to what their studio bosses wanted, in or out of bed?

  • Marian

    Yes, but does questioning and challenging women with wealth and power constitute betrayal? Women are fallible beings, and as with men, are equally prone to corruption and hubris.

    • Meghan Murphy

      No, that does not constitute betrayal… We are talking about blaming an individual woman for men’s violence…

  • Tobysgirl

    But Oprah’s a radical feminist, dontcha know.
    You are outlining a serious problem with women’s socialization. Years ago a woman wrote a column for our local newspaper about violence against women and asked for readers’ comments. I offered mine and she put them in another column. I used to proofread large-print books and I was sickened by many of the romance novels I read (and thereafter avoided specific authors). Let alone 50 Shades with its BDSM filth, ordinary novels had heroes (blech!) shoving women up against walls, shouting at women, giving women the silent treatment, just in general behaving badly while supposedly being sexy and desirable. I am so saddened that any woman finds being treated badly, even in her fantasies, as stimulating.

  • Dear Prudence

    If you spend every second of your life hating female celebrities then you’re a part of celebrity culture. It’s literally the definition of celebrity gossip culture. If they bother you so much than get a life and ignore them. Read a book. Go take a walk. I like Oprah too. I like a lot of the evil unmentionable white women of twitter/tumblr “Feminism.” I like Taylor SWift. “I did something bad” is a great song.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I’m not sure who you are responding to?

  • Rich Garcia

    “That the left continues to play this game today is not only disappointing, but counterproductive. Every movement, every action, every woman who speaks is dismissed as too privileged, too rich, too middle class, too educated, too white, too employed, too “cis,” too politically flawed, too pretty, too old, too something — too anything — to speak and to be worth listening to…”

    And this is what provokes white women into joining the Alternative Right, where at least the white men who are behind this movement will give you the illusion of solidarity that women of color won’t afford you. You’re better off worrying about yourselves individually.

  • skilletblonde

    She also featured porn star Jenna Jamison on her show in 2009. This really validated pornography as mainstream. I tried to find the complete interview online. It included pictures of Jamison’s mansion. That of course gave young women the impression that porn may lead to a millionaire’s lifestyle. There was no alternative views of pornography. Please ask yourself, in Oprah’s 30 year history, how many actual feminists has she interviewed? I think she finally interviewed Gloria Steinem in 2015.