November 17, 2017

In a surprise speech before the Committee to Protect Journalists, Meryl Streep revealed two instances where she herself was exposed to one-on-one violence. In one case she was beaten and played dead to escape her attacker. The other incident: she and Cher interrupted a woman being mugged.

She related these incidents to the courage of women journalists, and the skills they must have in order to face the specific violence aimed at them:

"....I was changed by these events on a cellular level because women do know something particular about coming to the danger place. We come to it disadvantaged through the many millennia preceding our present moment and because of our vulnerability we anticipate danger, we expect it. We're hyper-alert to it, we have the 360 on the whole room. We have measurably more acute hearing, we have a better sense of smell, we notice details, what people are wearing, their tics and peculiarities."

Later, she heaped praise on those journalists working against totalitarian regimes (including, ahem, in the US):

"Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. You are the fourth estate, you are our first line of defense against tyranny and state-sanctioned news."

You can watch a longer clip here.

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