Barbra Streisand, patron saint of theater geeks and funny girls everywhere, recently revealed something pretty interesting about her life and career that somewhat alienates her from the current cultural zeitgeist rushing through pop culture — but it doesn’t mean she’s not a valuable ally. We need fighters like Babs in our corner, so don’t start feeling some type of way about her recent revelation; she’s here for women no matter what.
During a 2018 PaleyFest interview with Ryan Murphy, Streisand revealed that she has never had a moment in her career, to her knowledge, that would now fall under the #MeToo umbrella. She attributed this dearth of #MeToo moments to her looks, a self-deprecating tactic the Funny Girl actor has frequently leaned on her in her career. Classic Streisand.
“I wasn’t like those pretty girls with those nice little noses,” she told Murphy, as later reported by Variety. “Maybe that’s why. I have no idea.”
And while Streisand’s career has experienced its fair share of turbulence (Variety notes that during this same interview with Murphy, she recalled butting heads with Mike Wallace and Barbara Walters during separate interviews, possibly owing to her strong personality) and she came up in Hollywood when the casting couch reigned supreme, she seems to have slipped under the radar in this one way. It’s certainly not a badge of honor, nor was Streisand trying to make it one, but it’s hard to deny that it is noteworthy.
But here’s the thing: Even though Streisand has (thankfully) been spared the career-upending tumult of sexual harassment or assault, she’s still fighting for gender equality. She is still speaking up. She may be distanced from her female peers in this one crucial area, but that doesn’t mean she cannot emotionally connect with the issues that lie at the heart of the matter. As she told Murphy at PaleyFest, “We’re in a strange time now in terms of men and women and the pendulum swinging this way and that way but it’s going to have to come to the center.”
Earlier in 2018, Streisand didn’t shy away from shining a spotlight on gender inequality and the way Hollywood hasn’t given opportunities to or honored women. At the Golden Globes, while presenting for Best Motion Picture in Drama, Streisand used her time to highlight the distressing fact that a woman hadn’t been awarded the Golden Globe for Best Directing since she nabbed it in 1984 for Yentl.
Here to present our final award of the night is someone who needs no introduction… @BarbraStreisand! She introduces the nominees for Best Motion Picture – Drama. #GoldenGlobes pic.twitter.com/Q946KYUjvH
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 8, 2018
So sure, Streisand may not be like other women in a multitude of ways, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t in the trenches with the rest of us fighting the good fight. We need her, and thankfully, she’s not going anywhere.