We’re pretty sure every woman has experienced this at least once. You say something others don’t like, and someone labels you a bitch behind your back — not just to insult you, but to discredit your point of view. Actress Connie Britton worries about being “perceived as a bitch,” she told SHE Media at the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit. But she doesn’t exactly endorse her own approach. In fact, Britton believes that women should “feel great” about being a bitch, and (within limits) we couldn’t agree more.
Discussing her first-look deal with Amazon Studios, Britton described the types of projects she’s excited to develop — and what hurdles she still sees in her path. “It’s really hard as a woman to say something that people don’t like,” the actress said frankly. “And I still really struggle with trying to be nice about it, making sure everybody’s feeling okay … [and] trying to suggest that we might try a different way, but ‘it’s cool, we’re cool…'”
Britton trailed off, palpable exhaustion in her voice. Everyone in the audience (or maybe just us) silently thought back to the many ways we, as women, have been asked to mitigate others’ emotions in the workplace. “Ultimately,” Britton concluded, “having a concern that I’m going to be perceived as a bitch.”
While you might think (or hope) that this fear fades as you gain more power and advance in your career, Britton has found it to be quite the opposite. “The more I’m getting into producing and the more input that I have on a set,” the Friday Night Lights star explained, “the more I really bump up against that.” She knows that this fear of how she’s perceived is partly personal, but recognizes the impulse on a larger level too: “It’s a cultural expectation that women are supposed to behave a certain way,” she said. “I have to fight against [this sense of] ‘Who do you think you are?'”
At this point, SHE Media VP of video programming Reshma Gopaldas turned to the crowd: “Who else feels like they don’t want to be a bitch?” she asked. “Wait!” Britton interjected. “Who feels great about being a bitch?” As scattered cheers erupted in the crowd, Britton nodded approvingly: “I need to hang out with you a little bit more,” she said.
To all the women out there who won’t let name-calling stop them from making themselves heard: You’re awesome — and it sounds like Connie Britton is looking for friends like you.
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