Jennifer Aniston talks feminism, marriage, pregnancy rumors with Gloria Steinem

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Yesterday was Jennifer Aniston’s 45th birthday. The day before the big day, she was in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California. She was attending The Makers Conference, and she was there to interview Gloria Steinem. More on that in a moment. It’s worth noting – because we don’t have the photos, which you can see here – that Aniston took out those long extensions she had last week and she’s back to her choppy bob. It’s also worth noting that she was wearing her engagement ring. Incidentally, there were photos of Justin Theroux in NYC yesterday. Did they spend her birthday apart? Hm. As for the Steinem interview, well… you can imagine where the conversation went:

Typically, Jennifer Aniston is the one answering the questions, but on Monday, the tables were turned for the actress when she was asked to interview Gloria Steinem. E! News has exclusively learned the 45-year-old beauty recently participated in THE MAKERS Conference, a two-day event held at Terranea Resort and Spa in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., where 50 of the most innovative and impactful women across varying fields gather to discuss the evolution of the women’s movement.

On Monday evening, Jane Lynch, Marlo Thomas, Sheryl Sandberg and Martha Stewart took their seats in the front row at the small venue, which seated about 100 people, trying to blend into the crowd in order to let the spotlight shine on longtime activist Gloria Steinem. Kara Swisher of Revere Digital served as the emcee of evening, introducing Aniston in a nonchalant manner before the former Friend took the stage.

The Horrible Bosses star looked flawless in an all-black ensemble, sporting a form-fitting tank, slacks and four-inch peep-toe pumps. She added gold accessories to her classy look, wearing thin gold-framed eye glasses and a long gold chain necklace. As for her signature locks? Aniston’s hair appeared freshly cut and extension free as the actress rocked a cute bob style.

Justin Theroux’s other half opened by saying, “I don’t do this, I’m an actress” as if to imply she had no idea how to conduct an interview although her poised and confidant demeanor could’ve fooled the entire crowd. She furthered, “When Makers reached out to me, and when I found out who I’d be interviewing, I of course had to accept.”

The two women bonded over their feminist values and Aniston appeared authentically interested in every word Gloria was saying. At certain points during the interview, she even stopped and asked Gloria to explain things further.

“The public has a great interest in our personal lives,” Aniston said. “I know you’ve come up against this, and I certainly have too – where being a woman and our value and our worth is basically associated with our marital status or whether or not we have procreated,” Aniston said.

“Well, I guess we’re in deep s–t!” Gloria replied laughingly.

To which Aniston echoed, “Well, that’s what I thought, we are in deep s–t!”

Jennifer also applauded Steinem for her efforts, “I thank you and honor you for raising women to have a strong voice,” she said.

Gloria described herself as a “hope-aholic,” which generated a smile from Jen, who exclaimed, “I like that!”

The interview lasted about 20 minutes and all questions were directed at Gloria.

After the interview was over, Aniston gave Gloria a hug and immediately exited the stage. In addition to the interview, a short video was played at the conference which explained what feminism is about, with the theme being, how can one not be a feminist?

In the inspirational clip, Alicia Keys, Chelsea Handler, Oprah Winfrey, Margret Cho, Katie Couric, and Sara Silverman [all self-proclaimed "makers" a term coined by the organization] expressed what feminism meant to them. MAKERS is a digital platform for women to showcase their experiences through story, founded by Dyllan McGee and developed by AOL and PBS.

[From E! News & People]

For the love of… twenty minutes with Gloria Steinem and Jennifer managed to bring the conversation around to the constant pregnancy rumors, which just fans the flames of those rumors even further. Ugh. But I will bite my tongue. Even though I don’t have any interest in Jennifer Aniston’s particular brand of feminist theory, I think women should stop nit-picking each other’s definitions of feminism and how we self-identify our feminism. There’s more that unites us than divides us.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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138 Responses to “Jennifer Aniston talks feminism, marriage, pregnancy rumors with Gloria Steinem”

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  1. What says:

    Ironic, isn’t it, that there is great detail in the article about how JA LOOKS? Isn’t a key premise of the feminist movement to rise above just LOOKS?

  2. Andrea1 says:

    Probably because that’s the only thing she has going on… If its not the hair, its marriage or baby talk.. Nothing else. And that’s such a shame if you ask Me :(

  3. Jaded says:

    How in the name of feminism do people like Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler become “Makers”? If it’s by doing a YouTube prank singing “I’m f*cking Matt Damon” or smearing Angelina Jolie publicly then I guess that’s what makes a good feminist….*shakes head in disbelief*….

    • lisa2 says:

      I think they were there because all the REAL “makers” were out actually Making a Difference

      I like Sarah..so I’m not going there. The other. meh.

      It is interesting that when you are interviewing a woman that really spoke to Feminism.. you talk about what Tabloid are saying about your life. I think Jennifer is stuck in one gear.. no matter what the situation.

      • pleaseicu says:

        Chelsea and Sarah weren’t there though. They were shown speaking about what feminism means to them in the “celeb” clip shown at the end of the interview, along with Oprah and Alicia Keys and others.

        I”m all for ragging on Chelsea though because she’s awful in general, not just from a feminist perspective but from a being a decent person perspective. Sarah is problematic with some of her stand-up but much less problematic than Chelsea IMO and I generally like Sarah.

        Jane Lynch, Marlo Thomas, Sheryl Sandberg and Martha Stewart were the “celebs” in attendance for the actual interview.

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      @Jaded, who wrote: “How in the name of feminism do people like Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler become “Makers”? If it’s by doing a YouTube prank singing “I’m f*cking Matt Damon”

      Okay, I ‘will’ go there, not only because I like Sarah Silverman, but because the woman is SO much more than the “I’m F–king Matt Damon” joke that just happened to go viral on YouTube.

      The “I’m F–king Matt Damon” thing was all about Jimmy Kimmel, whom Sarah was dating, and the running joke he had by always ending his show with “My apologies to Matt Damon, but we’ve run out of time.” He did that for 1 or 2 years until Matt Damon finally came on his show (they’re actually very good friends in real life). As soon as Damon sat down Jimmy Kimmel looked at the camera and said “I’m sorry folks, that’s all the time we have tonight” and Damon got up and cursed Kimmel out all the way off the set. Of course, the whole ‘diss/goof on Matt Damon thing was a running gag they both participated in, and the “I’m f–king Matt Damon” skit was just a part of all of that.

      Aside from that … Sarah has had her own TV show, has done stand up comedy, and has been in films … and she did it all on her own. I think that’s the very definition of a ‘Maker.”

  4. Jem says:

    Please — 45 is old enough to stop womb-watching this chick, right? Even if there are a few eggs left in her hen-house, is there anybody left who honestly still believes she intends to use them?
    If she wanted children of her own, she would have had them by now.

    • nofkksgiven says:

      its pretty obvious she doesn’t want any children and probably never has. and that’s just fine.

      you just wonder at what point, can she just come out and say that, instead of not addressing these pregnancy rumors that seem to come out of “nowhere” every so often, just say, hey i’m not pregnant and I’m not going to be, i have no intentions on adding a child to my life. and leave it at that.

      not that she has any obligation to, but it seems like if the rumors are such a nuisance or really overshadow her career – why not just dead it?

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        OR she could just insist that she isn’t asked that question (about marriage or babies) in interviews. She does have veto power. At this point, I’d rather hear her talk about her margarita fountain (which sounds AMAZING) than hear her talk about her maybe wedding, and her maybe babies.

    • Sumodo1 says:

      “a few eggs left in her hen-house”–and Jen, YOU win the Internet today! FFO!

    • BooBooLaRue says:

      Yup thank you and if they are there, most biologically likely they are NOT VIABLE ovum. Let’s stop the nonsense. By the by, met Gloria once and she is AWESOMELY INTELLIGENT and HUMOROUS. Love her!

    • FLORC says:

      Just give it a few more years. She’ll stop talking about her womb and start talking about adoption. Right now her PR is transitioning from jen having a baby to Jen adopting anyways.

      I do think more of Aniston than just Hair, looks, womb, and dating talk, but she doesn’t seem to.

  5. Lilo says:

    I don’t really like her, but this “our value and our worth is basically associated with our marital status or whether or not we have procreated”…100% this. I bet someone wrote it for her, if not, I am seriously impressed. Anyways, the message is clear and I think she is spot on.

  6. Renee says:

    When I was a kid I always thought that Gloria Steinem resembled Cathy, the comic strip character and thought that it was odd that it was never commented on and also ironic given that Cathy seemed like the antithesis of Gloria Steinem.

    I don’t think that I can bring myself to comment on anything else in the article.

  7. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    Oh.

    OH.

    It was ‘feminist values’ that told her to do all those interviews about how crazy people were for wanting her to be married and barefoot and pregnant–despite her repeated insistence that it was what she wanted out of life, and that it was happening ‘soon’.

    Oh.

    Damn ‘feminist values’!!!!

  8. JojoAnn says:

    People are bound to start carping on about “why doesnt she just declare that she doesnt want marriage and kids”. Well, let me just say maybe she isnt sure, maybe she does want those things but only under her terms and she certainly owes nobody “her truth”. She is perfectly entitled to lie about these things if she pleases. Happy Birthday to her.

    • FingerBinger says:

      She’s 45 years old though, you still think she’s unsure about wanting children?

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        That’s what kills me. She was what, 36, 37 when she got divorced? That’s not a spring chicken, in terms of wanting to have kids–biological kids. I don’t understand how she can date the guys that she dates, but then declare that she really, really wants to have kids and get remarried soon. Which would be fine–if she didn’t deny or talk about pregnancy rumors all the time, or insinuate that people who want her to be married and have kids are narrow minded–even though that’s what she’s been telling the public for years.

        How hard is it to say that ‘Yes, I want to get married and have kids, but in my own time.’????

    • Monkey Towz says:

      I think that’s the problem. I wish she would just say something like “whatever happens, happens & I’m fine either way” instead of the obvious manipulation she does with the media.
      Hell, I’m 40, single and childless but if I got knocked up tomorrow, I would be fine with that too. Life is unpredictable, I wish she would just STFU about
      it!

      • Miss T says:

        I’m not particularly fond of Jennifer. I find her kind of annoying. But, to be fair, she has indeed said things like “if it happens, it happens” when asked about the pregnancy rumors.

      • Esmom says:

        I’m with Miss T, I don’t think she’s been calculating with the baby stuff. I’m thinking anything could have happened to affect why she didn’t have kids — from infertility to a simple change of heart for whatever reason. And her feelings have likely evolved/changed over the years. So do lots of people’s. I said I didn’t want to have kids and then I did. People I know wanted kids but didn’t or couldn’t. Yet JA gets raked over the coals for something so personal, as if she betrayed us somehow. It’s bizarre.

      • Cecilia says:

        @ Miss T

        Yes, she has said “if it happens, it happens.”

        Feminism has become so convoluted & confusing. It seems like no one even understands what it means anymore. Feminism to me means personal freedom not something that you have to adhere to — that’s just another trap.

      • Francine says:

        She has said that, specifically, in at least two interviews in the past couple of years.

      • Monkey Towz says:

        That’s right, I forgot that she said that.
        Maybe I’m just projecting, lol

      • sophie says:

        Actually, she did say just that. Its the tabs that keep up the poor jen stories, not her. I don’t understand why some people insist that she calls the tabs and tells them to write poor jen, dumped jen, lonely jen, pregnant jen stories. Who would want that stuff constantly written about them. The only one who benefits are the tabs, so they keep repeating the poor jen stories over and over.

      • Sal says:

        Sophie its been pointed out numerous times on here how the tabloid attention benefits her and how heragent, Huvane has been caught out calling the tabloids and then calling back to deny once published.

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:

        @Esmom, who wrote: “So do lots of people’s. I said I didn’t want to have kids and then I did. People I know wanted kids but didn’t or couldn’t. Yet JA gets raked over the coals for something so personal, as if she betrayed us somehow.”

        (Blinks) Who posting on this thread has “raked Jen over the coals?” It’s not about whether or not she wants children, it’s the (often PR driven) game she plays with the ‘speculation’ people are commenting on.

  9. The Original G says:

    So, the take-away here, is that Gloria thinks that Jen is a victim too. It’s society.

    I’ve heard Gloria speak in person, and I can’t believe this is the sound bite of the night. “Stop picking on Rachel Green. She’s just like Gloria Steinem.”

  10. pleaseicu says:

    Aniston should fire her PR person. She participates in a feminist thinktank weekend, something she’s not known to do and steps outside of her comfort zone, and the only question from her 20-minute interview of Gloria Steinem that gets covered in the clearly publicist-driven article is the 10-second tidbit about marriage and procreation. Seriously? Her publicist sucks.

  11. Greata says:

    Jennifer Aniston…talking about feminist values…the same Jennifer Aniston who for the last 10 year or so has been milking her one time association/marriage to a man so as to remain relevant? Feminism….DO NOT MAKE ME LAUGH !!!!!!!!!!

  12. dizzylucy says:

    While I probably would have chosen someone else for this (Tina? Mindy?) I think the general topic of marriage/children is definitely relevant to the discussion. Almost all female celebrities are still asked about that as much if not more than about their work, and definitely male celebrities aren’t to the same extent. There are still a lot of people who think a woman’s life isn’t fulfilled unless she’s a wife and mother, regardless of whatever else she has going on. I think it’s a valid subject for discussion between women in the public eye.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      How many actually are asked though? I’m asking this honestly. Because, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever read an interview where the interviewer outright asked the celeb if they were going to get married and have kids–not a female celeb. I’ve seen the response brought up by the celeb (so I’m not sure if it was asked of them, but we just don’t know because it’s in an essay format)—the only time I’ve ever heard someone straight out asked about getting married and having kids was Leonardo DiCaprio, when he was promoting ‘The Great Gatsby’.

      • dizzylucy says:

        I see it all the time – maybe the interviewer is a bit more subtle about it, but almost every article or interview about a female celebrity will venture into the “do you want a family” territory, or the “do you want more kids” and “how do you balance it all” questions. We’ve talked about it multiple times with articles on this site, how men aren’t asked about it in the same ways.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Well I maybe I’m not reading the entire article, because I can’t really pull up an example. There’s Jennifer, and that ‘Girls’ girl from yesterday who talked about it–but was she asked, or did she volunteer???

    • littlestar says:

      I wonder why they chose Aniston to interview her? Maybe Gloria Steinem requested her??? It’s possible. Personally, I’d probably want someone I knew or at least admired from a distance to interview me.

  13. Maya says:

    It was a disgrace to let Jennifer interview such a wonderful woman like Gloria Steinem because Jennifer doesn’t have the intelligence to pull of interviewing such a wonderful woman. As usual Jennifer just had to insert something about her herself so that people will talk about her. Why not just focus on the person you interview completely? To much to ask from a famehungry person like Jennifer I guess.

    Jennifer thinks being a feminist is to lie on the beach and drink vodka and show of your bikini body. She also keeps on and on about how she was happy being single but whenever she is in a relationship she claims she is the happiest ie meaning she needs a man to make her happy. She never stops talking about her personal life and had pity parties for years after being dumped. Infact she created this while poor Jennifer image after her divorce and uses it even after being dumped by several men after her divorce. And if she was a true feminist then she would come right out and admit she never wanted children.

    As for Chelsea Handler – are you freaking kidding me? Chelsea thinks feminism is about sleeping her way up, bitching about fellow women and their children. She has never done anything remotely nice to other women. Infact Chelsea enjoys putting women – who has succeeded in a man world – down.

    PS: For me personally – a feminist is someone who succeeds in her professional life and personal life. Someone who manages to balance her career with its demands and at the same time also finds time to spend with family. Someone who doesn’t bitch about fellow women and instead try to make sure other women are given the support they need to also success in this male dominant world. Someone like Hilary Clinton, Queen Rania of Jordan, Aung San Suu Kyi, Angelina Jolie and many more. These women have succeeded to stand tall in their chosen profession without losing their femininity.

  14. Soulsister says:

    The conference looked as though it appeared to be a navel gazing exercise to me. Looking at the list of some of those in attendance, I can image that most of their issues are a million miles away from the issues faced by ordinary women around the world on a daily basis. I think that Tina Brown’s ‘Women in the World’ Conferences offer a much better reflection of what effects woman especially on a global level.

    Inviting Jennifer Aniston to discuss feminism, a woman’s whose movie career is built around taking her clothes off and whose life revolves around her hair is kind of a travesty.

    Gonna wait for hear about the Sexual Violence Conference in June, co-chaired by Angelina Jolie to get a truer understanding of proper issues that affect women.

  15. Kiddo says:

    Sorry to be the detractor here, but she’s right. There is far too much emphasis on the importance or status of being a mother for women. No one knows for certain that Aniston plants stories about ‘the bump’. Maybe that narrative is damaging to her self esteem. The entire thing started because someone essentially blamed her for the demise of her marriage to Brad for not wanting to have children. That is not fair. Maybe she thought about it since and changed her mind. Women can be ambivalent to the thought of offspring, it doesn’t automatically make them selfish or calculating.

  16. Luca26 says:

    This is the Jennifer Aniston I dislike. She’s a hypocrite for critiquing the media’s obsession with her womb and marital state without acknowledging how much she’s contributed to the speculation and how much her career has depended on that speculation.
    If she just once acknowledged how much the attention about her personal life has helped her career I might like her but she always has to play the martyr.

  17. darkdove says:

    i still dont andurstand how chelsea handler can have all this celebrity friends she is the kind of person that attacks you if you are not her friend chelsea handler is not a feminist, wasnt being a feminist about liverating women of male opresion and giving women the same opportunities men had, i dont when that change so that instead of helping other women it meant shaming them about their past and calling them sluts for years to me this women behave more like the males who refused to marry a woman if she wasnt a virgin is macho vehavior like when other women say you hit like a girl or call men ladies to shamed them as if being a woman was bad, to me angelina is the real feminist she has done as she wants owns her own life proudly has not back down or shied away from anything or denies her past i think she is an inspiration a role model for other young women who are not in a good place to say she did it she survived she has acomplished so much in so little time I can do as she does to with out the fear of being attack by other women for having a past.

  18. MSat says:

    As a child of the 70′s, Gloria Steinem is an icon to me! I can think of a thousand questions I would have asked her instead of this baloney. And as a former journalist, can I just say that it’s horrible form to make an interview all about you? Ugh.

  19. Sal says:

    Will.she.please.stop.talking.about.having.babies. She is so manipulative and transparent.

  20. db says:

    Is there anyplace to watch the interview? I’d like to see it

  21. Bea says:

    People would not be asking her if she didn’t put herself on the cover of People magazine and talk about getting married and having kids.

    Hypocrital famewhore.

  22. zyfoo says:

    dinner jacket with cargo pants!!! really!!!!

  23. CaribbeanLaura says:

    I am not a feminist. I was taking about it with my friend and I think that I am a ‘humanist’ I really just wish that people everywhere are given equal oppurtunities. Whether those oppurtunities end in failure or sucess is not the issue, the fact is they should be available. I however reserve the right to comment upon anyone, man or woman who I think are doing something stupid or wrong. I rejoice when I see strong, smart, intelligent women, just like I rejoice when I see strong, smart, intelligent men. A woman can be a housewife or a president, just like a man can be a high powered CEO or a stay at home dad. It’s their choice.

    PS. is ‘humanist’ a real word? I made it up, but it may be like an actual word.

    • Cecilia says:

      Humanist is indeed a real word. I love your comment & agree with you.

    • db says:

      This is going to sound argumentative, sorry about that — BUT I feel like you pleading for humanism is just another way to avoid women’s concerns by rolling it into a catchall a word that renders our specific concerns and issues — women’s issues — invisible. It’s a slick way to sound progressive while ignoring real problems. So every time I hear someone tout humanism, I think “women will be shat on til the end of time at this rate.”

      On the other hand Humanistic values (which is a real thing) and “feminism” should be essentially the same thing, they both aspire to equal opportunity, which is certainly more controllable than equal outcome. There is no meaningful difference between your lovely sentiments about humanism, and feminism. They are not mutually exclusive, or shouldn’t be – it shouldn’t be taken that one word is good and the other bad.

      • CaribbeanLaura says:

        Hi, trust me I didn’t mean to downplay women’s rights at all. I honestly don’t know enough about feminism on an educational level. It’s just that I see sometimes feminism is touted as, ‘Support my fellow women no matter what’ and I don’t agree with that. But I do understand what you say when feminism falls under humanism.

        ETA: honestly I am sometimes very weary about posting on topics like these because I really don’t think that I’m well versed in them. I mean commenting on hot guys is easy, but on the more serious topics I am often very afraid of coming off sounding stupid. I have ideas and thoughts, but I’m sooo afraid that if I express them that someone will shut me down hard. That being said once again I really didn’t mean to offend anyone.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        It is completely unnecessary to feel afraid to express your views. As long as you do so respectfully, it doesn’t matter how other people react. Part of educating yourself on more serious issues is engaging in conversation. Hey, just say upfront that your not well-versed in “whatever subject” but these are your opinions. Believe me, posters will be happy to agree/disagree or simply try to sway you to their viewpoint. Then it is up to you as to whether or not they have made a reasonable and cogent argument for their ideas that you can get behind! Just by reading threads you will be able to see who posts with reason and who just goes off. Don’t take the screamers seriously, no one should.

      • Just Passing Through says:

        Great advice, Tulip! :)

  24. kellyinseattle says:

    Aniston a feminist…what a crock. !

  25. Susan says:

    This is a joke, right? What has Aniston done that is so strong, so female-empowering?

    She has spent the better part of a decade clinging to whatever guy she can find, giving interviews about her personal life, her hair, her body, her uterus. She strings her fans along with the idea of her getting married and having kids and then has the nerve to wonder why people ask about it?

    She is a pathetic, stuttering mess of a person who cannot speak in complete sentences unless they are written in a script and we are supposed to take her seriously when she is sitting down with what I thought was an icon.

    Jen, maybe you need to go back to what you know and go wonder why your “fiance” is out partying with his guy friends on your birthday on the other side of the country.

    Or are we not supposed to wonder until it’s on the next cover of People or US as and “Exclusive”.

  26. Harriet Craig says:

    Jennifer Anniston is an empty suit. Why was this lightweight invited to “interview” Gloria?

  27. Bobcat says:

    Ugh. A 20 minute conversation with Gloria Steinem and all the media picks up on is her passing reference to the media focus on her marital status and pregnancy rumors? Kind of proving her point there aren’t you? At this point, whose fault is it, yours or hers?

  28. Chigirl says:

    Just wanted to say in response to those who feel Ms Aniston does not try to play up the pregnancy rumours and speculation; have you not seen the photos of her deliberately holding a purse in front of her abdomen or wearing loose fitting clothes while holding her arms in awkward positions to draw the eye to her midsection? Like the picture above in the blazer? She’s ridiculously obvious in her attempts to garner the pregnancy talk.

  29. Leila in wunderland says:

    A feminist is basically a person who wants social and political equality among the sexes. I like the quote: “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” I don’t know that much about Jennifer Anniston, but if those are her beliefs, then I would say she is a feminist, no matter what she looks like or has done with her physical appearance. To me, saying that another woman can’t be one because of something she has done with her physical appearance is one of the most shallow, counter-productive, and hypocritical things a feminist can say. To do this reduces the movement to being more about what women choose to do with their looks than anything else. Like a middle school clique

  30. Sue says:

    I appreciated their remarks.

    As a woman on this planet, you are a) expected to have at least one kid and b) valued more highly if you are married. You earn trust and social currency for accomplishing each of these things, and if you “fail” on either count, and certainly if you “fail” on both, you are suspect.

    So I like it that Aniston and Steinem addressed this in a humorous way and on their own terms. :)