Angelica Florio
November 23, 2017 2:38 pm

Alia Shawkat continues her reign as one of Hollywood’s coolest actresses. In a recent interview with Bustle, Shawkat proved she’s unafraid of speaking truth to power. Everyone knows her from her iconic role as Maeby on Arrested Development, and since growing up in Hollywood, she’s made a lot of illuminating observations regarding the industry’s culture of harassment. For Shawkat, the recent flood of sexual assault claims publicly made by women in Hollywood presents an opportunity for change. In her Bustle interview, she explains that now that people are taking the Weinstein allegations seriously.

"It’s like world therapy is happening," Shawkat said.

One of the most important things that Shawkat notes is the differences in most men’s and women’s experiences with harassment. Of course, many men fall victim to sexual assault and harassment, but as RAINN reports, 90% of adult rape victims are female. Because of this, Shawkat explains that her male friends don’t quite understand the culture of harassment which affects women differently from men. “There’s a lot of men too, very good friends of mine who have nothing to worry about. They’ve never done anything predatory, but they’re like, ‘So why didn’t you stop it? Why didn’t you go, ‘Gross. Stop!’?” Shawkat said. She continues, “That’s the core of the question. The fact that they’re like, well, if someone did something like that to me, I’d just go, ‘Stop, dude. You’re freaking me out.'”

Of course, eye-roll-worthy statements like that make every woman who’s experienced harassment feel deeply misunderstood. Luckily, public figures like Shawkat exist to make everyone feel less alone.

Shawkat doubts whether or not it’s even possible for men to understand the magnitude of the problem with sexual harassment

In her interview with Bustle, the 28 year-old says,  “There’s so many levels that men will never understand because they weren’t looked at that way their whole lives.” She goes on, describing the situation quite poetically.

“That acknowledgment is what is changing. It's like slowing down a car that's going so fast. Easy, slowly, one step at a time. Everyone's like, ‘Well, why are we stopping?!’”

With people like Shawkat in the world, we can all feel a lot better about the changes that might take place in the future. Luckily, the actress who now stars in the show Search Party has decided to use her platform to promote positive change. She explained to Bustle that before she chose to stay private, but now she understands she has power that she can use to help better society.

“There is something about having a platform that before I was kind of like, ‘Oh, I’m an actor but whatever. I’ll do the work, but you don’t need to know about my life,’ she said.

Now, glances at the actress’s Twitter shows how someone in the public eye can use their social media platforms to spread the word about issues she cares about.

Her Instagram also shows that the actress finds ways to share her feminist beliefs in highly ~fashionable ~ ways.

Shawkat will always be one of our favorites, and forever one of the coolest actresses in Hollywood. The more she speaks out about her beliefs, the better.

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