Jane Fonda blasted Donald Trump at the inaugural fundraiser for the Fund for Women’s Equality & ERA Coalition on Super Bowl Sunday. Feminist Gloria Steinem also attended the event, which took place at Caroline’s on Broadway.
On the red carpet, Fonda slammed Donald Trump, calling him “dangerous” and “racist.” She said that his comments about Muslims would drive them “closer to the terrorists.”
It was a heavy-duty pro-Hillary Clinton crowd featuring feminist icon Gloria Steinem, along with Rosie O’Donnell and actress Christine Lahti. (Everyone gave Bernie Sanders love for pointing out problems, but agreed it would take Hillary to solve them.)
Other notables included Cynthia Nixon, politicos Elizabeth Holtzman, Carolyn B. Maloney, Jessica Neuwirth and Teresa Younger. Sarah Jones, Marcy Syms, Agunda Okeyo and Maria Vullo also attended the event.
Jane Fonda Sets Record Straight on Feminism
Jane Fonda was a nimble and gracious host, telling the mostly-female audience that there are two stereotypes about feminists. And she wants to set the record straight.
“One is that men can’t be feminists, and the other is that feminists don’t have a sense of humor,” said Fonda. “It took me quite a while to understand feminism. To understand it didn’t mean that you didn’t like men. It just meant that you feel that women should be equal, and you’re willing to stand up for that. So I began to identify as a feminist.”
Jane Fonda: ‘I Cried During The Vagina Monologues’
A late bloomer, Fonda said she became a single person for the first time at age 62. She had an awakening after seeing Eve Ensler perform, “The Vagina Monologues.”
Said Fonda, “I cried really hard, tears of recognition and empathy, and I laughed really hard. And I know it was during the laughter part when my guard was down that my feminism dropped from my head and metabolized with my body. I’ve never gone back.”
Referring to the ERA, Fonda noted, “Today in 2016, women have no legal hammock under us to hold us and protect us when we face discrimination. When we’re fired because we get pregnant. When we are brutalized and raped. When we’re not being paid the same as men for doing the same work. Most countries have equal rights in their constitution. We berate those that don’t, but we don’t have it in our Constitution,”
Fonda added that in 1972, the ERA was passed by Congress, but it needed three-quarters of the states to ratify it. Ten years later in 1982, the Amendment was three states short. So it didn’t pass.
“A large majority of Americans support the idea of inclusion for women in the constitution,” she said. “That’s why we’re here tonight.”
The evening, entitled “A Night of Comedy With Jane Fonda,” featured stand up comics and performers. Attendees included Judah Friedlander, Sarah Jones, Sasheer Zamata (“Saturday Night Live”), Michelle Buteau (“Key and Peele”), Gina Brillon (“White Guy Talk Show”) and Wyatt Cenac (“The Daily Show”).
Judah Friedlander – ‘Let’s Build a Wall Around Donald Trump’
Other attendees got in a few shots at Donald Trump. “30 Rock” comic Judah Friedlander noted, “I think we should build a wall around Donald Trump, with mirrors on the inside. That way he’ll be happy. And Mexico’s like, ‘You know what? We’d like to pay for this.'”
Gloria Steinem – ‘No Comment’
On the red carpet, I tried to get Gloria Steinem, who looked great, to clarify comments she made on Bill Maher’s show. She created a firestorm by saying that young women liked Bernie Sanders because “that’s where the boys are.”
She referred me to her Facebook page, telling me, “I learned not to comment in the world of Twitter.”