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Jameela Jamil during an interview.

Jameela Jamil Responds to Online Hate and Criticism While in Conversation with Gloria Steinem

Gettyimages | Amanda Edwards
By Allie Elaine

While speaking at the third annual Diane von Furstenberg InCharge Conversations event, Jameela Jamil sat down with legendary women's activst, Gloria Steinem, and spoke quite candidly about the experiences she has had from dealing with people online. Over the years, Jamil has been very open and honest on social media in regards to her health, injuries and sexuality. This honesty has garnered quite a bit of skepticism and hate from online users who claim that Jamil is a liar who may have 'Munchausen syndrome'.

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"Sometimes when I get backlash on Twitter or social media, it’s cause I f—ing deserve it, so you can say I need to be called out and taught, but sometimes I also feel like we are entering an age where especially women in particular who speak out — if discrediting is the new death, they will kill us. They’ll just smear our name and drag our reputation through the mud with lies and targeted smear campaigns," Jamil explained while speaking at the event.

Gettyimages | John Sciulli

"I cannot stress to you enough that when you see us [actors] being dragged through the mud, yes it is difficult, yes sometimes it can be embarrassing and exhausting,” she continued. “But generally we survive and you will survive and please do not take this messaging as a signal to you that you shouldn’t speak up and speak out and stand up for what’s right and stick your neck out." Her inspiring words were heard by a predominantly female audience.

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She also added, "I want you to know I’m fine, I’m here sitting with f—ing Gloria Steinem." The conversation then shifted toward the issues with public shaming and activism on social media. Steinem agreed that there were obvious issues at hand, but also confirmed that movements such as "#MeToo, #TransLivesMatter and #BlackGirlsMatter" have been able to thrive due to the sense of community that is available with online activism. Steinem stated, "It’s easier in a sense that it’s more communal. I mean, think about Anita Hill all by herself. Now it’s more understanding."

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"The more of us who do that, the safer it is, but still there’s an impulse to blame the victim instead of blaming the person who did the act or to shovel it under the rug,” she continued. “So the fact that you do speak out and that you do get punished for it online, I think that’s new isn’t it? That we’re getting threats online in a very scary way."

Steinem concluded her thoughts with, "We also have to get over caring what people say about us...I mean it took me decades to figure out the times people call me a b— I should say thank you."

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