Natalie Portman's powerful Women's March speech details the horrors of being sexualized at a young age.

Natalie Portman's powerful Women's March speech details the horrors of being sexualized at a young age.
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Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman delivered a remarkably personal, powerful speech at the Women's March in Los Angeles.

Portman's first film role was in 1994, when she was just 13 years old, and the very first fan letter she received was a horrifying introduction to the reality that girls are disrespected and sexualized.

Natalie Portman's powerful Women's March speech details the horrors of being sexualized at a young age.
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"I excitedly opened my first fan mail to read a rape fantasy that a man had written me," she said. "A countdown was started on my local radio show to my 18th birthday, euphemistically the day I would be legal to sleep with. Movie reviewers talked about my budding breasts in reviews," she added.

Cognizant of the way Hollywood's constant sexualization of women and girls, Portman made a conscious choice to distance herself from her sexuality, turning down roles that included kissing on screen.

The industry's pressure seeped into her public persona.

"I emphasized how bookish I was and how serious I was and I cultivated an elegant way of dressing. I built a reputation for basically prudish, conservative, nerdy, serious in an attempt to feel that my body was safe and my voice would be listened to…. I felt the need to cover my body and inhibit my expression and my work in order to send my own message to the world: that I'm someone worthy of safety and respect," she said.

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Portman powerfully stated that society fosters "an environment of sexual terrorism" to control women's behavior.

While many people view the #MeToo movement as "puritanical," Portman argues that the future envisioned by Time's Up is in fact the opposite:

A world in which I could wear whatever I want, say whatever I want and express my desire however I want without fearing for my physical safety or reputation, that would be the world in which female desire and sexuality could have its greatest expression and fulfillment. That world that we want to build is the opposite of puritanical.

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Natalie Portman's powerful Women's March speech details the horrors of being sexualized at a young age.
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