Ben Affleck Talks About Supporting Women’s Issues, Wins Back A Place In My Heart

Ben Affleck Jennifer Garner Vanity Fair Oscar Party February 25th 2013I just read some really “restoring-my-faith-in-humanity”-type quotes about women’s issues from Ben Affleck, and my opinion of him is really starting to improve.

Allow me to explain. I’ve been a little undecided about how to feel about Ben Affleck of late. He’s married to Jennifer Garner, who I simultaneously want to adopt me and be my BFF, so he gets points there. But he had that whole Gigli thing years back that I find difficult to forgive. Plus, he seemed to have contracted the same disease as Anne Hathaway this award season and lost a bit of humility when dealing with his Oscar snub (I thought his Critics Choice Awards comment was a bit immature).

Plus, I can’t shake the image of him and Matt Damon as the Family Guy versions of themselves, with Matt writing Good Will Hunting by himself while all Ben does is “eat Breyers and smoke pot.” Very bad decision to base my opinions of public figures on a cartoon parody. I realize that, and I’m working through it. However, the ice cream part seems to be true these days, because he was quoted as saying the following about his post-Oscars life:

“I’ve been able to really just enjoy my good fortune in the last couple of weeks and sit back and kind of just take it in and not do anything, just eat ice cream on the couch.”

See? Seth MacFarlane was onto something.

But when I read the latest comments from Ben about supporting the Rape Treatment Center with his wife, I started feeling a lot more respect for him, and I’m rethinking the iffy opinions I had about him earlier. While acting as an honorary co-chair with Jennifer for the John Varvados Stuart House Benefit, Ben said this:

“This is an organization that my wife got involved with. She hosted this event eight years ago. She told me about it and what she saw at Stuart House,” he explained. “That really stuck with me and I wanted to support it. Particularly, because these kind of causes are thought of largely as women’s issues…If it is just women that stay supporting that and they don’t get any support from men it will always be a little bit marginalized as a women’s thing. And violence, sexual or otherwise, against our fellow human beings is a crime against all of us.”

It shouldn’t thrill me to read a man acknowledge that issues like rape, or any typically “women’s issue,” isn’t just for women to support, but unfortunately that’s the world we live in. We live in a world where Chris Brown can take a DJ’s mic to spout his disgusting ideas about how to treat women, and his fans will still support him and make excuses for his behavior. We need more men like Ben Affleck in the public eye who will acknowledge that men and women have to work together to achieve gender equality and stop violence. We can only hope that seeing successful men like Ben show his compassion and support will inspire other men to be more likely to speak out about issues like this.

(Photo: Brian To/

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
Share This Post:
    • BuckyBoyd

      “Plus, I can’t shake the image of him and Matt Damon as the Family Guy versions of themselves, with Matt writing Good Will Hunting by himself while all Ben does is “eat Breyers and smoke pot.” Very bad decision to base my opinions of public figures on a cartoon parody. I realize that, and I’m working through it.”

      Most people that originally believed that are actually thinking the opposite. Ben co-wrote Good Will Hunting, Gone Baby Gone and The Town which all received amazing reviews and he has directed 3 brilliant films and he’s produced too. Matt on the other hand co-wrote Promised Land which bombed and was panned by critics, saying that the script seemed like a rough draft and besides that, he’s only acted. Ben has done the work that is hard and takes brains and he’s been successful at it, if he didn’t contribute to Good Will Hunting, he wouldn’t be doing the work that he is. It’s very clear that Matt didn’t do the brunt of the work on the screenplay.

      • BuckyBoyd

        Also, Ben is currently writing a screenplay of Live By Night all on his own that he’s going to direct and he’s also getting ready to direct a Whitey Bulger movie…where Matt Damon will be the lead actor.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        But you have to admit the Breyers thing was pretty prophetic.

      • BuckyBoyd

        Well, that part yeah lol

        I love both Ben and Matt, my post wasn’t about slamming Matt and praising Ben (just read it again and it kinda sounds that way). But i hate how much hate Ben gets when he’s actually very smart and talented.

    • Mac

      I would also suggest you do a little Googling about who his mother is. I suspect you will be very impressed by just what kind of woman he was raised by. For instance, she was a Freedom Rider in the 60′s. You should also visit the site for the group he founded ‘The Eastern Congo Initiative’. I really think it might change your whole perception of him. It did for me. He’s actually turned into, for me at least, one of the most stand-up guys in Hollywood.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        That’s fantastic to learn! Thank you for sharing!

      • RebeccaOHeelan

        Agreed. The more you know about Ben, the better he seems to be. His friendship with Joe Kindregan and work for A-T is pretty impressive, too. Ben’s a good guy imo who unfairly continues to get a lot of grief for the moderately wild life (by HW standards) he lived before his marriage.

      • BuckyBoyd

        YES! He has been friends with Joe for 15 years and Jen has been friends with Joe since Ben introduced them on the set of Daredevil (2 years before they began dating). Access Hollywood is the ONLY news source that has taken an interest in the story and has covered it about 5 times over the years. (The one guy on the show has become close with Joe and his mom i believe). I’ve seen many personal photos of Joe, Ben and Jen over the years, it’s sweet. Ben was even the guest speaker at Joe’s HS graduation in 2006. And i found this via Popsugar but in honor of Joe’s 25th birthday and their 15 years of friendship, Jen and Ben have started a match with the A-T Childrens Project, and the goal is $25,000. I wish more people saw what Jen and Ben do between the ECI, her work with Save the Children and everything else that they are good people.