I 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/WENN.com)