Scarlett Johansson Sounds Off: Sex, Reproductive Rights and Healthy Communication
Advocacy From contraception to communication, the award-winning actor is speaking out on behalf of women’s rights in a big way.
In a rare window of free time, Mediaplanet caught up with the Golden Globe-nominated actor to discuss women's health and its intersection with women's rights.
Why is it important for women to be their own health advocates?
My mom always told me that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and while that analogy may seem flippant when discussing health issues, I think it's really apt. Women understand where there are holes in the system that is meant to represent them, they know how and where they need more support from their own experiences and by sharing and sympathizing with the women closest to them.
What has inspired you to speak out for women’s health rights?
I am inspired to speak out for women's health rights as I witness women's freedom to make their own health choices stripped away with alarming speed. Drastic health decisions being made in certain states go virtually unnoticed by some in neighboring states simply because the conversation regarding these issues is not loud enough. In Arizona, for example, many women are forced to have unnecessary surgical abortions putting their own lives at risk, because the state government has voted that way. I believe if women in America had a more united voice, we could support communities that remain unheard.
"Women understand where there are holes in the system that is meant to represent them, they know how and where they need more support from their own experiences and by sharing and sympathizing with the women closest to them."
What are you the most concerned about in regards to women’s health care?
Preserving a woman's right to choose what happens to her own body by not allowing lawmakers to decide for her.
What would you like to see in terms of advancements in women’s health care?
Federal funding for organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide vital health services for women including cervical cancer and HIV screenings, contraception, child and maternal health services and counseling.
Why is it important for women to get regular screenings with their gynecologist?
It is important to regularly see your gynecologist for cancer screenings, to check the normal function of your reproductive organs and to discuss the changes that happen in the body as we mature.
What does having healthy sexual relationships mean to you?
Being open and honest with yourself and your partner about what you need, what you desire and what feels right for you.
How can women take a stand and have a more active role in their own gynecological health?
By writing to their representatives, joining support groups like the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Group or the National Women's Health Network and by talking to girlfriends, mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers about the importance of making our voices heard.