“It’s F**king Depressing”: Keira Knightley Says Every Woman She Knows Has Experienced Harassment
The British actor’s comments come as her home country grapples with a crisis of violence against women following Sarah Everard’s death.
Keira Knightley opened up about the dangers women unwittingly face day to day, calling it “f***ing depressing,” and said she doesn’t know any woman who hasn’t been harassed.
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar published Tuesday, the actor spoke about the pervasive sexual harassment that women face. According to the interview, Knightley wondered “why it never occurred to her before to call out the misogyny she has personally experienced.”
“It was when women started listing all the precautions they take when they walk home to make sure they’re safe, and I thought, I do every single one of them, and I don’t even think about it,” Knightley said. “It’s f***ing depressing.”
When Knightley was asked if she had experienced harassment, she responded: “Yes! I mean, everybody has. Literally, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been, in some way, whether it’s being flashed at, or groped, or some guy saying they’re going to slit your throat, or punching you in the face, or whatever it is, everybody has.”
The interview with Knightley, who was born in London, comes against the backdrop of the UK grappling with its crisis of violence against women after Sarah Everard, 33, was found dead in March. Everard had been walking back to her home in south London when she went missing. Her body was found a week later. A London Metropolitan Police officer pled guilty to kidnapping and raping her, but has not entered a plea for her murder, according to The Guardian. The case sparked outrage across the UK as women and activists pointed out that despite taking safety precautions women are often told to do (take a well-lit route home, check in with someone, wear bright clothes), Everard ended up dead.
A survey published by UN Women in March found that 71% of women of all ages in the UK have experienced some form of sexual harassment in a public space, while that figure rises to 86% among women 18 to 24 years old.
“I love that politician who said there ought to be a curfew for men and men were outraged, and you think – but there’s a curfew for women and there always has been,” Knightley continued. The actor was referring to Green Party peer Baroness Jenny Jones who in March called for a 6 p.m. curfew for all men in the country following Everard’s death. In a tweet, Jones said her curfew idea drew a “deluge of misogynistic emails and tweets,” adding: “Which rather proves my point about the problem being with men.”
Knightley also told Harper’s Bazaar that her recent choice to read Manda Scott’s “Boudica” series — which centers around a Celtic woman protagonist-turned-warrior — has been “particularly consoling” during the UK's reckoning.
"Something very pagan and powerfully female feels nice to listen to right now," Knightley said.