“I have pretended to do things. I can think about 3,800 people who should have been on this list before me, and you know since my success has depended wholly on my putting things over on people. So I’m not sure parents really think I’m that great a role model anyway,” stated actor Meryl Streep at Columbia University.
“I am, however, an expert in pretending to be an expert in various areas,” she added.
“You, young women of Barnard have not had to squeeze yourself into the corset of being cute or to muffle your opinions but then you haven’t left campus yet. I’m just kidding. What you have had is the privilege of very specific education. You are people that may able to draw on a completely different perspective, to imagine a different possibility than women and men who went to coed schools. How this difference is going to really serve you, it’s hard to quantify now, it may take you 40 years like it did me to look back and analyse your advantage,” she stated.
She continued, “This is your time and it feels normal to you but really there is no normal. There’s only change, and resistance to it, and then more change. Never before in the history of our country have most of the advanced degrees been awarded to women but now they are. Since the dawn of man, it’s hardly more than 100 years since we were even allowed into these buildings except to clean them but soon most of the law and medical degrees will probably also go to women.”
She concluded by saying, “Being a celebrity has taught me to hide but being an actor has opened my soul.”