Jenny Slate explains how celebrity gossip is part of the patriarchy

While promoting her new film "Landslide," Jenny Slate made a killer point about dating in Hollywood

Published July 21, 2017 2:11PM (EDT)

Jenny Slate   (AP/Chris Pizzello)
Jenny Slate (AP/Chris Pizzello)

Jenny Slate — the comedian, actress and author best known for her role as Donna Stern in the film "Obvious Child" —  is still learning to navigate under the spotlight. Hot off the heels of her most recent performance in the film "Landline," Slate thinks her influx of attention is unacceptable.

Following the end of her public relationship with actor Chris Evans, Slate opened up about dating while in the spotlight. "This is the first time in my adult life that I haven’t been in a relationship, that I’m just all alone, and I do whatever I like to do,” she told Vanity Fair. “Because I’m a person who also likes to keep an eye on my mental health and my body health, I’ve treated myself nicely.”

In her profile for Vanity Fair, Slate explains the coverage of her personal life in the media complicates her desire to have a "peaceful existence," and points to the patriarchy as the source of her overly-public lifestyle.

"For me, it connects to a very deep-seated belief within a patriarchal system. If you’re a woman, the system actually owns your private life; the system has an opinion on your decisions; the system has a verdict on how you have sex and who you have sex with, and anything in between. For me, I am not open to that. I get really pissed about it, because it’s only my business."

Slate adds that she refuses to use Twitter to clarify the events in her personal life. "No, I have more of an urge to get on Twitter and be like, ‘I just pooped like Okja,’ than to be like, ‘Yes, it’s true, I’m dating so-and-so,’" she continued. "How much of an asshole would I have to be to assume that anyone gives a shit, a true shit, that I say the information? What they like is the gossip. What they like is the uncertainty and conjecture and all of that. What I like is my privacy and to be able to just do whatever I fucking want and kiss whoever I want in my own time because I’m a woman in 2017."

Slate nods to Margaret Atwood's novel "The Handmaid's Tale," while explaining what she doesn't want to be. “I’m also just really not open to being known as the woman dating so-and-so. I think that’s four tiny steps away from being Offred."

By Alessandra Maldonado

Alessandra Maldonado is an editorial intern at Salon. You can find her on Twitter at @alessamberr

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