Girls Girls Girls magazine on Monday released a video titled “Be a Lady They Said” featuring actress Cynthia Nixon reading a prose-poetry piece by Camille Rainville. The video, which collected more than 300,000 views in one day, was lauded online for conveying conflicting demands on women.
First published on WordPress in 2017, Rainville’s writing expresses the impossibility of performing womanhood to society’s standards.
In the video, Nixon’s tone gets progressively angrier as she describes the pressure on women to live for the service of men and how women are blamed for their own abuse.
“Don’t talk too loud. Don’t talk too much. Don’t be intimidating,” Nixon narrates. “Why are you so miserable? Don’t be a bitch. Don’t be so bossy. Don’t be so emotional. Don’t cry. Don’t yell. Don’t swear. Endure the pain. Don’t complain.”
The video was released the same day that Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape and sexual assault, and the timing was impactful for many of the women sharing the clip.
Many tweeted the ways the video spoke to them.
“This is so powerful I felt nauseous,” one user wrote.
Another user said the video was particularly powerful because having autism makes it even more difficult to navigate “conflicting messages about how to ‘be.'”
Many of the men and women who shared the clip wanted to emphasize how true the message is.
See the full “Be a Lady They Said” video starring Cynthia Nixon here.