A few years ago, there was an article floating around about Ashley Judd being the most “erudite” celebrity on the list of Erudite Celebrities. Is it because she’s so well educated? Perhaps. But I wonder if it isn’t because she wrestles you down on the ground with her big words and mashes them in your face until you concede.

Yes, Ashley Judd, you are erudite!

And she’s proving it, yet again, in an essay she’s written for The Daily Beast in reference to all that drama that went down following her appearance on The Marilyn Denis show after which the internet exploded with all kinds of speculation about what she did to her face.

The official reason: she was taking steroids for an illness.

Ashley’s point, I think?, is that women tear each other down too much. That we are too mean to each other. And that our tendency to attack rather than support is misogyny in action, a reflection of our suppression by the Patriarchy.

In response, as you can imagine, women are ripping off their bras and fist-pumping in solidarity.

Save Girl Power! they shout, in capitals, all over the comment section below the post.

I’m amazed they have the energy to comment after reading Judd’s dissertation having endured sentences such as this:

“Of course, it’s wonderful to be held in esteem and fond regard by family, friends, and community, but a central part of my spiritual practice is letting go of otheration.”

I do love her use of the Oxford comma though.

And it’s not that I don’t think she’s right. Or, more precisely, that the argument she’s making isn’t right. I’m just not sure she’s the one who can properly defend it. When you strip away all the Harvard language, is there a legitimate position here? Is this “Conversation”, as she calls it, so simple that you can Rally Cry your way in and out of it? I’d be more impressed if she offered a more candid approach rather than a defensive one.

“I ask especially how we can leverage strong female-to-female alliances to confront and change that there is no winning here as women. It doesn’t actually matter if we are aging naturally, or resorting to surgical assistance. We experience brutal criticism.”

Protecting our self-worth is important. Examining how the compulsive destruction of our faces undermines that self-worth is also worth discussing. Can you f-ck around with your face AND resist the urge to hate on other women? Sure. But it requires honesty. It requires someone who is willing to own what they’ve done to their face, and then to stand up and say - yeah, so f-cking what? That’s the self-worth in motion.

And I don’t know that she’s accomplished this. Because after dispensing with the PhD language, what’s left is a lot of feminist platitude and an actress who strongly implies that she didn’t actually have any work done and, not so subtly, insists that at 43, she doesn’t have that many wrinkles and her skin is “flawless”.


Come ON.

What were you just saying???

So is it really that they’ve had so many procedures, or is it the comical DENIAL of said procedures that really sets us off?

Yes, women should stand together. But women also don’t like being played by other women. And THIS, more than anything else, is what has led to the explosion of snark on Celebrity that has taken place over the last decade.

Come to me with an appeal, any time, that we need to promote more kindness. I’m just saying you undermine it when you do so as an attempt to deflect from answering whether or not you’ve succumbed to the pressure of the aforementioned Patriarchy. Now that would have made for the more engaging, more insightful Conversation.

How has it destroyed you, Ashley? And what have you learned to help the rest of us fight it? That’s the essay I hope you write next.

Attached - photos of Ashley Judd at The Marilyn Denis Show last month. Why aren’t more people interested in the dog? The dog, for therapy, goes everywhere and must be present during most of her interviews. Like apparently she has to have it in her eyeline. But I mean this is spectacular, isn’t it? SPECTACULAR.

Click here to read Judd’s entire piece in The Daily Beast.