Actress Ashley Judd described being the victim of “everyday sexism” during a recent encounter with airport security in a Facebook Live video she posted to her account this week.
In the short video, the 49-year-old Double Jeopardy star said she was walking through airport security when a security agent called her “sweetheart,” and remarked on her dress, telling her, “Hey, nice dress.”
“I’m traveling today, and this is the kind of thing to me that happens which I categorize as everyday sexism,” Judd said. “And it’s so easy to let it go, and not to speak up, particularly when it’s so easy for someone to push back and say, ‘Oh, I was just being polite,’ or something like that.”
Judd said she hadn’t heard the security agent comment on anyone else’s appearance, and added that when she was talking to another agent, the offending agent reached out and touched her, though she did not specify where.
“I didn’t see him touch anybody else,” the actress said. “And I turned around and sad, ‘That was unnecessary.’ By the time, my skin is burning, my feet are burning, it’s so hard to continue to set these boundaries when someone continues to push.”
Judd added that as she was leaving, the agent called her a “sweetheart” once more. Because she was early for her flight, the actress said she spoke with a manager and explained the situation.
“I caught my breath and I said my prayers, and you know, my intention is to put principles above personalities. I’m not here to be controversial, I’m not here to be combative.”
In a follow-up video posted shortly afterward, Judd said the manager had apologized profusely for the encounter and promised to speak with the offending employee.
Judd has spoken out previously of her experience with sexual assault and harassment. In 2015, the actress claimed she had been sexually assaulted by a powerful Hollywood executive, though declined to name the individual, and earlier that year penned an essay on the subject for the website Mic.
Judd is hardly the only person to have described the phenomenon of “everyday sexism.” In March, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — whom the actress supported during the 2016 race — accused former White House press secretary Sean Spicer of engaging in “everyday sexism.”
After Clinton’s loss, Judd described Donald Trump’s victory as “the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my lifetime,” worse than her experience with sexual abuse.
“Raped as a child – bad. Re-raped by a political system that ordains a clown – really bad,” she said in a video for HuffPost.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum