NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27:  (L-R) Drew Barrymore, Elaine Welteroth, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chelsea Handler, Gilian Flynn and Laura Linney attend the in goop Health Summit on January 27, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Goop)

To close out the New York edition of the In Goop Health summit at Pier 17, Gwyneth Paltrow (or rather “GP,” as she was referred to throughout the day) invited several of her friends onstage for a panel discussion around the topic of “changing the female paradigm.” With Paltrow as their moderator, Drew Barrymore, Laura Linney, Chelsea Handler, Gillian Flynn and Elaine Welteroth all pitched in their thoughts around the Time’s Up movement, sexual harassment and what women are facing in 2018. “We are at a point in time in our culture where the shift is so major in terms of what it means to be a woman,” said Paltrow during her opening remarks, as rows of seated summit attendees looked on. “What we’re allowed to be, the territory we’re going into. A lot of it feels uncharted.”

Here, some highlights from the panel.

Linney on being surprised about the movement’s traction:
“I’m surprised that it’s kept going. My jaded self, when all the [exposure of] sexual harassment happened, I thought it was going to all bubble up and then go away. I really didn’t have faith it was going to break open in the way it has. And what that has then done to every women’s issue right now, it’s just galvanized everything, it’s made every women’s issue so much more potent. Because there’s been this sense of injustice that we’ve all known about, at least I have. It does make it much more effective. What I’ve realized and what I keep telling myself is I need to sit in this discomfort of this moment. I have to sit in it, and I have to earn my way out.”

Paltrow on realizing that gender inequality exists in entertainment:
“My father, who was in television, he championed women, made them directors and especially men of color, made them directors. And so I grew up that way and still I never understood, especially in the sexual harassment realm, what was happening, how wrong it was. I remember once I was doing a film and I thought I was getting the same salary as an actor who was way far behind me in the [career] trajectory, and I was outraged. But it was the first time I thought like, ‘oh there is an inequality here, I guess.'”

Handler on “Why now?”:
“During this election, we had 54 percent of white women vote for the person that won [the presidency] and we had 94 percent of black women vote for the other candidate. Because black women always vote in their best interest; white women vote against their best interest. And historically we’ve done that time and time again, and once it happened, this is the reaction to realizing what we’ve done.”

Barrymore on political complacency:
“I hate people sitting around bitching — go f–king do something about it. And the only way things are going to change, look what happened in Alabama. This is the reaction from the reality that we are now living in, which is so terrifying as a woman and as a mother. Yes, we are opening a can on equal pay, sexual harassment — like, s–t just went down, and it’s because people didn’t act. So this is the reaction. I’m happy to sit around and talk about it, but, like, go to the polls and change Congress and Senate in 2018 and take that f–king power away. That’s the first place to go and see new change, a way to gain our power back.”

Handler on how she stopped being angry:
“I spent a year of my life really angry about this election, and then I took myself away on a trip. Because I was like, you’re a little too angry and tweeting a little too much. So I went skiing in Whistler, I went to Canada, and I was like, stop it, get your energy and use it to harness it and go and do what you want to make happen, to effect change….And so for me I did that, I went away for a month and skied and had sex with some people, and I came back and was like, ‘OK I’m energized.'”

Flynn on taking her time to decide whether to have a child:
“I was very ambivalent about having children.…I’m a very creative person, and I had not felt a motherhood call for me personally. I said what I’m scared of doing is that I’m going to have a child because — I want to be very careful about not having a child because I feel like I’m supposed to have a child. That because society thinks that I’m supposed to have a child. I think that’s inflicted upon [us.]… I think we’ve gotten past the women need to necessarily be the wife angle, but we haven’t necessarily gotten past the mom thing.”

Elaine Welteroth on “What about the boys?”
“The reality is that we need them in order for change to actually happen. I worry a lot about boys being left behind in this movement right now, just by the way it’s constructed it feels so women-led, and we’re so loud and so powerful and we need this space to be this way. But it is extraordinarily intimidating for a little boy who doesn’t understand what’s happening to figure out an entry point into this. How to be an ally, how to understand all of this. And one of my concerns is I wonder if we don’t extend our hand and invite boys to the table right now, if we’re actually raising a generation of angrier boys, who will become angrier men, who will become even more predatory when they have the power to do so….I think it starts in the home, ideally with their father talking about consent…and consent is where it all begins.”

Handler on her biggest roadblocks in comedy:

“Women were the only roadblocks I’ve ever had, and that was so disheartening. So when you get rejected by women and you feel like they’re your enemy, that’s not a way any of us should ever feel. We have to be there for each other, we have to sing each other’s praises. Blowing out someone’s candle doesn’t make yours brighter — that’s not the way it works. There’s an avenue for all of us, and the more we all succeed, the more we all do.”

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