Chelsea Handler and Jen Psaki on Sticking Up for Women – SXSW 2023 Featured Session
At the 2023 SXSW Conference, comedian, television host, and best-selling author, Chelsea Handler, sat down with former White House Press Secretary and current MSNBC Sunday series host, Jen Psaki, to tackle some of the most pressing issues being faced by women today, from abortion rights to self-care and toxic workplace culture.
"I feel like it's my duty to help other women in the industry. I just really like sticking up for women...I like being a voice for people to know they belong here. Every single person belongs here." – Chelsea Handler
Known for her outspoken criticism of the toxic work environment that many women face in the comedy industry, Handler spoke openly about the sexism and discrimination she's faced throughout her 20+ year career. Handler shared how she's made it her mission to create opportunities for other women in the field. "Any marginalized person who is not seen or heard, it's a big passion of mine to make sure they feel seen and they feel heard" – echoing the importance of being an advocate for each other in and out of the workplace.
Psaki went on to discuss the ongoing battle for women's rights in the U.S. following the rollback of Roe v. Wade. Handler passionately criticized the anti-abortion policies in Texas, expressing: "Leave our bodies alone." She encouraged the audience to "stay strong and adamant about fighting" for women's rights.
The conversation then shifted to the topic of self-care. Handler and Psaki discussed the need to take a few minutes every day to focus on one's well-being – and pause the doom-scrolling. "Even if it's just five minutes of sitting with yourself, do it!" stated Handler.
The Featured Session was a refreshing dose of levity and vulnerability. Psaki and Handler brought their A-game and sharp wit, captivating the room by demonstrating the transformative power of laughter in navigating life's complexities. If there's one takeaway, it's that being a strong advocate for women and one's self is all about speaking your truth, supporting others, and not taking yourself too seriously.
“There’s something funny about everyone, there’s humor in everything.”
Watch the entire 2023 Featured Session of Chelsea Handler and Jen Psaki.