Entertainment February 19, 2017
Sometimes, even the most capable and independent women need a little help – whether with their finances, their own career or their fight for gender equality. When men help women, the women aren’t weak for accepting and the men aren’t belittling them by lending a hand. Instead, they’re showing the power of men and women working together!
Here are some of ENTITY’s favorite moments when men have lent a hand to inspirational women. Trust us – you won’t look at these men the same way again!
If you’ve ever eaten pizza from Little Caesars, you know that late founder Mike Ilitch knew how to serve up a delicious piece of pie. Recently, though, it was revealed that he did much more than fulfill people’s late-night pizza cravings: he also helped keep a roof over Rosa Park’s head for years.
After Ilitch’s death last week, the whole story came to light. In 1994, civil rights leader Rosa Parks was reportedly robbed and assaulted near her Detroit home. Ilitch read about the crime and reached out to federal judge Damon Keith and developer Alfred Taubman to find Parks a safer home. She soon moved into one of Taubman’s Riverfront Apartments, where Iltich is thought to have paid her rent until she died at age 92 in 2005.
According to Keith: “It’s important that people know what Mr. Mike Ilitch did for Ms. Rosa Parks because it’s symbolic of what he has always done for the people of our city.” Whatever significance this story has for you, one fact is clear: Rosa Parks stood up for others (by sitting down on a Montgomery bus and triggering the infamous bus boycott) when they didn’t have the courage. Mike Ilitch simply returned the favor years later by being the man to help this inspirational woman.
When you imagine the relationship between famous co-workers on a movie set, you might think they’d chat between scenes or maybe share a meal on their lunch break. However, when Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan filmed “Scary Movie 5” back in 2012, there was little chit-chat…but one big check.
Charlie Sheen later explained that he was offered $500,000 to play himself in the movie…only for his payment to be cut in half to pay for Lindsay Lohan to also appear. However, when Sheen asked Lohan about her earnings, he learned she was only getting $100,000. “So I just gave her $100,000 of their money,” he says. “Paying it forward.”
Of course, Lohan reportedly didn’t thank Sheen until months later (after he’d publicly complained). He only wishes he could’ve given her a little more – particularly, advice on how to clean up her image. “I was hoping that she would pick my brain a little bit on the set,” Sheen told the Daily Beast. “That’s the one thing that was really missing from the experience.”
Lohan might not have been the most grateful of recipients…but it’s still admirable that Sheen tried to have her back (or, at the very least, help her indebted bank account).
Considering Lady Gaga’s recent slaying of the Super Bowl halftime show, it may sound ridiculous to hear that she ever thought of quitting. However, back in 2014, Gaga considered just that – and she credits Tony Bennett for keeping her going.
The then-88-year-old singer partnered with Lady Gaga to create Cheek to Cheek, an album featuring classics like “Anything Goes,” “Sophisticated Lady” and “Lush Life.” But they did more than sing. “I tell Tony every day that he saved my life,” Gaga told Parade. “I was so sad. I couldn’t sleep. I felt dead. And then I spent a lot of time with Tony. He wanted nothing but my friendship and my voice.”
According to Gaga, she was struggling with the less-than-uniformly-stellar reviews of her controversial album, ARTPOP. However, talking with Tony Bennett taught her “that my intuition is right. When he talks about the 66 albums he’s put out, the peaks and valleys, and how it’s not about having a hit record — it’s the most inspiring thing.”
Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl show definitely proved that she can rock a performance all on her own. However, we all sometimes need a mentor or someone to act as a sounding board to our career doubts and choices. And Tony Bennett was the man to give Gaga a “million reasons” to keep singing.
Sheryl Sandberg is arguably the most powerful woman in business today, but she calls financial guru Larry Summers (who later served as Director of the National Economic Treasury for President Obama) her “absolutely most important” mentor who “tremendously” helped her career. Sandberg met Summers when she was a student at Harvard university, and she remembers that he was her main supporter when she launched a group called Women in Economics and Government. She later worked for Summers at the World Bank, and Summers appointed her Chief of Staff when he worked as Clinton’s Treasury Secretary.
Of course, no mentor is perfect – and Summers showed that when he made a controversial (and arguably sexist) speech on women’s skills in math and science. However, Sandberg maintains that Summers “was a supportive and deeply caring mentor for me and many other women who had the opportunity to work for him.”
Obviously, Sandberg’s success doesn’t rest entirely on Summers’ shoulders, with her pointing out in her mentorship book, “Lean In,” that people should take responsibility for their own success and not expect a mentor to do all the work. Yet, she still believes that mentors like Summers taught her to “avoid mistakes – and clean up the ones I wasn’t smart enough to avoid.”
You’ve probably hear the phrase, “Behind every great man, there’s a great woman.” Women like Sandberg show that the opposite can also be true.
Finally, an example of when men help women that you can probably personally relate to: men supporting women’s fight for gender equality. While there are plenty of famous male feminists, one of the most recent examples is John Legend, who attended the Women’s March in Park City.
Fans – and friends – were quick to applaud men like Legend for showing their support. For example, in one Twitter photo, he’s holding a pink Planned Parenthood poster that says: “We march for women’s rights.” When asked about his experience, Legend said, “[It] was amazing…to stand in solidarity with women and all people who believe in justice and equality.”
Legend may not have given a big speech or made a huge show of his appearance, but he showed up to support gender equality and other values he believes in – and that’s what really matters.
As women, we might feel like asking – or just receiving – help is a sign of weakness. However, as these famous examples show, when men help women, great things can happen. In order to have access to safe housing, discover new ways or mindsets to use to dominate our career, or even see the political changes we want in the world, we sometimes need everyone to work together. So, men, help women – and women, help men back.
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