"Setting the Record Straight, As Usual"

I discovered in a recent book of rather serious intent, and in which I was otherwise fairly treated, that the author chose to print some of the silliest fabricated tales about me even after acknowledging that they were “perhaps more apocryphal than true.” I was surprised that this author would not even bother to check his facts. I don’t care if someone doesn’t like my work or tells a story that is unflattering…as long as it’s the truth.

He relates these unbelievable tales, which he states have “caricatured” me. Caricature, according to the dictionary, is “exaggeration by means of often ludicrous distortion.“ Well, he has that right. Caricature has been used for a very long time to trivialize women. It is especially an anachronism in this time when women have assumed such important leadership roles throughout the world…like Madeline Albright and Hillary Clinton as Secretaries of State and Kathryn Bigelow for being the first woman to win a Directors Guild Award for best feature film. Which brings me to the first falsity in this book. If the author had done his research he would have seen that in all my interviews I never blamed sexism or male chauvinism for not receiving an Oscar nomination for "Yentl" or "Prince of Tides"--others did, however.

Some more ridiculous stories from the book:

“She supposedly demanded workers at the Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel enter and leave her room backwards, so no one would be looking at her.” That doesn’t even make sense. If these people were told to walk backward out of a room, wouldn’t they be facing me?

That was followed with “she requires peach-colored towels and toilet paper in her hotel rooms , because the color compliments her peachy complexion.” I can’t even comment on that because it's so silly. Using words like “reportedly,” something unknown to good, hard journalism, the book continues with such tales as I demanded that “Marine aviators stationed at a nearby airbase cease making early morning over-flights of her rented house while she was in town (Beaufort, S.C.) making 'Prince Of Tides.'" The inference is that I wanted to sleep late. The truth is that the movie’s production people probably did check if they could reduce noise over the area of filming, not over my house. The point is, would they have ascribed that kind of request to a male director? I don’t think so. And let me point out, directors don’t sleep late.

Is it because if they can make women appear superficial, it counteracts their achievements? I guess I have to accept that some rumors are too good to check, because they might have to be removed. Another interesting thing here is the recurring use of the word demand. As I said in a speech I gave for Women in Film in 1992 ( http://www.barbrastreisand.com/us/statement/women-film-speech ) men have always been measured by a different yardstick than women, especially in positions of power.

A man is COMmanding while a woman is DEmanding.

A man is forceful while a woman is pushy.


He’s assertive – she’s aggressive


He strategizes – she manipulates


He shows leadership – she’s controlling

Women are evaluated so differently than men--often by fabricated stories that are completely untrue and intentionally demeaning. Regardless of how silly or ridiculous the lies may be, for me it’s important that that they are not perpetuated and that the truth is always told.

Comments for this Truth Alert

Exceptionally true. I never understood why they would say such ridiculous things about women, especially you. I truly believe you have achieved such incredible lengths in your career that would take a lifetime to achieve for most men in the "Hollywood" position, shall we say. I truly believe it's complete jealousy. I'm on the outside looking in at the comments read about you throughout the years with a weary mind, meaning I truly don't believe all the things I read of course because it sounds so utterly ridiculous. I was in Vegas when you were in concert in the '90's and I had heard around Vegas that there was an issue that you didn't want any of the people who worked there to look you directly in the eyes. I thought that was just ludicrous. I asked who stated this because I wanted to know if this was just some sick rumor someone made up just to make it all sensationalized. I then even heard that you had stated to someone to state that to gain more attention.That doesn't gain attention. That doesn't even make sense. The point is the request, the rumor, the issue is so insane that if that were the case I would have just laughed. If anyone stated that to me I would literally laugh in their face and state to them personally you must be out of your mind. It didn't make sense. It made ridiculous reading and I thought this is really insane... who the hell would make up such a rumor as to not look at someone. There is noone on this planet that could state such a thing and I would take it seriously. These are your fans. Why on earth would a performer, even though I've seen some literally treat fans horridly, they do exist, but that would be insane to do for any performer because the fans can make or break a performer. They are the ones who purchase tickets to their concerts, they buy their albums, they buy tickets to their movies, they are the paying people who have literally made these stars rich. If they didn't have fans, this is why I find this rumor to have been insane, than as a consumer and a fan, if that had personally been stated to me from the actual performer, I would have turned around, asked for my money back, been quite disillusioned and would have never thought about even listening to them on the radio, television, movies anything. That's a deterrent.to the public. People are a great deal more intelligent than to believe such issues I would hope. I certainly don't believe every rumors I've heard. True fans aren't going to read and believe every bad thing printed. There are also the great things stated about your talent. Those are the things that of course are believable. living in Los Angeles and in Las Vegas I have met many celebrities and what I've found is that they're people just like everyone else. Some have an extreme amount of talent in all realms of life, such as your beautiful book, your clothing design, your gorgeous homes and so forth.. so much you have brought in talent. You've taught us how to actually feel. That's amazing. When you sing, you stated you didn't understand what got to us and why you would see people crying.. It's because as you stated, you tell the truth. The pain you may feel when you sing a song, the love you may feel when you sing a song. It all comes through and listening to an album of yours is truly an emotional thing. Just like watching The Way We Were.. I've seen it at least 15 times. No question and it never fails to get me crying like crazy. You were gipped when you didn't win best actress Oscar for that role. That was the best performance, besides Funny Girl and you deserved it. Just like you deserved an Oscar ther Best Director for Prince of Tides such an amazing piece of work .. a work of art.. such as Yentle and the beauty of that film as well. You're the best..You have an incredible work ethic and there's nothing wrong with that. To hell with people who think you may be difficult. I don't think you are. I think as you stated so eloquently, that you strive for excellence. And that you truly are.

I've listened to your voice for over a half century, Oh goodness.....did I just say that?.....(grinning broadly! ) I'm good freinds with a group who sat in the front row of your first performance on stage in New York...a group of smart gals who have followed you for a lifetime (as I have.) When you've taken the time to voice an opinion...we've never seen you waffle or waiver....your record...if all were to bother looking....has always been honest and clear.

Thank You for a lifetime of you!

"men have always been measured by a different yardstick than women, especially in positions of power."

So true, so sad, so unbelievable still.

I understand why all of the crap that has been written about you would bother you, but you really shouldn't care. Those who write these things enjoy tearing down someone who has achieved more in her 60+ years than most people could possibly do in 100 life times! Jealous, spite, anger, envy - all come to mind in regards to people who make up this crap about you. Rise above it and realize that anyone who understands you and your work KNOWS none of the things written are true. People will gossip and say things regardless. Your "truth alerts" are an excellent way to combat the gossip but no one really believes the bad things written about you. You have done a lot of good and don't stress over things written about you. Maybe it's time for a long overdue autobiography? You could do it like Jane Fonda did - writing about her life up until now because she isn't done with living yet or, more brilliantly, the way Lauren Bacall did her autobiography - split it up into 2 volumes and write the next part of it in 25 years! You aren't done yet and I am very curious to find out what else you have yet to do in the coming years!

Men DO measure themselves by a different "stick", all right-they WOULD call it a YARD stick (SNORT!)

Barbra as I have always thought and said, You are the best!!! There will never be anyone, female or male artist, that will bring to music, or make the wonderful heartfelt amazing films that you have. The Prince of Tides will remain my favorite film of all times I'm sure. I have no doubt that Pat Conroy was so thrilled with what you brought to film of his book.

To me, and to all of your multitudes of fans you have globally, nothing anything the right wing absurdities or the headline seeking so called journalists or writers, will be able to say anything that will change your followers in their beliefs in you. You have a such an amazing plethora of talents and gifts that there will always be those that will always want to discredit you, because they always have to try and bring them down. God forbid that someone that has the success and ideas you have, be able to have a voice to try and make things better for the many.

Please don't ever let them get you down, or make you give up. Remember, they are not credible if they can't say or print the truth, so don't give them any weight with their cruel words.

Thanks so much for all that you have done and will do, for the people with your voice. It is powerful.

Barbra,

I must agree that women and men have always been measured by a different method. You make many good points and cite great examples. In practically any field one can find one situation after another where this is true. I consider this fact one based in history and sorely out of date. As more socially and politically conscious people, such as yourself, become more active on this front, things will change. Change is not an easy thing to maneuver as you know. On a side note, thank you for countless hours of musical and other enjoyment over the years.

With respect and harmony,

Namaste,

Rajan

I've always loved hearing your perspective on this topic..
All of the comments are right on with their support of you standing up and seeking the Truth.. Always!
What you stand for has meant everything to this Fan, all of these years!
And you have always done it with the utmost Style,Class & Dignity !
I enjoy all of your past interviews, (that I can find..)
just to hear you speak about your point of view..
Your Words are Incredible, "As much as any "note or song" you have ever sung.."
Really looking forward to your Book or Anything you write..
We are all Blessed to have a "Teacher" like you Barbra in this lifetime..
(Any Lifetime!) ~ Love & Blessings Out to you!

Barbra-

Your fans are WAY too smart to believe this nonsense! It's a shame that after all of your amazing contributions and accomplishments, not only to the entertainment world but to society as well, you are still subjected to this sort of rubbish!

Just keep being the fantastic performer and human being you are. WE LOVE YOU!!!!!

I have nothing but respect and admiration for someone as talented and genuine as Barbra Streisand. Younger generations might not appreciate the barriers people like Ms. Streisand have had to witness and break down. I admit to wondering if her reported "strange behaviors" were true that I have read through the years. To be honest I don't know why she wouldn't be a little battle worn given such an artistically productive/eventful life. It is worth noting for posterity that there was a person who cared passionately about what was important on top of being one of the greatest musical artists of her century.

As a fan for - well, your entire career - all as I can say is that you have brought me, and the rest of the world, so much joy that nothing anyone says about you will ever change that. You and your gift are a true blessing! It's funny to hear the stories about you - I was working in Vegas in the entertainment industry during your MGM come back and my favorite story about you was when a stagehand yelled out, "Babs, you're lookin' good!" You ere on stage and getting ready to rehearse, and you just smiled and said. "Thanks!" He fell in love with you that day and he re-told that story over and over until he passed. But I guess that no one wants to hear "Good Barbra" stories - except for your fans!
Much love - Your Fan!

Why don't they write about you being one of the most generous women in the world with your Streisand Foundation. Why don't they write about your extraordinary talent. You are a national treasure. Your big heart, your "right on" political views - all of this makes you a uniquely special person. Don't ever feel sorry for yourself. You have given joy to millions of greatful fans. Keep singing, acting, directing, and caring. My attendance at "Timeless" in LA and "Live in Concert 2006" in Boston are among the highlights of my life. I hope you'll tour again. I'll be there for you.

It's interesting to me that being a fan of Barbra's comes with certain reminders about the way women are portrayed in our culture.... Any use of a stereotypes reduces an individuals impact.
As a gay man, I've been prejudged by a society determined to pigeonhole my life and completely disregard my uniqueness. However, no one has done this in print !
So, thankfully, this truth alert exists for Barbra to debunk the false stories and nonsense that somehow persists about her. Gossip, speculation and distortion will continue unabated... for all celebrities. I'm glad I chose a strong, thoughtful and evolved woman to admire and appreciate. And a lady willing to challenge the ongoing negative myths.

Having followed Barbra since 1964, I have heard these stories and other foolishness myriad times. Each time, I have comments to anyone who would listen that the tales were outrageous and too unlike the Barbra I know and admire. Anyone who has followed her would know the same to be true. I love your willingness Barbra, not only to challenge the falsities, but to support the role and significance of all women in the process. As always, your leadership and integrity stand out. Thank you for being Barbra!

Jesus said that there are two roads in life that a person can choose to travel on.The first is the wide road which leads to death and destruction, which pulls humans down to the lowest level of living,thinking and behaving and the narrow road which is the road of excellence in all areas of a person's life.This road requires a person to want to live and lead a good,decent life adhering to the highest of all standards.Unfortunately, most of the world has chosen to go down that wide road.The people who come up with ridiculous stories as Barbara has mentioned have a low life mentallity.They have chosen to be pulled into a way of thinking that is totally opposite of what God had in mind for them.Instead of coming up with some type of gossip-oriented material, why don't these people choose to do something like help support the causes that Barbara has chosen to support.Life and time are short we must spend our time doing good and avoiding the works of darkness. Barbara, please know that you are a beloved person by millions of people.You have blessed us with your great talent and have made God happy by using the gifts he gave to you. Thank-you for being you!

Michael Dugger

These stories are ridiculous and absurd! I can't believe the one about the 'walking backwards', it was so unbelievable I was laughing. You're right they would be facing you, haha! I also agree with the whole point of:

"A man is COMmanding while a woman is DEmanding.

A man is forceful while a woman is pushy.


He’s assertive – she’s aggressive


He strategizes – she manipulates


He shows leadership – she’s controlling"

People can be so sexist! I'm sorry that they make up these mad stories about you. They're only looking to sell a story/book. Your true fans will not believe this garbage, so you have nothing to worry about, because that's all that matters, Barb!
-Hailey H.

Barbra honey - You should know that your fans, the ones who appreciate your body of work and your passion for the truth, don't pay any attention to this crap. I completely understand why you would feel the need to 'set the record straight', but no need, babe. Anyone who really knows you ( and I don't obviously, but I certainly wish I had that opportunity - I think you'd be a great neighbor!), knows that you are really just a regular person just like the rest of us - you just happen to be 'Barbra Streisand.' No need to justify any of this ever again in my opinion. Please just keep up the good work, give your fans a great CD every year (like the most recent one for sure), and possibly one more Vegas stint or a brief concert tour before you REALLY decide not to do it anymore. I've seen you twice (1994, 2006, both in LA), and I'm very grateful for the many years of enjoyment that your work has provided me. Like it or not, you are 'The Greatest Star.' Brad Adams, Crandall, Texas

Barbra, it's such a shame that you have to justify yourself because of some crap journalism! Your true fan's (of which I am one!) love you for who you are and don't believe all the rubbish that's written about you. Keep up your awesome, creative genius!

I also like the quote by Hildegard Knef about the unfair treatment of women: "If a man screams, he is dynamic, a woman hysterical."

Fame has a high price. A Star is always a victim of envy and greed for money. The press pulls every star in the dirt, overdoes, invents stories, misinterprets, takes quotes out of contex, watches every step and makes everything public – without regard to authenticity, feelings and privacy. In doing so, they forget that a star is also just a human beeing and also has feelings. The press only reports bad things because just that brings money, because the public wants to hear that. People only believe what they want and these are negative, spectacular stories. It fits with their imagination of a star. They are sensational and feel better if the star suffers cause they can let out their frustration and are not so envious anymore. The people put the star in a drawer so they don't have to think about any longer. Due to one happening, one headline or one quote, people judge over the whole person, degrade her on just that and think that they know the whole person with it. We have to give everybody a chance, knowing the background and try to understand him before we judge. The brilliance of a true star is immortal and lives forever.

Hi Barbra,

Thank you for writing this post. Your comparison list is so very accurate. I'm saying this from my perspective as a woman who works as a university professor -- the university setting being one of the most enduring bastions of sexism still in 2010.

I watched part of your 1991 "60 minutes" interview with Mike Wallace today on You tube. What a great example of the points you are making about women being "evaluated so differently than men." He labeled you as "controlling," while you emphasized "striving for excellence." In the same "60 minutes" piece, I delighted in watching the takes of you going about your day editing for one of your movies. To me, you had a great attention to detail, an admirable quality, yet Mike Wallace chose to pervert this quality, one that he himself obviously needed to be able to do his own job. His behavior strikes right at the heart of many men's inability to work with or accept a woman's intelligence, in this case your own.

But the problem is not just with those men, and even women, who are defensive about female intelligence. The problem still lies, I believe, in the strangling and limiting way in which society has pegged men and women in gender-based roles, especially when it comes to their intelligence and, perhaps most importantly, creativity. Mike Wallace, in 1991 (perhaps he has since changed given his acknowledged battle with depression), didn't have a clue about how to engage with you about your creative process. If he had been interviewing a man of similar stature and artistry, he surely would have been curious and inquiring about the nature of his interviewee in order to bring forth new insights about that performance artist for the "60 minutes" audience. But instead, he set out to put you down as somehow lacking and build himself up as the judge, if not inquisitor. It was quintessential "theater of the absurd."

Perhaps you will find it interesting as to how I came across this old interview today. Yesterday I saw your "One Night Only" DVD/CD in a store and on a lark bought it, came home, and watched you sing at the Village Vanguard. Wonderful music and performance, which sent me back in time to memories of my own life during your many musical and film projects over the years. Still in this reverie, I went to the internet today and rediscovered several of your performances on Youtube -- some I recalled, some I did not. But I felt your sheer audacity to follow your unique voice (not just singing) and creativity, and in so doing, recalled moments within my own life in which I have also followed the path of my creative spark and intelligent curiosity, a path that lately I've forgotten about and needed to remember.

So thank-you, Barbra, for doing what you do, being who you are, and sharing these through your craft and personality. Though it's been 19 years since your interview with Mike Wallace, he still owes you an apology!

With kind regards,

Linda

I was just browsing the truth alerts and as I came across this one I had to comment.
I worked in the television news business for 5 years and decided to leave it for creative
production for reasons like this. People in the media no longer search for the truth about
people they are reporting about. The mentality is being the first to report for ratings and awards and deal with the facts later. Very sad but true! The "rag" sheets are a disgrace to the term media and very hurtful towards people they don't even know. All in a days work that is all about making a buck. I am pretty sure all fans of Ms. Streisand don't believe a word these people are reporting as fact. Being a fan of hers for many years and choosing to work in my production field because of her influential body of work I sure as hell don't read the garbage they are reporting!!!

As a woman who works in a male dominated profession, it is very sad that we still have to deal with sexism and discrimination!!! I have worked very hard to achieve my goals as a female director and have lost out many times to men who I am told are more "qualified" than I. I say its because I have a zipper on my pants and not a fly. I started working towards my dream at 19 and now at 39 I still struggle for work and I can promise I have more education and experience than the more "qualified" men I have to compete with.

Marci Markwart