Speaking at an event for women in Los Angeles this week, Barbra Streisand complained that society is so misogynistic, even female laboratory mice are being discriminated against.
“Gender discrimination drives me crazy,” said the multiple Grammy and Academy award-winning actress and singer. “Women are still treated as second-class citizens when it comes to equal pay in the workplace and equal representation in Congress.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Streisand then opened up about her life’s mission to fight women’s heart disease.
“More women are dying of heart disease each year than men. And here is the fact that really shocks me: heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined,” she said.
Streisand, who has made contributions toward heart disease research for nearly three decades, then spoke out about gender inequality in medical research.
“Gender inequality even extends to mice in the labs,” she said. “They’re all male!”
She added: “So even female mice are discriminated against! When I asked why, the answer I got was that female mice have hormones so they’re more complex. Well, so are women!”
Streisand, now 73, made the comments at the annual Women in Entertainment breakfast in Los Angeles on Wednesday, where she was the guest of honor.
She previously sounded off about gender inequality in mice research in an interview with Healthy Living.
According to the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai hospital, “Although heart disease kills more women than men every year, until recently, women’s heart disease treatment was based on medical research performed on men. The center is working to correct these gender inequalities as well as to educate women on how to recognize female-pattern heart disease symptoms.”
A New York Times op-ed last July, which Streisand posted to her official website, explained the “gender gap” in research done on lab mice, which are predominantly male. The Times noted a recent study showing that “hypersensitivity to pain works differently in male and female mice,” and researchers are now taking “gender into account in preclinical research on animals.”
At the women’s event on Wednesday, Streisand also urged her peers to “join forces” to support Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
Describing the former First Lady and Secretary of State as “someone who will represent our values and interests,” she said women must encourage one another to get out and vote.
Streisand also accused female reporters of being too tough in their handling of Clinton, describing them as “antagonistic” and “judgmental.”
Their tone is “as if they want to prove how tough and hard-hitting they can be against someone of their own sex,” she said.