Speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley, the Private Benjamin star, 72, reflected on the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment in the entertainment business.
She said she had “compassion” for men dealing with “sexual urges” – but said it was not acceptable to “abuse” women.
“I had a great upbringing which gave me a very strong mother and a strong dad. I was a ballet dancer and I had a tremendous amount of grit,” she said.
“When I went out to New York and when I tried to dance on stage, I did what I had to do to earn money, so I danced, you know – go-go.
“I was able to make money that way so I could keep studying… I was working but objectified? I wondered how after what I had gone through how I still love and adore men – and I always will.”
Hawn said she had a newfound understanding of the male psyche.
“Learning more about the male brain and understanding the difficulties of having to control their sexual urges, I have a lot of compassion for men,” she said.
“I don’t have compassion for men who believe that they have these entitlements to be able to do the things that they do to women and when they don’t get what they want, to downgrade them, to abuse them, verbally. To make them feel less than what they are.
“I think that now we’ve reached a point where we are actually looking at equal pay and the ability to be respected.
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“There’s nothing greater than a man and a woman that can work together.”
The comments come amid the actress’s work with her Hawn Foundation charity in the UK, which promotes mindfulness schools.