Natalie Portman is working to build a better future for her son Aleph and daughter Amalia.

The Oscar-winning actress attended Variety’s Power of Women event on Friday where she explained that it was her little ones that have motivated her to get involved in creating real social change.

“Well I, I want a different world for both my kids,” she told ET’s Lauren Zima. “I have a girl and a boy, and I want both of them to grow up with different ideas of opportunity, of behavior, of the options opened to them because both boys and girls are limited by a system that expects very, very specific things from boys and from girls. Everyone’s options are limited because of this.”

The 37-year-old actress also explained how her definition of “abuse” has evolved over the years.

“Yeah, well it was amazing how many things that I didn’t even categorize as abusive behavior,” she said. “I just thought it was [something that] made me really upset or made me uncomfortable. And now I think all of this reckoning has made me even be like, ‘Oh that wasn’t just a bad date, that was an abusive date’, ‘That wasn’t just an uncomfortable meeting, that was an abusive meeting’… And has made me look at things differently and hopefully it’ll prevent this kind of behavior when people are, men and women, are more aware of that.” 

Portman also spoke at the event where she offered words of encouragement for women in the industry.

“Many men are behaving like we live in a zero-sum game,” she said, via Variety. “That if women get the respect, access and value we deserve, they will lose. But we know the message of the mammaries: The more milk you give, the more milk you make,” Portman explained. “The more love you give, the more love you have. And the same can be said of fire. When you light someone else’s torch with your own, you don’t lose your fire, you just make more light and more heat.”

“Light a woman’s torch,” she added. “The light will multiply and the heat will intensify for all of us.”

The Power of Women event was sponsored by Audi and Moroccan Oil.

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