My message last week was about Harvey Weinstein. It was also about the thousands of young people in Maine who have been stepping up to challenge sexism in their schools and the wisdom they could share with Mr. Weinstein and so many others. Today, my message is a call for all men, including myself, to do more. To do much more.
Men. #MeToo is a wake-up call we can't ignore
Over the past week, women everywhere have used the hashtag #MeToo to talk openly about their horrific experiences with sexual harassment and assault. The stories they shared are personal and tragic. They expose the devastating effects that men can have, and are having, on others. Taken individually, these experiences are deeply affecting and disturbing. Together, they serve as an indictment of the toxic status quo which allows and encourages men to lend a blind eye to these heinous acts.
Men, this is yet another chance for us to listen. Women from all walks of life have stepped out of their private pain, shown incredible courage and vulnerability, and asked to be heard. Loudly. We need to listen. Not look away, but listen. Not get defensive, but listen. And to know that for every story told, there are countless other untold stories. Thanks to the bravery of these women, the issue of sexism has never been more visible, and it is now our responsibility to hear what is being said. It's our opportunity to consider the role we have played, no matter how large or how small, in allowing this to be.
Men. It's our turn.
Women are doing their work. Young people are doing theirs. Now it's our turn. It's time for us to learn about becoming male allies who work with women to confront the issue head on. We need to live this issue everyday, alongside them. They do. We should too.
What now - an invitation for all men to join in this work