I want to take a second to talk about courage.
It takes so much courage to be here tonight.
To align yourself with a movement that is asking for things to be done differently. It takes real courage. It takes courage to say that you are angry about something, or that you are willing to listen to those who are. It’s not easy to call ourselves feminists, nor is it easy for men, I imagine, to call themselves allies.
It’s not easy because we don’t want to be problematic. We don’t want to start a fight. We don’t want to throw ourselves on the frontlines, because then people know what we think. And what we stand for. And they make judgments about that. I know.
And this anger is hard to hold, sometimes. Because none of us are innocent. Rape culture is not just the men I’ve slept with, it’s the parts in me that were scared to say no. I did it, too. I think we all probably did. It’s hard for all of us to look plainly at the landscape of gender relations, and be honest about where we could shift - because it makes us look at ourselves. And asks us to get braver. To break down our judgments, work through our shame, unpack the things we were taught, and demand better from ourselves, and from one another, and from our government, and our culture, because there is a wound here that needs healing, and it’s none of our faults, but it’s all of our responsibilities.
We are working within a system that need to break, and be rebuilt, because every single fucking person in this room has a contribution, and a sensitivity, and a heart that works and was made to unite not to separate, and we can do this together, if we couldn’t, there wouldn’t be rallies like this, or people like you, or hope. And there is hope. Lots of it. Especially now. Things are changing.
There is work to be done here. And I am so encouraged, and uplifted, and amazed to see this willingness. We need every single one of you. Thank you. Be courageous. All it takes to walk down a new path, is the simple clarity that the one we are on isn’t satisfying or right anymore.
We need you, men. We need you, women. You are capable of amazing things.
Thank you. And be brave.