The power of just about every society in history has been held by men.
All over the world, we see powerful men leading lives of luxury while their populations starve and fight each other for next to nothing.
We like to think that in America, we’re better than the oligarchs or oil princes found on the other side of the world, and in some respects we are.
However, it is coming into the picture that some of the people supposed to represent us are monsters in their own ways.
We all know that the state of American politics has been crazy for the last year.
Whether you think Trump is the God-Emperor of the world or if you think he’s Cheeto Mussolini, we can all agree that he has stirred up Washington D.C. in ways no president has ever before.
He’s definitely the first President of the United States to have video recording of himself saying “...grab them by the pussy” when talking about a married woman that he was “moving on like a bitch.”
He's the perfect example of this culture we’ve created in America, where this behavior can be ‘acceptable’ to many people. There were several weeks of discussion about this Access Hollywood tape, and several defenses of “if you listen to what he says, he says they let him do it to them because he’s a star” or “what’s the big deal” or in some instances “damn right, brother, Amen”.
This is the guy that’s making the decisions for all of us.
I sure as shit don’t trust him.
However, he’s not the only one.
I’m sure by this point you’ve also heard about Roy Moore, or kid-toucher Republican senate candidate from Alabama. This guy is so creepy that he got banned from malls in his area, because he was preying on the teens shopping in the stores.
He’s got a list of accusers that have kept coming forward and are being published by reputable news sources, who have vetted the accusations.
Can you guess who’s defending him?
That’s right, our president.
He is not only an abuser, he supports pedophiles.
The list of sexual harassers in government is growing steadily just like every other field of work, and it’s not one sided.
This isn’t a republicans and democrats issue, it’s an everyone issue.
Even ex-Presidents aren’t safe from the list.
In my eyes at this point the Bush family is dead to me, George W. for leading this country into an oil war and committing countless war crimes, and his father H.W. for groping women without consequence. Bill Clinton also earned a spot on the list of ex-presidents I don't support because he's a goddamn predator too.
Al Franken and John Conyers have also been accused of various levels of sexual misconduct, and both of them are dead to me as well. It’s not hard to respect women.
The message here is that people we trusted to lead us let the power get to their head.
There is a certain level of trust that you give to people you elect to their positions, and when things like this happen, it can cause some of us to have even less trust in the system than we had already.
I think that any time something like this happens there needs to be a process to follow, especially when it comes to members of the government.
No offense, but I think we as a nation are better than a bunch of kid touchers and women gropers, and we need to start acting like it.
Tyler The Creator was right.
Fuck Bill O’Reilly. Fuck him and his infotainment bullshit.
The Weinstein effect has been in full force the last few weeks, and it’s showing in the world of entertainment where big names are starting to drop like flies.
However, the trend isn't limited to names everyone knows, and is spreading like wildfire.
I say let the metaphorical gasoline get thrown on the metaphorical wildfire.
The trend is exposing everyone — celebrities to news hosts, musicians to political identities.
I want people to fry for what they’ve done, to be left with nothing after the public is done with them.
This conversation is about news hosts, journalists, and others within the news media that have been accused in recent times of sexual misconduct.
I'm going to start with a quick synopsis of each man and what they were accused of and then we’ll dig into just why this is as bad as what’s happening to those getting swept into the flames of the Weinstein effect in Hollywood.
Mark Halperin was a reporter at ABC for years, and has accumulated a long list of accusers.
He is accused of forced kissing, having erections at inappropriate times, and much like Louis C.K., he seems to like masturbating in front of unwilling women.
Charlie Rose had a show on PBS and Bloomberg for years and years, at which he allegedly has done a fair amount bad stuff; from touching women’s thighs as a way to gauge their reactions, walking around naked after showers, and in one woman’s case, an ass grab.
Eric Bolling was a rising star at Fox News and was exposed recently.
He was let go from his position because he was sending unsolicited photos of (his?) genitalia to current and former female staff members at Fox.
Bill O’Reilly has been accused of sexual harassment and verbal abuse of women that worked on or with his show The O’Reilly Factor, dating back all the way to 2004.
He has been under heavy scrutiny for a long time, and there has been a sweeping trend of huge companies pulling their ads from his program.
And finally, Matt Lauer, whose story has been breaking today.
He's done some very horrible things in the last few years, including giving a sex toy to a coworker as a gift with a mention of wanting to use it on her, exposing himself, making people play 'fuck, marry, kill' with him in his office about co-workers, so on, and so forth.
These are people that we as a nation look to for guidance in troubling times.
TV news hosts and journalists provide the stories that we need to hear as a nation, even if our opinions on the story are different.
By making workspaces unsafe, the profession is looking less and less professional every day.
I know for a fact that if I was planning on pursuing a career in journalism, these stories would turn me off from it in a major way,
even more so if I were a female.
Providing news shouldn’t be a boys club, and treating women as equals should be something you do because it’s right to do, not because you had to be told to do so.
Some media outlets are learning the hard way that if you choose to ignore the kind of toxicity that exists that you will lose out on not only being better people, but also loads of cash from ad revenue.
Companies that won’t support shitty people, won’t support you.
This was the case with Bill O’Reilly’s program, and the results were great.
Events like this and Reddit backlash have inspired groups like Sleeping Giants to form and become prominent, encouraging people to stop racist and sexist media by stopping their ad revenue.
Reports from everyday readers have drawn attention to ad placement, forcing companies to take a stand.
This is good. We all need to take a stand.
The first domino in 2017's parade of predators was Harvey Weinstein.
This guy had everything he could have ever wanted.
He had the money, Miramax, and a career full of being a big fancy producer and film executive.
He was literally pumping out hit films that everyone knew and loved.
Clearly, none of that was enough.
Once again, it was the New York Times who broke the story and created the Weinstein effect, a national backlash against sexual harassment and assault.
The Weinstein Effect is the only good thing to come of all of these accusations — bringing down powerful men who use their positions in ways that are 1.) generally fucked up or 2.) demeaning to women and their place in society.
The Weinstein Effect is described as a phenomenon where allegations of sexual harassment and assault against celebrities are publicized and trigger responses from companies and institutions.
Personally, I think the trend of cutting all financial ties and business dealings with predators is one I could get used to.
People like Harvey Weinstein who have no regard for anyone but themselves deserve the media blasts on how shitty they are.
Just to give you some perspective, here’s a list of the accusers that have been brave enough to share their stories publicly.
Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.
Emma de Caunes.
Sarah Ann Masse.
Vu Thu Phuong.
Let that sink in.
These are the named accusers of sexual misconduct involving this human pile of garbage.
Estimates of how many people he has accusations from are in the 80s.
That’s 80 lives that he has personally caused death of an expectation, a death of decency, and a death of dreams.
I just don’t understand how people can cause wreckage in every path they choose and leave the victims to clean themselves up.
There are more accusers that have chosen to remain anonymous, which is completely understandable.
While I respect that some of it may be hard to relive, expose, or be made public knowledge could impact mental health (and believe me I’m the biggest supporter of making sure that choices you make are in line with your mental stability), I believe the time is now.
The time to call out men on their bullshit and using positions of power to manipulate those below them is now.
It is absolutely now.
The window has opened for women to stand up and I think that now more than ever they absolutely need to.
This is me calling on anyone who has faced sexual misconduct to stop being idle and to make men own up to their shit.
The time to act is now, the power has been shifted to the rightful party for once in history and must be taken advantage of.
Now, more than ever, society needs to accept of these victims, of all genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, races; (remember, men experience these things as well) coming forward and telling their stories.
We need to sympathize, rather than try and poke holes in their narrative.
We need to empathize.
We need to understand that what these people went through was more than a slap in the face, and impacted them for the rest of their lives.
We need to get through this so that the future will be better, so that society can advance, so people can get the chance they deserve in the world without having to pay sexual favors, be seduced unwillingly, or fear that their careers will be crushed if they neglect to submit to the first two.
This year has been killing me.
I’ve been sitting for the better part of it trying my best to keep a cool head about it, but I’m angry.
A lot of people that I looked up to being called out for being shitty people, and it's been a whirlwind.
If you asked me if this could happen a few years ago, I probably would have shrugged, but welcome to 2017.
I am a firm believer that it is not hard to not be a shitty person, it basically comes down to 1.) being ethical and 2.) understanding that your body is yours and 2.5) everyone else’s body is not yours.
f you don’t understand that, hit the back page button because I’m about to go on a rant about one of my ex-favorite comedians, Louis C.K.
Louis, Louis, Louis....
My first question is what the fuck? and my second question is dude, seriously, what the fuck?
Louis C.K. was one of my favorite comedians, up there with John Mulaney and Dave Chappelle -- they are all of the genre of ‘real comedians’ where they are a ‘comedian’s comedian’ rather than appealing to a broader audience.
Louis C.K.’s humor style made light of situations that we can all find ourselves in and kind of can sympathize with his feelings in some of the scenarios he describes.
He was always one to talk about masturbation in his routines as well.
This seemed like all fun and games until we all found out that he actually really had some problems with masturbation, and was also prone to oversharing his tendencies to play with himself.
To a shocking degree.
There were 5 women, through the course of almost a decade, that he used his power over.
The details were splashed across print, social media, push notifications, by The New York Times, detailing the accounts of Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, Abby Schachner, and Rebecca Corry, all of whom had come into contact with Louis C.K. and had had incidents with him regarding masturbation.
The first two, Dana and Julia, were at a Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado in 2002 that Louis also happened to be at.
They were invited by Louis back to his room after their performance on what seemed like professional pretenses.
That’s when Louis decided to ask them if he could masturbate in front of them, then got ass naked and started playing with himself.
Abby Schachner recounts a similar experience during a phone call in 2003 where he was audibly masturbating while on the line with her.
The experience of Rebecca Corry aligns with these stories as well, as Louis had asked if she could masturbate in front of her, which she respectfully declined.
It’s one thing to be sexually damaged, it’s another to inflict it onto others.
Clearly Louis C.K. has some confidence issues and knows exactly who he is and what he was doing to these people.
There is no way to explain or joke your way out of something like this.
I firmly believe it’s okay to self sabotage as long as you’re not hurting those around you.
Louis C.K. knew what he was doing, then set out in a predatory fashion with intent to hurt people through actions he chose.
No one just does things like this, and the fact that he had a platform of fame to use as a shield must have made him feel pretty damn invincible.
2017 has been a wild ride with many things changing, especially how we treat sexual misconduct and abuse, as well as how we view the perpetrators.
It’s very quickly becoming my favorite year for exposing people’s bullshit, and calling people out for doing things that we all know are wrong, and are not any less wrong because you make people laugh.
Though he clearly must have felt so inadequate that the only way to make himself feel less disgusting was to traumatize others and drag them down with him, but this is not, and never will be, an excuse.
Normal people do not do these sort of things, and being a funny man doesn’t excuse it at all.
I used to look up to this guy, I related to his comedy and appreciated his views on a lot of things in life that just suck.
Wholeheartedly, it rattled me to my core to see this.
Seeing heroes transform so quickly into trash has been
This isn’t the last person that I’ll be talking about this week that I’ve grown to hate, that I used to look up to, but that’s how 2017 is going to be.
Buckle up, because one by one these pricks with power will start to fall.
I only hope it causes a chain reaction.
Cooper Union’s famous Great Hall is practically buzzing with anticipation.
The hall is filled with almost – almost! – exclusively women of all ages, colors, and styles.
Each one clutches her little purple book, "Dear Ijeawele," and sits on the edge of her seat.
The back walls are lined with portraits, and despite the hallowed history of the hall as a hotbed of progressive debate, each portrait is of an old white man in stuffy clothing.
But the person who appears from behind the curtains is no old white man in stuffy clothing. She is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the famous Nigerian author.
Beyoncé’s sampling of her 2012 TED Talk ensured that her voice rang out on feminism in households and earbuds across the world, and her anthem has graced runways in the form of a ridiculously expensive white T-shirt.
But long before ***Flawless or Dior picked up her words, Chimamanda was an accomplished novelist and writer.
Imagine this: from the moment the curtains part, there is a deafening cheer. Chimamanda steps out in bright yellow stilettos and a dress with huge, puffy sleeves.
She had been introduced by none other than the co-owner of the Strand Bookstore, who had mercilessly butchered Chimamanda’s name a different way each time she pronounced it.
But there is no indigence on the author’s face.
She strides across the stage with the power of a woman confident in her own strength.
She radiates humility and authority at the same time.
Her eyes are lit up with a humble smile that contrasts, but doesn’t contradict, her posture.
She scans the crowd, glowing with genuine gratitude, taking in the largely feminine crowd who are giving such a warm welcome.
One by one, the people in the Great Hall stand up, until suddenly we are all standing, and our cheers grow louder with the warm beam of her smile and the sheer power of the admiration of the audience.
Our world is flooded with flashy news about actors, singers, and celebrities who are famous for being famous.
We take in every detail of their lives, voluntarily or not, as part of our daily ritual.
But authors in the twenty-first century?
We’ve been told for years that books are dying.
That the value of the written word is deteriorating; that the English language is devolving.
And yet the love that pours from the people of the Great Hall is unlike anything I’d ever experienced.
Unmatched by the rabid crowds of a music festival or the eager fans of a movie screening.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie commands the stage with nothing but her words.
Emotions become visceral.
The mere sound of her voice makes my eyes prick with tears, and I hang on to her every word.
“Feminism isn’t a cloak I put on in the morning,” she says to us, and half the audience pulls out a phone or a notebook to scribble down what they can feel will be a soundbite of wisdom.
“It’s who I am.”
Being a babe isn’t about outward attractiveness. It isn’t about how many 14ers you’ve summited, the number of miles you’ve hiked, or how long your hair is. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, black or white, rich or poor, male, female, or somewhere in between.
Being a babe is about holding each other up, giving back, and apologizing when we’ve made mistakes. It’s about not taking life too seriously, but being mature enough to handle whatever gets thrown at us.
Sounds like you? Rejoice! And share the love – according to my calculations we’re severely understaffed in the babe department and the maximum capacity is infinite.
Recently in the media I have noticed the rise of news articles with titles similar to, ‘Why I Would Never Call Myself a Feminist.’
These articles include things about feminism that really wouldn’t be a problem if people were educated about what it means to be an advocate for women’s rights. Unfortunately in the 21st century, a lot of the time, a feminist is seen as a woman who doesn’t shave and hates men.
But truly a feminist is any person who supports the EQUALITY of all sexes. A lot of the time the term ‘feminist’ brings forth many negative thoughts.
Getting the rights we protest for and strive for wouldn’t make men less than us. It would make us more equal.
This is something that I understand but feel like plenty of other people just don’t. I understand that demonizing men is not going to solve any problems.
All in all it’s important for people to be educated before they go spitting ‘facts’ about feminism.
If there wasn’t so much controversy surrounding the topic we’d be able to make way more progress than what is happening.
I’d hate to say it but, in my opinion, feminism has made hardly any progress since we got the right to vote nearly 100 years ago.
We still have a low male to female ratio in congress, the pay gap between men and women is slowly widening, and more.
Women’s rights are a mess right now.
As long as people think that feminists are seen as crazy men haters nobody is going to take our points seriously.
The Women's March started as a Facebook event, but quickly gained momentum around the globe as a response to issues concerning women’s rights, environmental rights, racism, LGBT+ rights, and the election of Donald Trump. Every continent experienced at least one march, including Antarctica.
What did the Women’s Marches show us?
It showed us that there are millions of people around the world willing to take a stand against fascism, racism, discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, and misogyny.
It showed us more people are dedicated to marching against Trump and Pence than for them.
It showed us how much we value each other and the right to protest, as there were no official reports of violence or arrests during any of the U.S. marches.
The march is over, but the resistance is not. It is very important to maintain the momentum and motivation from the march by calling your elected officials (find your Representatives and Senators), signing petitions, demonstrating when you are able to, and showing Trump and his administration that we will not back down. We have the people, now we need the action.
Get involved in your community.
Volunteer at a homeless or women’s shelter.
Educate yourself on the issues.
Volunteer for your local political office.
Donate to groups like Planned Parenthood, the Environmental Defense Fund, the ACLU, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Fight to protect the environment.
Contact your elected officials if you are unhappy with how they’re representing you (the organization 5 calls helps you find phone numbers to contact your officials, and even provides you with an organized script for you to refer to).
Do something to show Trump we won't back down.
Be loud. Be aggressive. Be present.
We have a lot of work to do.
Follow the Women’s March official accounts here: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Read about the Denver march here, and see some incredible photographs taken by Conner.
Watch some footage from the D.C. march below, or here.
It’s never too late to let your voice be heard.
If your feminism isn't intersectional we don't want to talk to you.