THE ACTIVIST CARTEL
a written challenge to a duel
ACTION LETTER #22: December 14th, 2017
Dear Activist Cartel,
Doug Jones won in Alabama!!! There is hope, my friends.
Let's keep our focus and not lose momentum.
A "WITCH HUNT"
I've heard this term "witch hunt" used a lot about men in the last few weeks, as more women bravely come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. I find myself reminding people why historically women were savagely burned at the stake until they died. Reasons could be as minor as stubbornness, age, having no children, or having a mole/birthmark. In our current climate, I haven't seen any men literally burned alive and murdered because they have no children. Some jobs have been lost, and some investigations have begun, but please be mindful that men are still facing something far less severe than a witch hunt. We are indeed going through some serious growing pains as a country, and of course that process won't go smoothly-- progress has never been gained with ease. I ask that you please be wary of backlash. As my friend and founder of The Representation Project, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, recently articulated:
Considering 1 in 5 women are victims of sexual assault, we are definitely going to see growing numbers as more women bravely come forward. We are deconstructing deeply systemic issues, and it can be both surprising and uncomfortable. This is an incredible moment in history for victims who saw only silence as an option before. We must support victims loudly or silence will creep back in. Most of all, we need to lean into empathetic conversations and educate ourselves around the root causes of this epidemic. We must address how our culture socializes "masculinity" and how good men can help be a part of the solution.
1.) Support the 21 women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct by sparking an investigation:
--Find out if your rep is on the House Oversight Committee. Call and ask them to open an investigation. This week, 56 female Democratic lawmakers formally asked the House to investigate.
--Watch & Share the video of 16 victims tell their stories of Trump's abuse.
--Email Senator Kirsten Gillibrand with your support since she has been vocally leading this fight. For inspiration, here is her fierce tweet firing back at Trump's pitiful attack on her.
--Make noise: Tweet/FB/Talk/Write/Call lawmakers about Trump's sexual misconduct. Harvey Weinstein was taken down by outrage, not silence. Can you imagine if Trump was taken down by the women he victimized? That's how it happened for Fox News's Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, it's possible.
--We must ask ourselves, why does this Onion headline work so well?
"Trump Dismisses Accusers as Women"
Let's change the narrative.
2.) Read Tony Porter's book and/or my Lenny Letter interview with him:
--Porter's book, Breaking Out of the "Man Box": The Next Generation of Manhood, is a great holiday gift for that man in your life who cares.
--My interview with Porter, "Rethinking Masculinity" recently published in Lenny Letter.
--Exciting announcement: I recently became the newest Board Member of Porter's nonprofit A CALL TO MEN. Alongside their Honorary Board Members such as Gloria Steinem and Eve Ensler, I encourage you to donate to this cause. I know that I've promoted this nonprofit a lot over the last year, but it's because I truly believe that they're addressing and preventing male violence and discrimination against women with foundational solutions.
3.) Watch & Share these 3 TED Talks:
--Jackson Katz's "Violence Against Women-- it's a Men's Issue"
--Tony Porter's "A Call to Men"
--Michael Kimmel's "Why Gender Equality is Good for Everyone-- Men Included"
4.) Watch the documentary The Mask You Live In:
--Here is the trailer. You can find it streaming on Netflix. It addresses the American "boy crisis" and explores how to raise a healthier generation of men.
--The director Jennifer Siebel Newsom (who I quoted above) has been behind the revolutionary documentaries: Miss Representation, The Invisible War, and The Hunting Ground.
5.) Please send me your questions.
--I've heard from men who say they don't feel safe to engage in this conversation right now. However, that would sadly be a missed opportunity for this moment in history. As women, I believe that we must invite conversation, while I maintain a hope that men will seek understanding even if it involves some vulnerability. I'm happy to try to answer any questions even if they seem small or controversial. Email me. Conversation is key as we sort through our country's growing pains.
6.) Plan to attend the Women's March Jan. 20th, 2018!
--It's going to be epic.
And I want to thank you. With your encouragement and inspiration, I was able to persevere through 2017 with a warrior spirit. I feel strong enough to take on 2018.
"The pendulum is swinging in the right direction, but the power balance is still off – meaning that men still hold more power, not women. So if you hear someone talking about how it’s 'dangerous' to be a man right now – remind them that the facts don’t support that argument. The victims of this epidemic are not the men who face consequences. The victims are the victims, end of story."