Outrage Pledge Update
I wrote the Outrage Pledge several months ago when it seemed that we were at the end of the sexual harassment revelations. I could not have been more wrong. However, I think the call for men to sign on to the Outrage Pledge is even more timely now.
Women who have been subjected to these aggressions are increasingly more empowered to speak out. There is less shame about revealing what happened to them, there is more acceptance that what they share, happened. But this is far from over. There are still more women hiding in the shadows, and men still feel emboldened to take advantage of women.
And that is why the Outrage Pledge is even more important now. The only way we take the next step and stop harassment before it starts, is if men join the fight. So I challenge men to ask their colleagues, their friends, their wives, daughters and sisters, to talk to them about their #MeToo moment. It will be eye opening for men to understand the gauntlet women still need to run through. And I hope, it will cause them to take a stand.
A number of women recently gathered at a dinner I hosted, and they shared their stories with one another. They were the usual tales of how women needed to “go along” with men’s behavior at business events because if they did not, they would be shut out of networking opportunities or they would be labeled uncool. I was among that number. Perhaps if a man had stood up and said this behavior was unacceptable, then these instances could have been avoided.
But the story that has affected me the most over the last weeks, is one from our own TechGirlz. Her father contacted me to ask if there was a female empowerment group she could join. When I asked why, he told me she was being harassed by boys in her school on social media — being called a whore because she had the guts to stand up for other girls. They tried to silence her. Her supportive father knew this was not the correct route. He is outraged and he is standing up for her.
I hope other men will follow. In this way we can stop sympathizing with women or lashing out at men after the fact, and instead prevent the next awful story.