We are witnessing a tidal wave of change as our friends, colleagues, and companions in the entertainment industry speak out against systemic gender-based abuse, bias and exclusion. We are taking a bold stand by putting our bodies on the line, sharing our stories, and reimagining our workplaces.
But brothers, we have to say: it’s not hard to notice how few of you have been showing up for us.
We know that social change can create uncertainty for those who have traditionally held power. (Yep, we’re looking at you.) We understand that the swiftness of the bold and confronting conversations that we and our sisters are having can create anxiety, and perhaps even a sense of confusion as to how men can engage in this moment.
We know that toxic masculinity has long defined our communities and is destroying our society. Many of you have seen it in your fathers, grandfathers and the men you look up to. Generations have been harmed, but you can end it. Because when movements against injustice arise, people of conscience cannot stand by and wait. During the Civil Rights movement, white people became allies to Blacks. White people organized other white people to build the movement against segregation and racism.
This moment calls for all of us to change the stories we tell and the structures of the industries in which we work. It asks men to reimagine what a healthy masculinity might look like, one in which men are not inflicting harm on others, and where men refuse to reproduce structures of power that exclude, dominate, and harass women, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people.
Men, get together in your living rooms and social spaces, talk to each other, and be open to the messy conversations that follow. Stay engaged, listen, speak out. Step up and join us. We need you (not in front of us, ‘cause brothers we got this) but alongside us as partners in the struggle for our mutual freedom.