“How can you let your politicians talk to you that way?” Leymah Gbowee said, opening her impromptu talk during The Women of TED Lunch, one that might have been even better than her official TED talk.
Attention turned to her and conversations stopped - and for good reason. With little sugarcoating she called out everyone in the audience, who stood silently as she reminded us the responsibility we carry to the other women in this country and the world. She bluntly said (although I am paraphrasing), citing a recent and well-reported example of the current discourse in our country, ”You cannot let men stand up and claim, publicly and with impunity, that women need only to put some aspirin between their legs and call it a day in terms of contraception. You owe it not only to the women in your country, but to women all over the world, to stand up and speak for women’s rights. All eyes are on you, and when the message coming from the US is not only incorrect but also counterproductive, you need to say something about it, you can’t and shouldn’t be quiet.”
That is most definitely a rallying cry for all the women in this country: it’s time to stop letting only male voices speak about what we do or don’t need as women.
It’s time for us to take up the fight more actively once again. Thank you Leymah for asking us to take a good straight look at ourselves and illustrating for us the impact doing nothing can have. And thank you to the wonderful amazing Cyndi Stivers for making it possible for Leymah to be there.