By Lawrence P. Schaefer |
What Tony Robbins Learned – and Quickly
Tony Robbins, the world-renowned motivational speaker and self-help “guru,” has learned an important lesson which applies to everyone seeking to understand the true significance of the #MeToo movement. Any critical backlash will only strengthen this movement.
The Brazen and Misogynistic Messages From Tony Robbins
In a video which recently went viral, Robbins last month criticized the #MeToo movement as a “ploy” for women to “make themselves feel significant.” He then engaged in an absurd exercise with a women in the audience, Nanine McCool, who dared express her disappointment in his “message.” Mr. Robbins, a towering 6’7” man, then used his fist against Ms. McColl’s to push her into retreat, supposedly illustrating how people who get pushed “don’t like it.” He concluded by describing how the movement was causing powerful men to refuse to hire qualified beautiful women given the perceived risk of a harassment complaint.
Some powerful men in the established patriarchy are clearly afraid of and angry at the power of the #MeToo movement and its growing impact. Mr. Robbins was expressing this fear and anger. These men seek to minimize this movement as opportunistic or tactical, and warn about the perils of simply accepting as true allegations of sexual harassment against powerful men. In doing so, they ignore the cultural awakening that fuels this movement, and the staying power of those who have suffered in silence for far too long.
You Have the Right to Push Back
The #MeToo movement is about empowerment. It is about everyone’s right to push back against being sexualized, in the workplace and in society. The chosen method to do this is to speak about these experiences, refuse to be a silent victim any longer, and thereby build awareness and a network of support in the larger community. If this causes those who seek to protect and preserve the patriarchy to make illegal decisions that bar qualified women from the workplace, as Mr. Robbins described, this won’t provoke silence, but will instead only add fuel to this growing movement.
No Woman Should Ever Be Discriminated Against Based on Her Appearance
The #MeToo movement’s momentum won’t recede into the background because the tinder that ignited this wildfire stills burns and won’t likely be extinguished for generations. When prominent, powerful men like Mr. Robbins equate hiring a beautiful woman with an increased risk of sexual harassment, the spark ignites. Chastened by the reaction to his misogynistic backlash,
Mr. Robbins has since publicly apologized, now describing the movement as “a beautiful force” while explaining that “sometimes the teacher needs to be the student.”
Whether motivated by self-interest or enlightenment, Mr. Robbins near-immediate about-face demonstrates the enduring power of this movement and reveals the powerful pulse at its center: survivors will speak out, clearly and forcefully, not only when harassment occurs, but in opposing those who have been apologists for a system that has long needed change.
Contact Us Today
The lawyers at Schaefer Halleen have decades of experience in giving a powerful voice in our legal system to workplace sexual harassment survivors. We understand and appreciate the sea change in attitudes that continue to strengthen the #MeToo movement and will look to harness this powerful force to bringing critically necessary changes to the business and legal communities.
You can read more about the firm’s experience representing survivors of sexual harassment, as well as our strong focus representing victims of sexual harassment. You can read more about the firm’s advocacy on behalf of clients by viewing the important blogs we have written on the topic of sexual harassment.
For a confidential consultation, contact us today.