Tracee Ellis Ross opened up the annual TED Talk conference in Vancouver this Tuesday with two invitations to start making change. She is no stranger to speaking on issues that surround women and the mistreatment they endure. “Time's up on women being responsible for men’s bad behavior,” said Ross during her talk.
Ross began with a story about a friend who was gently moved out of the way at the post office. Although it was seemingly harmless, it brought her friend intense anger. “Women have been trained to think that we're overreacting or that we're too sensitive," Ross said. "Her fury was ignited by lifetimes of men helping themselves to women's bodies without consent.”
Ross encouraged the women to acknowledge the fury that they’ve had to suppress in their lifetime of being pushed to the side, ignored or assaulted by men who have taken it for granted that they could treat women more like property and less like an equal.
She also reminded us that the culture is shifting and now is the time for change. She invited the men in the audience to be become “allies as we work together toward change, to be accountable, self-reflective and supportive of women in the effort to achieve equality.” She also requested that the men ask how they can support women and be of service to change.
Ross also mentioned a “blind spot” for men — something she’s spoken about in the past. “Men feel entitled to help themselves to women's bodies, not because they're less moral, but because it's a blind spot for them,” said Ross.
There couldn't have been a more perfect person or message to kick off this year’s TED Talk conference.