Michelle Obama is calling on American men to play their part in the fight against sexual misconduct.
During a sold-out speech Thursday evening in Hartford, Connecticut, the former first lady weighed in on the recent wave of sexual harassment and abuse allegations against men of power in various industries, saying: “I can’t tell you how sick it makes me, the more I see the uncovering of the truth that all us women know has been out there, that there is an ugliness there.”
“If we want young women to be strong and have voices and advocate for themselves, then we have to realize how much work we have to do,’’ she added. “And I’m talking to the men out there, who cannot be innocent bystanders and complacent … watching this happen.”
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Obama also spoke about the impact the men in her life have had on her, saying, “I was one of the lucky ones. I am what it looks like when a girl is loved and nurtured and invested [in.]”
But she went on to lament that “we live in a world … where young girls are literally in danger of some kind of mess, whether it’s what a man says to us, or how he looks at us, or an opportunity that is taken from us, or somebody who’s got our foot on our necks … it is such a sad, common existence for women and girls in this country.”
Obama also offered the packed crowd of about 2,800 advice on how to live in the tumultuous Trump era.
Careful as always not to mention the president by name, she said, “Focus on what you can control. Be a good person every day. Vote. Read. Treat one another kindly. Follow the law. Don’t tweet nasty stuff.”