I’ve never raped a woman / I’m not as bad as Harvey Weinstein / Well, from my glass house… and other excuses men have told me.

I’ve engaged in countless conversations this week about Harvey Weinstein— with men I love, with men I admire, with men who are my champions— about holding other men accountable. Some asked how they could help, how they could be a part of the conversation. Most acknowledged that they were nothing like Harvey.  Their behavior nowhere near as bad. But when asked if they would be willing to hold another man accountable, the most common phrase I heard was, “Well from my glass house…” And what a strange place to stand: acknowledging that that while you might not be rapists, you admit to some questionable behavior, and that makes it impossible for any man to hold another accountable. “From my glass house…” How very convenient. 

It will be too easy for your peers to look themselves in the mirror and say they are not as bad as Harvey Weinstein. That they haven’t raped anyone. Or groped them. Or showed up to their hotel rooms naked. But the amount of #MeToo’s shared on social media last night, make it so that the numbers don’t add up. I was on the phone with my father this past weekend and while the news is our currency, this one was a difficult conversation. We talked about all the public moments in which powerful men were taken down for their sexual harassment— Strauss-Khan in France, Bill O’Reilley, Harvey Weinstein. We talked about their perversion and their need for help. We talked about their undeniably inappropriate behavior. And yet there was a comment made about how women can also be complicit, about how women can also be extortionists.

Yes. This is true. That does happen, sometimes. And who knows what those women were surviving. Who knows. But listen to a woman when she tells you that is not the norm. Truly the exception. It struck me that while my father— an exquisite debater, an intellectual, a man who raised me to be just like him— considered this conversation to be like any other. A debate. Political jargon. Another family stand-off, in which we all become proud of the knowledge held inside our brains. But I took a step. I opened up to my father— my forever champion, my dream— about the fact that this wasn’t that conversation. This was about my experience. My story. About womanhood.

Read More

One Day at a Time

Listen, I grew up feeling very represented: dad was in congress, mom was a doctor, and (she crosses herself) Shakira, Juanes, and Sofia Vergara. There was no thing a Colombian could not do.

I remember moving here and watching lots of Mikes and Mollys, Hanks and Peggys, Jennifers and Rachels. One Lopez. I didn’t think much about it at the time. I didn’t have to, I had all that Shakira gumption. But it’s been sixteen years now.

Sixteen! And I remember crying over the balcony at ON YOUR FEET! The Musical so its author wouldn’t notice. Because I was ugly crying, completely overwhelmed. I realized that after eight years in conservatory, and fifteen pursuing theater, I had never, ever, ever heard a salsa number on stage. While I had felt represented all my life, I realized– snotty and M&Med up– that I had never actually seen or heard the sounds I left sixteen years ago on a theater stage. You know, that thing I went to conservatory for and paid gazillions of dollars to get good at? That dream? Snot aside, it was the first time I understood what representation does to a body. I didn’t know I needed that. Dad was in Congress, remember? But I did. It undid me. Disarmed me. Made me feel seen when I thought I was already in plenty of spotlight. It made me call my parents and thank them for their ridiculously generous hearts and impecable work ethic, both of which made it possible for me to even have that very experience. Because I was being represented in MY dream.

So yes. I support you #OneDayAtATime. Whole heartedly and full of gratitude. Because Latinos deserve laugh tracks and yellow living room scenes, too. So please keep writing them, and writing them well.

 

For more on this awesomeness, click here.