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Paula Rogo
Apr, 29, 2018

Tracee Ellis Ross is spurring women to allow themselves to be angry!

The actress gave a powerful TED Talk recently at the annual TED Conference, where she acknowledged that women should be angry about how we have been treated for centuries.

“Women, I encourage you to acknowledge your fury,” Ross said. “Give it language. Share it in safe places of identification and in safe ways. Your fury is not something to be afraid of. It holds lifetimes of wisdom. Let it breathe and listen.”

Ross shared a story about a female friend who was physically picked up and moved out of the way by a man in the post office while she was filling out a form. Her friend, with good reason, was mad.

“This fury was not my friend’s alone. Her fury was ignited by lifetimes of men helping themselves to women’s bodies without consent,” Ross said. “There’s a culture of men helping themselves to women, and in this case, in a seemingly innocuous way, where a woman’s body is like a saltshaker: ‘Get out of the way so I can get to the fries.’” 

And she pointed out that the history of this objectification runs deep:

"When someone helps themselves to a woman, it not only triggers discomfort and distress but the unspoken experiences of our mothers’ lives, sisters’ lives and generations of women before us," she said. "That’s lifetimes of women dealing with men who assume they know better for us than we know for ourselves, being the property of husbands, landowners, and having old, white men tell us the fate of our lady parts; lifetimes of having our bodies used for love and objects of desire, instead of bodies that we get to wield and use as we choose; lifetimes of knowing that whether we play by their rules or not, we still have to tolerate harassment, assault and even worse; lifetimes of our bodies being used as property that can be hit and hurt, manipulated and moved and like objects that are not deserving of respect; lifetimes of not being able to express the anger of our bodies."

Ross continued: "It’s no wonder we feel this fury. And if you add in the history of race ― which is a whole other talk ― it gets exponentially more complicated."

You can watch the full video of her speech here.