Tony Robbins mansplained #MeToo to a woman who paid to see him. It didn't end well.

Tony Robbins is an incredibly powerful man. But a video that went viral over the weekend revealed he has a major weakness when it comes to understanding women.

The 6-foot-7 self-help phenom, whose philosophy is based on strength, empowerment, and straight talk, regularly fills stadiums with devotees. But this time, while speaking to another sold-out room in late March, he went a little too far.

"I'm not knocking it," he said, but "if you use the #MeToo movement to try to get significance and certainty by attacking and destroying someone else, you haven't grown an ounce. All you've done is basically use a drug called significance to make yourself feel good."


Fortunately, one woman was brave enough to stand up to Robbins.

"I think you misunderstand the #MeToo movement," Nanine McCool said into the microphone. "Certainly there are people who are using it for their own personal devices, but there are also a significant number of people who are using it not to relive whatever may have happened to them, but to make it safe for the young women. So that they don't have to feel unsafe."

Robbins advanced on her with a fist out and then questioned whether resisting him is helping. He even suggested that he knew "a dozen men" who'd had to opt to hire men over a "more qualified" but "very attractive" woman "because it's too big of a risk."

"I think you do the whole movement a disservice," McCool replied to a torrent of applause.

Days later, McCool still refuses to back down.

In a conversation with Refinery 29 about the viral video published on April 8, McCool stated that as a survivor, she believes Robbins' assertion that anger was hurting the movement was wrong.

"Being sexually abused, harassed, raped, you're entitled to your rage," she told the outlet. "I just think that the #MeToo movement is a platform, a place for discussion and empathy."

Standing up wasn't easy, she said, but as she watched another powerful man display a startling lack of empathy for those who had been silenced, she felt like she had to do something.

"I don’t remember making that decision to stand up but at some point I was like, 'Oh my god, I'm yelling at Tony Robbins. I need to sit down,' but it was too late," McCool told Refinery29.

McCool says it was a painful experience; she could feel Robbins' anger. But she didn't sit down. Because she wasn't just standing up for herself — something #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, who weighed in on the controversy over the weekend, understands all too well.

"We need a complete cultural transformation if we are to eradicate sexual assault in our lifetimes," Burke explained in a statement on the movement's website. "It means we must build our families differently, engage our communities, and confront some of our long-held assumptions about ourselves."

There's a simple reason why Robbins' take on #MeToo is inherently flawed.

#MeToo isn't about attacking. It isn't about destroying. It's about bringing to light the sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault that's been kept under wraps for so long.

The goal is to provide empathy for those who have been harassed and to hold those who have committed these terrible acts (often powerful men) accountable. While the movement may make some men (including, apparently, Tony Robbins) uncomfortable, it's changing the landscape of how our society views and talks about sexual violence.

McCool's bravery should be a catalyst. And this moment is a reminder of how much the movement has yet to do.

In the days following the video's viral spread, McCool has been celebrated, and Robbins has been both vilified and defended. Soon after the video went viral, Robbins issued an apology, stating that he has much more to learn.

But no apology is as important as a commitment to do better. And watching the video, understanding its dynamics, and then vowing to listen to those who are pushing the movement forward is something that we all need to do.

As she told Refinery29, McCool hopes the video itself will be used to train men "who don't get it." She thinks we can all do better.

Because this isn't about punishment — it's about change. It's about listening to and believing survivors. It's about empathizing with those who are finally brave enough to come forward.

McCool just wants us all to keep the discussion going.

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Women around the world are constantly bombarded by traditional and outdated societal expectations when it comes to how they live their lives: meet a man, get married, buy a home, have kids.

Many of these pressures often come from within their own families and friend circles, which can be a source of tension and disconnect in their lives.

Global skincare brand SK-II created a new campaign exploring these expectations from the perspective of four women in four different countries whose timelines vary dramatically from what their mothers, grandmothers, or close friends envision for them.

SK-II had Katie Couric meet with these women and their loved ones to discuss the evolving and controversial topic of marriage pressure and societal expectations.

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"What happens when dreams clash with expectations? We're all supposed to hit certain milestones: a degree, marriage, a family," Couric said before diving into conversation with the "young women who are defining their own lives while navigating the expectations of the ones who love them most."

Maluca, a musician in New York, explains that she comes from an immigrant family, which comes with the expectation that she should live the "American Dream."

"You come here, go to school, you get married, buy a house, have kids," she said.

Her mother, who herself achieved the "American Dream" with hard work and dedication when she came to the United States, wants to see her daughter living a stable life.

"I'd love for her to be married and I'd love her to have a big wedding," she said.

Chun Xia, an award-winning Chinese actress who's outspoken about empowering other young women in China, said people question her marital status regularly.

"I'm always asked, 'Don't you want to get married? Don't you want to start a family and have kids like you should at your age?' But the truth is I really don't want to at this point. I am not ready yet," she said.

In South Korea, Nara, a queer-identifying artist, believes her generation should have a choice in everything they do, but her mother has a different plan in mind.

SK-II

"I just thought she would have a job and meet a man to get married in her early 30s," Nara's mom said.

But Nara hopes she can one day marry her girlfriend, even though it's currently illegal in her country.

Her mother, however, still envisions a different life for her daughter. "Deep in my heart, I hope she will change her mind one day," she said.

Maina, a 27-year-old Japanese woman, explains that in her home country, those who aren't married by the time they're 25 to 30, are often referred to as "unsold goods."

Her mom is worried about her daughter not being able to find a boyfriend because she isn't "conventional."

"I really want her to find the right man and get married, to be seen as marriage material," she said.

After interviewing the women and their families, Couric helped them explore a visual representation of their timelines, which showcased the paths each woman sees her life going in contrast with what her relatives envision.

SK-II

"For each young woman, two timelines were created. One represents the expectations. The other, their aspirations," Couric explained. "There's often a disconnect between dreams and expectations. But could seeing the difference lead to greater understanding?"

The women all explored their timelines, which included milestones like having "cute babies," going back to school, not being limited by age, and pursuing dreams.

By seeing their differences side-by-side, the women and their families were able to partake in more open dialogue regarding the expectations they each held.

One of the women's mom's realized her daughter was lucky to be born during a time when she has the freedom to make non-traditional choices.

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"It looks like she was born in the right time to be free and confident in what she wants to do," she said.

"There's a new generation of women writing their own rules, saying, 'we want to do things our way,' and that can be hard," Couric explained.

The video ends with the tagline: "Forge your own path and choose the life you want; Draw your own timeline."

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