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.

via The Today Show

Michael and Jack McConnell will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on September 3rd and it won't only be a big moment for them, it'll be a landmark for the entire gay rights movement.

The couple was legally married 32 years before Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004 and 43 before it became federally legal in 2015.

How did they do it? They outsmarted a system that wasn't prepared to address same-sex marriage.

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via The Today Show

Michael and Jack McConnell will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on September 3rd and it won't only be a big moment for them, it'll be a landmark for the entire gay rights movement.

The couple was legally married 32 years before Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004 and 43 before it became federally legal in 2015.

How did they do it? They outsmarted a system that wasn't prepared to address same-sex marriage.

Keep Reading Show less
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If you've ever donated to a cause but worried that your contribution wasn't really enough to drive real change, you're not alone. As one person, it can be tough to feel like you're making a real difference, especially if you don't have a lot to donate or if times are tough (aka there's a worldwide pandemic going on.)

That's why, for years, the idea of philanthropy felt a little bit like a rich person's thing: if you had millions, you could donate and make change. The rest of us were just tossing pennies into a cup without really doing much.

But that's a problem: the priorities of a wealthy few don't represent the priorities of many, which means that good causes are often left underfunded, leading to a lack of meaningful action.

The thing is: it doesn't have to be like this. We can all make a difference, especially if we pool our money together.

Enter: Giving Circles. These are when groups of people with shared values come together to drive change. They do it by pooling their time and money together, then deciding as a circle where it should go. That way, they can cause a real targeted change in one place quickly in a very people-powered way by giving what they can, whether that's volunteer hours, money, or a mix of both. Best of all, Giving Circles are a social experience — you get to work together as a community to make sure you do the most good you can.

In other words, giving circles are a way to democratize philanthropy, making it more accessible regardless of your age, income, gender, or race.

That's why this year, The Elevate Prize, a nonprofit founded in 2019, is launching a new pop-up "Giving Circle" program so that problem solvers, budding philanthropists, and anyone that wants to do good can come together and drive real impact at a large scale. And you can do it all in just 90 minutes.

All you have to do is join one of the Elevate Giving Circles online. Learn about organizations doing good for the world, then pool your money together, and as a group, direct it where you think that donation could make the most difference.

But that's not all: every single donation made is matched by the Elevate Prize Foundation — basically guaranteeing that you double your impact for good. The theme for the first cycle is education, and Elevate Giving will match up to $75,000 in total donations for each cycle.

Ready to get involved? Elevate Giving experiences start June 26th, so sign up now for your spot to make a difference. There's no minimum fee to join either — so get involved no matter what you have to give. Now that's philanthropy for all.