women safety

Women’s Safety – It Belongs To All of Us

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I believe in talking about ideas that matter and can help people lead better lives. It’s hard for me to think of anything that fits that description more than the issues this video deals with.

I’ve done my best, but I know it won’t be perfect. It’s not meant to be. I just want to begin the conversation in our community. I look forward to learning more from all of you as I go.

Women of my community, I did not create this video for you to do anything. It’s a video we men need to see. I hope you’ll help me share it with more of my brothers because the change has to come from us.

And I’d love for you to join me in the comments to share your experiences and further educate us.

We have your back here, and we love you.

Matthew x

Transcript provided by YouTube:

00:00 hey everyone i wanted to set some

00:02 context for the video that you’re about

00:04 to watch

00:04 the purpose of which is to open up a

00:06 conversation

00:08 about male violence towards women and

00:10 the kinds of everyday issues that women

00:13 face

00:13 when it comes to male behavior this

00:15 video

00:16 was shot initially as a response to

00:20 something that’s been transpiring in the

00:21 uk earlier this month a woman sarah

00:24 everard

00:25 was murdered abducted and murdered in

00:28 london

00:29 and it began a nationwide conversation

00:32 around the challenges and the issues

00:34 that women face when it comes to men

00:36 so as you watch this video you will no

00:38 doubt sense

00:39 the tone of it is really a reaction to

00:44 that debate that was going on and um

00:47 and even conversations that i’d you know

00:50 before i shoot a video like this i have

00:51 many conversations

00:53 i talked with women that are very close

00:55 to me the women in my company

00:58 to really understand what was going on

01:01 for people

01:01 during this so understand as you watch

01:05 this video it was shot

01:07 in the heat of that moment and that’s

01:08 why we sat on it for a couple of weeks

01:10 you know we shot this a couple of weeks

01:11 ago

01:12 and jameson and i sat with it because we

01:14 didn’t want it to be reactionary

01:15 and we certainly didn’t want it to be a

01:17 form of virtue signaling or point

01:19 scoring

01:20 simply because something was fashionable

01:22 to talk about in that moment

01:24 but having sat with it we believe just

01:27 as deeply if not more so that

01:29 these issues are historic and they’re

01:31 timeless and they need to be talked

01:32 about

01:33 whether the news cycle brings our

01:36 attention to it or not

01:38 so i hope this sparks conversation for

01:41 us all

01:41 this isn’t designed to be any kind of a

01:43 final say i’ve not been

01:45 perfectly pitched in this video i’m sure

01:46 i’m sure i’ve been clumsy or

01:48 heavy-handed in parts of it but um i

01:51 hope that it does begin

01:53 a conversation which is the intention of

01:55 it with that said

01:56 here’s the video i look forward to

01:58 reading your thoughts

02:07 so much to say in this video

02:10 i’ll get into it because i don’t know

02:12 where to start it

02:15 the murder of sarah everard

02:18 has been this

02:23 morbid disgraceful

02:26 disturbing event that has sparked a

02:29 widespread conversation about

02:33 male violence towards women

02:37 and an even bigger conversation

02:40 outside of that are not just direct male

02:43 violence towards women but

02:45 the ways that men continue to

02:48 make women feel through their behaviors

02:51 and the things that they do

02:52 what we’ve seen over the last week is a

02:55 big

02:56 conversation start and then

02:59 a roadblock that gets put in place

03:03 when a hashtag like not all men

03:07 starts to be put at the end of

03:10 men’s posts because they’re desperate

03:13 immediately to

03:15 assert that they’re not part of the

03:17 problem that it’s not them who

03:20 are responsible and of course it’s

03:22 extremely easy

03:23 at that point to say we’re not

03:26 responsible

03:27 for someone who is a murderer or a

03:31 rapist

03:32 to put us in the same category as them

03:34 is a disgrace and that becomes fuel for

03:36 that argument

03:38 not all men this is obviously seen

03:42 immediately as a slap in the face

03:45 by women who see it as just another

03:48 moment

03:49 where men instead of listening

03:52 and understanding what it is to be in

03:55 that situation what it is to have lived

03:57 a life

03:58 of constant

04:01 acquiescences constant maneuvering

04:05 around the habits the tendencies the

04:07 actions of men

04:09 constant living

04:12 at a level of alert and hyper vigilance

04:15 for anything that could happen

04:17 even if it doesn’t happen then instead

04:20 of men

04:20 listening to this they’ve made it about

04:23 them

04:25 they have halted the conversation before

04:28 it’s even had a chance to begin

04:31 because they’ve been too busy

04:35 making sure that they’re not at fault to

04:38 hear

04:39 how half of the population is actually

04:41 feeling

04:42 sometimes i think of these macro

04:44 conversations as

04:45 like a representation on a macro level

04:48 of

04:49 what happens in a relationship between a

04:52 couple

04:53 that it’s like one person comes along

04:55 and says there’s something that’s

04:57 really upset me today and the other half

05:00 of the couple

05:01 starts by saying well it wasn’t me

05:05 and this person thinking did you hear

05:08 what i just said

05:11 i’m saying there’s something that’s

05:13 deeply

05:14 affecting me and always has perhaps

05:17 and your first response to that is it

05:20 wasn’t me

05:22 i in this situation

05:26 tried to do what i do in all of these

05:29 kinds of situations which is before i

05:31 talk about it i try to have as many

05:34 conversations as i can

05:37 with people who are actually affected by

05:38 it because

05:41 true empathy is in my opinion

05:45 the route to change empathy

05:47 unfortunately is a word that gets

05:49 stripped of its meaning stripped of its

05:51 potency but if we can return

05:53 to what is an extraordinarily powerful

05:56 word

05:57 in its origin and say what

06:00 how do we get to a place of greater

06:03 empathy

06:04 and i can tell you i’ve spent 14 years

06:07 working with

06:09 women in my career and

06:13 still this week having conversations

06:16 with women that

06:17 are targeted around this very specific

06:21 area has bred more empathy

06:24 in me because i’m reacquainted with the

06:27 futility

06:28 that women face in dealing with these

06:31 things

06:31 and by the way let me just make this

06:33 very clear this is

06:35 a video that’s for everyone but i’m

06:38 addressing

06:40 my brothers my fellow men here

06:43 in this video this is not a video where

06:45 ladies i’m asking you to do a single

06:47 thing

06:48 um but perhaps share this with

06:51 more men in your life and by the way and

06:54 i will also say this is not a video

06:56 where i’m

06:57 you know for all the men watching i’m

06:58 not coming to you on a pedestal in any

07:00 way i’m not coming to you righteously

07:02 i’m i’m

07:03 i’m coming to you as a

07:07 a companion on this journey because

07:10 this is not a top this is not a time for

07:12 a certain group of men to get stand up

07:14 and be all righteous and

07:16 use it to virtue signal about how great

07:18 they are in comparison to other men

07:21 that i i that’s theater what i want is a

07:24 com 07:25 a genuine dialogue a genuine

07:27 conversation where we can explore

07:30 what it really is like for our sisters

07:33 out there for our

07:34 mothers out there for our daughters out

07:36 there for our female friends and

07:38 colleagues who are dealing with this

07:40 every day

07:41 and how futile this is the word that

07:43 keeps coming up in one way or another

07:46 is just this sheer maddening nature of

07:50 this that

07:51 what do i do you know i’ve spent my

07:52 whole life

07:54 dealing with things that i rarely even

07:57 bring up to the men in my life they’re

07:59 so

07:59 everyday they’re the banality of it

08:02 the that’s the crazy part is the

08:04 banality

08:06 that the women who speak to me have as a

08:10 tone

08:10 in talking about being followed

08:14 in talking about having people safe

08:17 shout things across the street hey

08:18 gorgeous you know or

08:21 being groped on a train on a crowded

08:24 train

08:25 or having their drink spiked

08:30 or being spoken too aggressively being

08:32 yelled at by men

08:34 and when they stand up for themselves

08:37 only finding that

08:38 it fuels the flames of this and now all

08:40 of a sudden they’ve got someone who’s

08:42 not just shouting at them

08:43 but making genuine threats you you hear

08:47 all of these problems and they will

08:48 readily admit there’s all these problems

08:50 but i don’t

08:51 have any idea how to solve it because

08:54 how do you solve it how do you solve

08:56 that feeling of walking past a guy and

08:59 he gives you a look or he does something

09:01 or he says something

09:03 and you’re on hyper alert and you tense

09:05 up and your adrenaline spikes because

09:08 you have no idea which way this could go

09:11 and is it someone with good intentions

09:12 or is it someone with the worst

09:14 intentions

09:15 and if it is someone with the worst

09:17 intentions what’s my escape plan

09:20 how do i get out of this just having to

09:22 think

09:23 that way and knowing that if you stand

09:27 up for yourself

09:28 it could only make the situation worse

09:30 and and

09:31 may even be likely to make the situation

09:34 worse

09:36 that leaves women in the most

09:37 extraordinary bind

09:39 it’s not just walking home at 2 am oh

09:42 you shouldn’t walk home at 2 am no

09:44 walking home at any time of day

09:48 and finding yourself on a street with

09:50 the wrong person

09:52 with no one around or with everybody

09:54 around and no one doing anything

09:58 with well you should get you shouldn’t

10:00 get you shouldn’t walk the street you

10:02 should get a car home from work well

10:03 maybe

10:04 i don’t have the money and if i do have

10:07 the money what service do i use

10:10 where i’m likely to be getting in a car

10:13 with a man

10:14 i don’t know hoping that he has good

10:18 intentions

10:23 so where is the escape from that fear

10:26 and men if we want to understand this

10:30 we need only imagine a scenario where we

10:32 walk out onto the street

10:34 and someone comes up to us and says can

10:37 i ask you a question

10:40 now i want you to imagine that same

10:41 scenario

10:43 but the person who comes up to you and

10:45 says can i ask you a question

10:47 has a gun in their belt

10:52 now i ask you honestly men does that

10:55 produce a different mood for you

10:58 if someone approaches you asking can i

11:00 ask you a question

11:02 one of them has a gun in their pocket

11:06 now the gun’s not pointed at you

11:10 so it’s not like they’re threatening to

11:11 shoot but you know they have a gun

11:15 does it change the mood does it change

11:17 the spirit

11:18 of the conversation a little bit knowing

11:21 they have a gun

11:23 knowing that in this situation there is

11:27 something on their person there is

11:28 something they have

11:31 that makes them a much greater danger to

11:34 you than you can be to them in this

11:35 moment

11:38 that’s the experience of women every

11:41 single

11:42 day now i truly believe

11:45 most men have good intentions i believe

11:48 this

11:49 and that’s why so many men speak up

11:52 and say not all men because they’re

11:54 frustrated

11:56 at the things that are being thrown

11:57 around about men

11:59 and the accusations being made about men

12:01 and their attitudes towards women or how

12:02 they make women feel when many men

12:04 associate

12:05 with having done right by women in their

12:07 lives

12:09 which doesn’t mean they’ve always got

12:10 that right by the way and that’s another

12:11 thing we have to talk about is sometimes

12:13 we think we’re getting it right and

12:14 we’re still getting it wrong

12:15 but i know that there’ll be a lot of men

12:16 out there that feel they’ve done it

12:18 right or they’ve done a pretty good job

12:20 and they’re being associated with the

12:21 worst types of men but what we have to

12:23 understand

12:24 as men is that your good intentions

12:27 don’t take away the gun that women

12:30 see in your belt when you come over

12:33 and we may never actually be a threat in

12:36 practice but it doesn’t mean that a

12:38 woman can tell the difference in that

12:40 moment

12:41 there’s still the possibility of someone

12:42 going to hyper alert

12:44 because the danger is there because it’s

12:47 a possibility

12:49 and so i look at this whole thing and i

12:50 say everything that

12:52 we do on this channel in my work over 14

12:56 years has not been just about outlining

12:58 a problem

12:59 but what practical thing

13:03 can be done insight

13:06 meets practicality that’s been my whole

13:09 brand

13:10 over time us as men can do

13:13 three things that can actually make a

13:16 difference

13:16 and i’m not talking here to the

13:20 guy who is on the end of the spectrum

13:22 where

13:23 he is going out of his way to be a pig

13:26 to women

13:27 to harm women and has the worst

13:29 intentions this video isn’t changing

13:31 that man

13:33 this is for everybody else the first

13:35 thing we can do is look at ourselves

13:38 and ask in my everyday life

13:42 am i doing things

13:46 that would make someone else feel

13:48 uncomfortable

13:49 you know i’ve had moments where i’m

13:51 walking down the street

13:53 and i’m coming home from the gym in a

13:54 hoodie and my hood is up and i see

13:56 someone coming

13:57 from the other side man or woman i see

13:59 someone on the

14:00 on the same side of the street as me and

14:02 we’re the only two people on the street

14:04 and as i get closer or as i before i get

14:06 too close

14:07 i’ll pull my hood down now i know i’m

14:10 not going to do anything bad to this

14:12 person but they don’t

14:14 and taking my hood down in that moment

14:15 is just my way of saying

14:17 i come in peace there’s nothing you need

14:18 to worry about we can all

14:20 find ways of making other people feel

14:23 more comfortable

14:25 look we as men we’re in a difficult

14:27 situation these days

14:29 we are we want to meet someone right

14:32 we have dating apps for that but we’re

14:35 also being told that

14:37 oh god you know i wish a guy would just

14:40 you know say something to me in real

14:42 life or i wish i’d just meet someone in

14:44 a real setting and not on an app i’m

14:45 sick of these apps women

14:47 will say that but then men are left with

14:49 the predicament

14:50 i need to approach a woman in real life

14:53 apparently that would be the sexy thing

14:54 to do

14:55 but at the same time i’m trying my best

14:57 not to come across as a predator as a

14:59 sleaze

15:00 as someone who’s gonna at the very least

15:03 make her feel awkward and at most make

15:05 her feel threatened

15:06 the navigation of that has become

15:10 it feels borderline impossible i get

15:13 that

15:13 but what we can do is say to ourselves

15:16 okay i know that in my life

15:19 i would like to talk to women i would

15:22 like to

15:23 approach someone now and again that i

15:26 think is attractive

15:27 but our first priority has to be

15:31 someone else feeling comfortable feeling

15:34 safe that has to be priority number one

15:37 firstly

15:38 just because somebody attractive walks

15:40 into a room we are not entitled to their

15:42 time or their energy

15:44 now we can open a door to a conversation

15:48 and see if that person walks through

15:50 that door

15:51 when you want to approach someone how

15:53 much are you paying attention to the

15:55 context

15:56 of the situation to what might make them

15:59 feel

15:59 at ease or comfortable could you ask a

16:02 question about something that’s going on

16:04 in the room or make a conversation that

16:06 just feels like good conversation

16:09 or even if you want to give someone a

16:11 compliment

16:12 what compliment would put them at ease

16:15 and not make them feel immediately

16:16 sexualized

16:17 how can i give someone their space

16:19 furthermore how can i

16:21 let this person know that i exist

16:25 whilst allowing them to continue in

16:28 whatever they’re doing

16:29 anyway and not making it so that

16:32 if they don’t want to continue the

16:33 conversation they’re the one that has to

16:36 leave

16:37 they’re the one that has to create space

16:39 again

16:41 you know women will all relate to having

16:42 been approached

16:44 whether they’re going for coffee or

16:45 they’re just in a shop or they’re on the

16:48 street or they’re sitting on a bench

16:50 and feeling like in order to now get

16:52 away

16:53 they’re the one who has to leave but

16:55 they were the one who is there

16:57 because men aren’t giving them space

16:59 because men are approaching

17:01 and making it uncomfortable if it

17:03 doesn’t go their way

17:04 we don’t have to master being a smooth

17:07 operator when it comes to approaching

17:09 women

17:10 but we do need to get competent at

17:13 making people feel comfortable

17:15 even when we want to take a small risk

17:17 we have to be aware of ourselves

17:21 and it goes beyond having good

17:22 intentions

17:24 it’s focusing on how our behavior plays

17:27 out in practice

17:28 and how it actually affects somebody the

17:31 second

17:32 thing we can do is to be an ally in the

17:36 room

17:37 when we see women feeling uncomfortable

17:39 because of something that’s going on

17:41 when we see that

17:42 something that’s happening could either

17:44 be genuinely threatening or just

17:46 making them feel uneasy that we show

17:48 we’re an ally in the room wherever we

17:50 can

17:51 without that becoming some that this is

17:54 the tricky part because that can easily

17:56 turn into something

17:57 that seems weird or seems like we have

17:59 an agenda in going over there

18:01 but i believe if you’re coming from a

18:02 place of sincerity

18:04 and genuine care and authenticity that

18:06 we will be able to convey that so if we

18:08 see something that could be making

18:10 someone uncomfortable

18:11 just checking in with someone and saying

18:13 are you okay

18:15 you know i don’t know i i can see

18:17 there’s a situation here that might

18:19 make you feel a little uneasy or might

18:21 be a little strange

18:22 um i’m over here if you need me or

18:25 if if there’s anything i can do please

18:27 let me know this doesn’t mean

18:30 the movie version of going up to the men

18:32 who are creating the issue

18:34 and standing up to them and being the

18:36 guy who stands up to the bully

18:39 we know as men that

18:42 we’re no strangers to male violence as

18:44 men

18:46 it’s different but we’re no stranger to

18:48 male violence we’re no stranger to

18:51 male intimidation or how quickly things

18:53 can escalate between men and how

18:55 dangerous that can be for a man

18:57 so this isn’t me saying that your job is

19:00 to go and approach every bully in the

19:02 room and shut him down

19:05 that could be dangerous for you but you

19:08 can ignore that person

19:10 and still go and stand with

19:14 the person that you’re worried may be

19:16 being affected

19:17 and show that you’re there one thing

19:20 that seems evident to me

19:21 is that there would be a lot of women

19:24 that

19:24 would feel less mad

19:27 towards men in general if they felt they

19:31 were their

19:31 allies the third thing us men can do

19:35 is listen and listening means

19:39 seeking to understand without

19:42 rushing to being defensive and i’m not

19:46 minimizing how difficult this is

19:49 because in any argument forget let’s

19:50 remove the dynamics of this particular

19:53 issue

19:53 from the situation any of us men or

19:56 women

19:57 struggle when we’re criticized we all

20:00 have a tendency to immediately rush to

20:02 defend ourselves and that’s our ego

20:04 talking

20:05 but men we have to recognize that our

20:08 ego is our enemy in this conversation

20:12 and that what has to come forward is a

20:14 genuine

20:15 pure loving compassionate desire to help

20:20 women

20:21 to make them feel safe to help them feel

20:24 like they have allies that they’re not

20:26 alone

20:28 whether it’s on the street or in this

20:31 conversation

20:33 i’m not someone who easily

20:37 buys into different

20:40 self-development philosophies that can

20:42 get a little

20:43 bit out there

20:46 for me if you’ve followed me for a while

20:49 then you know

20:50 that i’m a practical logical rational

20:53 humanist and that

20:57 i don’t tend to speak in flowery

20:59 language

21:01 but what i do believe is that

21:04 every human being on this earth is just

21:09 layers of conditioning

21:12 and habit and biology and genetics

21:17 built on top of just a core

21:21 consciousness a core essence

21:27 and that you know in the movie soul

21:31 the new pixar movie there are all the

21:35 little blue

21:36 beings that have not yet been

21:39 sent down to earth to occupy a body

21:42 and at that stage they are just this

21:45 essence

21:46 this this being that hasn’t taken any

21:49 fleshy form yet

21:51 and then they go down to earth and they

21:53 inhabit a body

21:56 well i i truly think of life

21:59 like that that we are all just a

22:02 consciousness and essence and every

22:05 single one of us

22:07 woke up on this earth one day having not

22:09 chosen the body

22:11 that we woke up in we didn’t choose our

22:15 genes

22:15 we didn’t choose our biology we didn’t

22:18 choose the part of the world we were

22:19 born in

22:21 we didn’t choose the color we were born

22:22 in

22:24 we literally that all of that

22:28 we just woke up into the only difference

22:31 is

22:32 that 50 of those beings

22:36 woke up in a body that

22:39 with a whole set of challenges that the

22:42 rest of us don’t have to face

22:44 not caring about the experience of women

22:47 is a version of not caring about

22:49 ourselves because there’s a version of

22:51 life where we woke up

22:53 in that body through no choice of our

22:56 own

22:57 but had to deal with those challenges

22:59 and think what we would want the support

23:01 that we would want if that were true

23:05 we have to be there for each other and

23:09 there is no perfect solution to any of

23:12 this

23:13 but [ __ ] would it make women feel safer

23:17 and more acknowledged and less alone

23:21 if we actually spoke up as allies

23:25 if we actually did what we can to make

23:28 the world feel like a safer place

23:31 whilst acknowledging the reality that

23:33 there will always be malevolent forces

23:36 in the world there will always be men

23:38 who have the worst possible intentions

23:41 but that women can afford to worry a

23:43 little less when we’re in the room

23:48 i love you guys and i will see you in

23:51 the next video

24:10 you    


This post was previously published on YouTube.

Photo credit: Screenshot from video

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