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  • For the past few years, we've been calling men out.

  • It had to be done.

  • (Applause)

  • But lately, I've been thinking we need to do something even harder.

  • We need, as my good friend Tony Porter says,

  • to find a way to call men in.

  • My father began to sexually abuse me when I was five years old.

  • He would come into my room in the middle of the night.

  • He appeared to be in a trance.

  • The abuse continued until I was 10.

  • When I tried to resist him,

  • when I was finally able to say no,

  • he began to beat me.

  • He called me stupid.

  • He said I was a liar.

  • The sexual abuse ended when I was 10,

  • but actually, it never ended.

  • It changed who I was.

  • I was filled with anxiety and guilt and shame all the time,

  • and I didn't know why.

  • I hated my body, I hated myself,

  • I got sick a lot,

  • I couldn't think,

  • I couldn't remember things.

  • I was drawn to dangerous men and women

  • who I allowed -- actually, I invited -- to treat me badly,

  • because that is what my father taught me love was.

  • I waited my whole life for my father to apologize to me.

  • He didn't.

  • He wouldn't.

  • And then, with the recent scandals of famous men,

  • as one after another was exposed,

  • I realized something:

  • I have never heard a man

  • who has committed rape or physical violence

  • ever publicly apologize to his victim.

  • I began to wonder,

  • what would an authentic, deep apology be like?

  • So, something strange began to happen.

  • I began to write,

  • and my father's voice began to come through me.

  • He began to tell me what he had done

  • and why.

  • He began to apologize.

  • My father is dead almost 31 years,

  • and yet, in this apology,

  • the one I had to write for him,

  • I discovered the power of an apology

  • and how it actually might be the way to move forward

  • in the crisis we now face

  • with men and all the women they abuse.

  • Apology is a sacred commitment.

  • It requires complete honesty.

  • It demands deep self-interrogation and time.

  • It cannot be rushed.

  • I discovered an apology has four steps,

  • and, if you would, I'd like to take you through them.

  • The first is you have to say what, in detail, you did.

  • Your accounting cannot be vague.

  • "I'm sorry if I hurt you"

  • or "I'm sorry if I sexually abused you"

  • doesn't cut it.

  • You have to say what actually happened.

  • "I came into the room in the middle of the night,

  • and I pulled your underpants down."

  • "I belittled you because I was jealous of you

  • and I wanted you to feel less."

  • The liberation is in the details.

  • An apology is a remembering.

  • It connects the past with the present.

  • It says that what occurred actually did occur.

  • The second step is you have to ask yourself why.

  • Survivors are haunted by the why.

  • Why? Why would my father want to sexually abuse his eldest daughter?

  • Why would he take my head and smash it against a wall?

  • In my father's case,

  • he was a child born long after the other children.

  • He was an accident that became "the miracle."

  • He was adored and treated as the golden boy.

  • But adoration, it turns out, is not love.

  • Adoration is a projection

  • of someone's need for you to be perfect

  • onto you.

  • My father had to live up to this impossible ideal,

  • and so he was never allowed to be himself.

  • He was never allowed to express tenderness

  • or vulnerability, curiosity, doubt.

  • He was never allowed to cry.

  • And so he was forced to push all those feelings underground,

  • and they eventually metastasized.

  • Those suppressed feelings later became Shadowman,

  • and he was out of control,

  • and he eventually unleashed his torrent on me.

  • The third step is you have to open your heart

  • and feel what your victim felt as you were abusing her.

  • You have to let your heart break.

  • You have to feel the horror and betrayal

  • and the long-term impacts of your abuse on your victim.

  • You have to sit with the suffering you have caused.

  • And, of course, the fourth step

  • is taking responsibility for what you have done

  • and making amends.

  • So, why would anyone want to go through such a grueling and humbling process?

  • Why would you want to rip yourself open?

  • Because it is the only thing that will set yourself free.

  • It is the only thing that will set your victim free.

  • You didn't just destroy your victim.

  • You destroyed yourself.

  • There is no one who enacts violence on another person

  • who doesn't suffer from the effects themselves.

  • It creates an incredibly dark and contaminating spirit,

  • and it spreads throughout your entire life.

  • The apology I wrote -- I learned something

  • about a different lens we have to look through

  • to understand the problem of men's violence

  • that I and one billion other women have survived.

  • We often turn to punishment first.

  • It's our first instinct, but actually,

  • although punishment sometimes is effective,

  • on its own, it is not enough.

  • My father punished me.

  • I was shut down,

  • and I was broken.

  • I think punishment hardens us, but it doesn't teach us.

  • Humiliation is not revelation.

  • We actually need to create a process that may involve punishment,

  • whereby we open a doorway

  • where men can actually become something and someone else.

  • For so many years, I hated my father.

  • I wanted him dead. I wanted him in prison.

  • But actually, that rage kept me connected to my father's story.

  • What I really wanted wasn't just for my father to be stopped.

  • I wanted him to change.

  • I wanted him to apologize.

  • That's what we want.

  • We don't want men to be destroyed,

  • we don't want them to only be punished.

  • We want them to see us, the victims that they have harmed,

  • and we want them to repent

  • and change.

  • And I actually believe this is possible.

  • And I really believe it's our way forward.

  • But we need men to join us.

  • We need men now to be brave and be part of this transformation.

  • I have spent most of my life calling men out,

  • and I am here now,

  • right now,

  • to call you in.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

  • Thank you, thank you.

  • (Applause)

For the past few years, we've been calling men out.

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B1 US TED apology father began abuse victim

【TED】Eve Ensler: The profound power of an authentic apology (The profound power of an authentic apology | Eve Ensler)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/01/07
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