On Monday afternoon, Ashley Judd took the stage at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. There, the global goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Fund revealed the ways in which previous instances of speaking candidly about sexually violent men have yielded consequences that could have prevented her from being there.
“This will be what it will be because we’re here to tell the truth. This is telling truth to patriarchy. Just like when I lost a big job after the  Women’s March. I quoted the president. He said it, he got elected. I quoted him, I got fired and lost income that would’ve changed my life,” Judd shared, referring to “I’m a Nasty Woman,” the spoken-word piece by 19-year-old Franklin, Tennessee, native Nina Donovan that Judd recited at the Women’s March in Washington D.C. in 2017.
The label “man hater” was inextricably assigned to her from that moment, but she shared during her comments on Monday that she has become used to that, stating: “Now it seems like you’re with me, but I kind of assumed this is the part where I’ve lost everybody and the media calls me a ‘man hater’ and of course, my social media goes bananas with rape and death threats.”
The threats and comments online are nothing in comparison to the real-life violence Judd has faced. At the beginning of her speech at the Clinton Global Initiative — which invites emerging global leaders to formulate plans of action around pressing concerns — the actress recounted several encounters she has had with sexual violence since she was 7 years old. From there, she zoomed out and folded her narrative into the broader image of the normalization of violence against women and the culture of shaming those who come forward about the harm they have faced.
“And still, some say, ‘Boys will be boys,’ but we say here today that we love them and they will be held accountable for their actions, their attitudes, their sins of omission,” Judd continued. “And frankly, I’m fed up with the emphasis being on building resilience in girls and women because we’ve gotta look upstream and see from whence this need for resilience comes.”
She closed out her speech encouraging others to join her in “telling the truth about male sexual violence. Tell it in your workplaces. Tell it on the streets. Tell it in public transportation. Tell it in your bedrooms.”
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