Amber Tamblyn is reminding men allies of their role during the #MeToo movement — and it's not to speak over women doing the work.
Speaking at the Chelsea Handler-hosted EMILY's List brunch at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, the Paint It Black director revealed that while she's tired of explaining how her feminism isn't masked misandry, she's also not letting men off the hook when it comes to their participation in what she calls a "revolution."
"Many people ask me, primarily men have asked me, 'Why do you hate me?' I say, 'I don't hate men. I'm critical of men,'" Tamblyn said during the Handler-moderated panel alongside Constance Wuu, Padma Lakshmi, Barbara Boxer, and Elaine Welteroth. "And men should be critical of men. [They should be critical] of their own workings which have been passed down by other men, a whole culture that's approximated by patriarchal narratives... We're all a part of that, men as well."
She added that there is something men can do to help women, and that's let them dictate the narrative of what's next with the #MeToo and Time's Up movement.
"What men can really do, to speak to the few amazing men that are in this room... is that we need you to get out of our way. In the best possible sense of that. Let us tell our stories. Don't tell us not to share our stories. Let us decide what your consequences should or shouldn't be. That's for us to figure out. You just need to step aside. When we decide what we want for ourselves, for our workplace, for our power positions, what we deserve to get paid, we'll come to you and ask you to support us and... be a part of what we're doing. So much of this [movement] is using our anger and making sure we are using it proactively, and that we are actually creating change and action with the anger that we have."
This isn't the first time Tamblyn has spoken out about this particular side of the issue. In November of 2017, she published an opinion piece in The New York Times titled "I'm Not Ready For the Redemption of Men," in which she questioned men who were quick to forgive men who have engaged in sexual misconduct. She wrote:
"Why do we need to talk about the redemption of men when we are right in the middle of the salvation of women? Not even the middle, but the very beginning? Why are we obligated to care about salvaging male careers when we have just begun to tell the stories that have plagued us for lifetimes? It seems some men like a revolution only when it’s their kind of war."
It's an important message for men who consider themselves allies to women at this important point in history. Sometimes the most important way for men to take action is to challenge the thinking that has been ingrained in them since birth — and to let the women speaking up have the floor for once.