Award represantation for Rose McGowan

DLD - Sibel Kekilli und Rose McGowan

On the occasion of the DLD Conference in Munich Sibel Kekilli held the award speech for Rose McGowan who was given the DLD Impact Award for starting the #metoo-movement.

Here you find the full speech:

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

the definition of a revolution can be described as a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system. These movements are initiated by revolutionaries. People who take up the cause of bringing about change in an existing system – and are not afraid of pushing back. The roots of a revolution are in the actions taken by individuals, willing to fight for change.

To bring change or invention in any part of life – culture, politics, society, art or business – we need disruptors and lateral thinkers. People who take on challenges, for the greater good! Who are willing to sacrifice – to speak up for all the unheard voices. For those who have not had the strength to fight for their rights. Who don’t back off and don’t let themselves be diminished by others, who don’t lose their path, because others stand in their way.

I myself have fought my way – through culture, beliefs, restrainment and expectations. As all human beings, I as a woman, have the wish to live a free and self-determined life, unfortunately for many women in this world, this is still not reality.

Anyone who belittles or denies the existence of sexual harassment is quite out of touch with the real world. Not everyone has the courage to say “no”, or immediately turn to the public. On the contrary: victims of abuse sometimes are so mentally caught up, that they let themselves be treated like this for years, because they feel ashamed, confused, weak, guilty.

Feeling power must be a sweet thing. Exerting power must even taste sweeter but unfortunately comes often with humiliation. There are so many different reasons for this, but mainly people humiliate others, so that their own humiliation, their own inadequacies, their own insecurity seem just a little bit more bearable. Sexual harassment and abuse is nothing but exercising power. Power to dominate other people, to own them. The mere existence of that abuse is unacceptable of course, but throughout the times we got used to it while being part of a system predominantly built by men. So we got used to remain silent, where we need to speak, remain passive, where we should turn on action. We got used it, because it was regarded as normal. Finally, it has become normal.

For most of us, it is completely unimaginable how much courage is needed and how strong one must be to defend oneself in public. You must fear, that people won’t believe you and that you can lose everything, just because you speak your truth. Above all, one’s own dignity. But as long as people criticize you for speaking out and fighting back, it will take a long time for women to not feel guilty about such abuses.

A true revolutionary of our time is Rose McGowan. Against all odds she had the courage to speak out, the boldness to break a taboo – and through that start a conversation. A conversation that was way overdue. Rose, you gave so many women a voice and decided not to be quiet about injustice. Injustice that happened to you, but also to so many others. Your attitude is admirable and you can wake up proudly every single day whereas a lot of people with their bigotry and hypocrisy should just spare us with their words and keep silent.

Therefor I am especially proud to have the honor to present you the DLD Impact Award today, an award for women who bring about change in society with outstanding commitment.

As Oprah Winfrey has just said in her speech at the Golden Globes: “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have”.

Thank you – Rose McGowan – for your truth.