This is… well, it is a bit ridiculous, and I know how ridiculous it is for me to be on this stage accepting this award. But if I didn’t know how ridiculous it was, I did have the blessed Internet to remind me. I kept some of the best ones.
Anyway, I’ll tell you that the real reason that I’m here is because one of the—really one of the tiny few awards that caused real excitement in our house and actually stopped the usual dinner conversation and started what my daughters think of as the only conversation—about there being 130 million girls that are not going to school, a conversation where right here in the United States of America, women make 80 cents to a man’s dollar.
There is a time to be heartbroken and to break everything apart. There is a time to grieve and a time to get organized. In the words of Flo Kennedy, and most recently by Lena Dunham, ‘Don’t agonize. Organize.’
I asked my wife Ali tonight what I should say on receiving this award, and she just repeated what she has told me since we were teenagers.
Anyway, I asked Ali what I should say, and she said what she told me all those years ago: ‘Don’t look down at me. But don’t look up at me either. Look across to me. I’m here.’
So, I say to the president-elect: Look across to women. Make equality a priority. It is the only way forward. The train is leaving the station. Be on it or be under it.