Joss Whedon speaks at the Equality Now 20th Anniversary Event on the nature of change.
“Good evening. I would like to address the nature of change. There are two constants in the universe: existence and change. Neither of them ever stops. By the time I finish this sentence, the earth will be several thousand miles from where it was when I began it. And my phone will somehow, yet again, be obsolete.
As a society we resist change. I respect that. I liked my phone. We liked things the way they were. But then they very seldom ever actually were the way they were… and we didn’t actually like them that much then. What we mean by that is the way they’re ‘supposed to be’. According to our own ideological comfort zone. Our pin in time’s butterfly that sticks it to this spot, on this wall, in this frame. Everything concentrically that is farther away from this is ‘what’s wrong with the world’.
Religion is a pinpoint. This is not to belittle it, but the great religious texts (the Bible, Qu’oran, Martin Luther’s 95 theses): they were meant to affect radical change. To civilize, to reboot a world that seemed out of joint, seemed mad. And they did. Moving concentrically away through time they become less radical. They become staid, they become an excuse; a reason to ignore change, to fight it, to persecute. Not the fault of the text. This is how we work. We work like this because people think of themselves as separate from change in the way that we are separate from each other. We are blades of grass in an enormous field. The wind blows us this way or that way but it doesn’t affect the field.
When I graduated, amazingly, from university, our illustrious graduation speaker told us “Don’t try to change the world, you won’t, you can’t. The only thing you should try to do is not live off your parents.” I knew even then, he was wrong, he was cynical. I knew that I would find one day, a way… to live off my parents. And then, you know, hopefully get to the change thing.
For some of us, this point, this pinpoint, is not what we were. It’s up ahead, it’s what we dream of being. Everybody in this room is in that category. Everybody here sees the next great text being written. Wants us to take the next step in the evolution of the human mind. Women and men as equals. Everybody in the world treated with respect. We’re not close. Equality Now works twenty years, more to come, to move us closer. Advocacy, participation, donation, even just listening moves us closer. Everyone here might well think of themselves as an agent of change. I’ll say to you all, from the bottom of my heart: you’re missing the point. You are not agents of change. You are change. It’s not a question of whether you can change the world: you have no choice. There is no world but what we see, no history but a compendium of perspectives. How you see the world will be the world or will become the world. If we see it with fear and hate… Fear and hate will manifest. If we look beyond, if we dream the next text, it will be written. We do not pass through this life, it passes through us. You are not just existing: you are happening, you are an event. You are changing everything.
And that may seem like a bit of a responsibility. “I’m history now? I was gonna have waffles, what does that mean!? How does that affect the timeframe continuum which I’m apparently in charge of?” I can’t help you with that. I would just say that you should understand your power and glory in your place in the chain. That’s where we are. We are standing in a line. Change will inevitably come and we will inevitably be a part of it and we will pass it on to those after us. You are not blades of grass in an enormous field. I cannot thank you all enough for being here, I would just ask that you remember long after this event is over, what all of us really are.”
Read a Hilarious Skit Joss Whedon Wrote About Sexism and Evil Robots
Eliza Dushku Recalls Her Childhood Crush on Mitt Romney
At Equality Now’s twentieth anniversary dinner last night at the Asia Society, Daily Intel caught up with actress Eliza Dushku to talk Mormonism and Mitt Romney. Romney served as Dushku’s bishop when she was growing up, although she doesn’t consider herself to be “very Mormon” anymore — she started distancing herself from the church as a teenager. “My problems with the church have to do with its stance on homosexuality, and other things,” she told us.
Among those “other things”: Women’s rights, a subject which frequently pitted Dushku’s mother, Judy Dushku, against Romney. Consequently, Dushku’shistory with Romney is a bit complicated. “I mean, he went from being my first crush at six years old — I named my Ken dolls ‘Mitt’ — and then when I was old enough to hear what was coming out of his mouth, it was over,” Dushku recalls. “I’m sure he’s a nice guy. I knew him to be a nice person, to those around him. He had five sons that I knew, that my brothers would play with growing up, and they were kind to others. But what they stand for I don’t find to be tolerant or just.”
It’s fair to say that Dushku probably won’t be stumping for Romney on the campaign trail this year.
“So, why do you write these strong women characters? Because equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity, we need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and women who’s confronted with it. We need equality, kinda now. So, why do you write these strong female characters? Because you’re still asking me that question.”— Joss Whedon
“When I created Buffy I wanted to create a female icon but I also wanted to be very careful to surround her with men who not only had no problem with a female leader but were in fact engaged and even attracted to the idea.”—
It’s always about changing both sides, not just the one.