Tony Robbins: Mentor, or Misogynist?

The Wrap is covering the controversy over a recent Robbins seminar in Tony Robbins Dragged Over #MeToo Comments. What did he say to draw the media’s ire, and what are people saying about it?

“If you use the #MeToo movement to try to get significance and certainty by attacking and destroying someone else… all you’ve done is basically use a drug called significance to make yourself feel good,” said Robbins during one of his seminars in San Jose, California, last month.

And he is exactly right, if that is the reason for doing so. The question is, what percentage of people are using the #metoo movement for this reason. The fact that Robbins makes this statement implies that he thinks it’s not an insignificant percentage. That may be an unpopular opinion, but is it wrong?

Robbins also told the story of a “very powerful man” who passed on hiring a female candidate even though she was the most qualified because she was too attractive and would be “too big a risk.”

Here, Robbins is pointing out the natural defensive response that #metoo is provoking in powerful men. I don’t see him endorsing this response. Perhaps, like me, he merely sees it as an inevitable reaction.

“Certainly there are people who are using it for their own personal devices, but there are also a significant number of people who are using it not to relive whatever may have happened to them, but to make it safe for the young women,” said audience member Nanine McCool. “So that they don’t have to feel unsafe.”

I agree with McCool, and from what she says, she agrees with Robbins. If you watch the video clip, however, she calls him out for daring to say that some are using the movement for personal benefit, even though she agrees that some are doing so. Does she believe that it is OK for people to ruin the lives of others for personal benefit?

At various points when Robbins spoke, he was met by jeers from audience members, many of whom spent hundreds of dollars to attend his event.

Not everyone cares to hear the truth. Here are some of the comments people made on-line:

I’m a man. A heterosexual man. And what @TonyRobbins is saying in this is the biggest pile of dog shit I have ever seen. His friend didn’t hire a better qualified woman over 2 men because it was a “risk” that she was beautiful? GTFOH. Tony should have told him to control himself.

Perhaps Robbins did suggest to his client that he should behave differently. His point was that this was a reaction that was happening due to the #metoo movement. This is a case of shooting the messenger, as well as virtue signalling.

I’ve never understood the appeal of Tony Robbins…and it’s always shocked me how many influential and powerful people rely on his advice…

I.e. I don’t like Robbins. Insightful!

If your famous pal can’t trust himself &/or his coworkers to behave respectfully & professionally around a qualified woman just because she’s attractive then he has a personal or personnel problem it’s not a problem of the movement.

How is it not a problem? The woman did not get the job she deserved, which certainly makes it a problem for her. If Robbins has heard stories like this from a dozen men (as he claims), it seems like it might be a widespread problem. Wouldn’t it good to discuss it, rather than shitting on the man who is bringing it to your attention?

Many issues, but at the end he says dozens of high powered men have told him they don’t hire more qualified women b/c they’re attractive so they “can’t have them around.” That’s the woman’s fault? Perhaps the life coach could coach those dudes about keeping it in their pants?

These “dudes” are doing what they’re doing to protect their companies from lawsuits and bad publicity. How is it Robbin’s fault, or his responsibility to stop? You should thank him for telling a hard truth.

So @TonyRobbins has had “a dozen CEO-level men” – probably all middle-aged, predominantly white men – tell him they won’t hire attractive women because it’s “too risky.” Well isn’t that some twisted, woman-blaming bullshit…

Yes, fuck middle-aged white men. You are making Robbins point: some are using the movement to do exactly that. Yet when middle-aged white men decide that, since they are a reviled class, they will take steps to protect themselves, you double down.

Tony Robbins is hugely influential, and I wish he’d shut up and really listen to what women are saying. No woman looks for “significance” by being an assault survivor: they are looking for justice, fairness, opportunity — all the things that Robbins claims to stand for.

So all those who claim to have been assaulted are actually assault survivors? We should listen and believe, and there is no presumption of innocence for those accused? Sorry, that is not my idea of justice and fairness. And as Robbins points out, this is leading to a loss of opportunity for women.

Tony Robbins told a story about how the movement made a man afraid to hire an attractive woman. How in the world could you tell that story believing women need to change and not the man?

Robbins did not claim that women need to change and not the man.

I’m not a huge fan of Robbins, though I’ve read his book “Awaken the Giant Within”. I find him a bit too much of a cheerleader and advocate of positive thinking as a cure all, though this grossly overgeneralizes his teaching. I applaud him for speaking the truth as he sees it.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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