Former first lady Michelle Obama didn’t hold back when talking the recent flood of sexual harassment and assault allegations, saying that it makes her “sick.”
During a sold-out speech in Hartford, Connecticut, on Thursday, Mrs. Obama shared her thoughts on the wave of allegations coming out against men in power across multiple sectors.
“I can’t tell you how sick it makes me, the more I see the uncovering of the truth that all us women know has been out there, that there is an ugliness there,” Obama said, according to PEOPLE.
She also called on men to take a stand for the women in their lives, telling them they cannot be “complacent.”
“If we want young women to be strong and have voices and advocate for themselves, then we have to realize how much work we have to do. And I’m talking to the men out there, who cannot be innocent bystanders and complacent…watching this happen,” she continued.
The former first lady also reflected on the men who impacted her life, referring to herself as one of the “lucky” ones, and saying, “I am what it looks like when a girl is loved and nurtured and invested [in].”
Mrs. Obama’s comments to the crowd of approximately 2,800 came as the list of men being accused of sexual assault and/or harassment continues to grow.
This week, Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) name was added to the list when Leann Tweeden, a journalist, radio host and former model, wrote an article accusing the senator of sexually assaulting her when they were both on a USO tour in 2006. She claims Franken forcibly kissed and groped her. The senator has since apologized for his actions.
The allegations against Franken come at the same time that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is under fire after he was accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls nearly 40 years ago. One woman, who was only 16 years old at the time, accused the candidate of trying to rape her in his car. Moore has denied the assault allegations.
During her speech in Hartford, Mrs. Obama also reflected on living in the United States during our current political climate. As usual, the former first lady didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name, but she did offer some bits of advice.
“Focus on what you can control. Be a good person every day. Vote. Read. Treat one another kindly. Follow the law. Don’t tweet nasty stuff,” she told the audience.