Wine writer Marissa A. Ross is known as much for her outspoken activism as she is for her quick wit and love of natural wine. When asked what inspired her to take up this mantle, here\u2019s what she had to say.\u00a0\r\n\r\nBefore, I never had the words. The only \u201cassault\u201d anyone talked about was with a deadly weapon. No one considered varsity football players, co-workers or friends \u201cdeadly weapons.\u201d To be a \u201cfeminist\u201d was to be a nun with a bad haircut, a house full of otter paintings and a burning hatred of men for no reason. \u201cDepression\u201d was an excuse, \u201canxiety\u201d was unreasonable sensitivity and \u201csuicide\u201d was just downright pathetic. The vocabulary that existed had been demonized, while the cruelty around me was ignored. How was anyone to speak?\r\n\u201cSexual assault, mental health, equal rights and intersectionality\u2026don\u2019t just affect the wine industry\u2014they affect every industry.\u201d\r\nI didn\u2019t until I had to, until October 7, 2016. I know the date because it has its own Wikipedia page, because it was the day an audiotape of a prominent figure making light of assault was leaked. When I heard that tape, I didn\u2019t just hear that man. I heard the football players unzipping their pants; my ex-boyfriend saying he didn\u2019t rape me because he didn\u2019t remember it; my department at work laughing about the black eye I gave our co-worker after he assaulted me; the silence from my friends when it came out that one of them attacked me in my own home. I heard what my body had been telling me for so long, that I was depressed, and I had anxiety. And I heard what my heart told me, that I was a feminist and I was done listening. I was ready to start talking.\r\n\r\nI still don\u2019t have all the words. I\u2019m still working through it all just like you might be.\r\n\r\nBut I don\u2019t believe it\u2019s worth having a platform if you don\u2019t use it, and I\u2019m using mine to talk about sexual assault, mental health, equal rights and intersectionality as often as I can because they don\u2019t just affect the wine industry\u2014they affect every industry, every human, every day. And I\u2019m not talking about these issues because I consider myself an activist. It\u2019s because I\u2019m a human who has found her voice.