I Don’t Want My Daughters to Say #MeToo.

When I turned the Golden Globes on last night, it was more for background noise than anything else. I glanced at the dresses and went about my chores for the night, getting ready for the busy workweek ahead. The to-do list never stops, you know.

But then I started really looking at the dresses. I knew that most of the attendees had planned to wear black – but I didn’t see a single other color in the audience. I saw one of my favorite new shows, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, win two awards.

And then Oprah received the Cecil B. DeMille award… and I couldn’t stop watching. More importantly, I couldn’t stop listening. When Oprah talks… something about her just makes you listen, and the last lines of her speech hit home:

“So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.”

Because like so many of you, I also say, “Me too.”

I’ve never shared exactly what happened to me, and to be honest, I pushed it away for a long time. I made myself forget and in the past few months – since more and more stories came to light – it’s resurfaced in my head a thousand times. How that experience made me feel – how I wanted to push it away and pretend it never happened. How I didn’t tell my husband until about a month ago, and how I’ve never told my closest friends, my sisters, or my mom. Unfortunately, it is part of my story too.

But I don’t want it to be part of my daughters’ stories.

No matter what you think of the stories coming out, your political opinions, or even your thoughts on Oprah – it’s impossible to deny her words. Impossible to deny that real change is happening – is NEEDED.

I want my daughters to grow up in a world where they are not afraid to be themselves. Where they are not afraid to walk down the street. Where they are not afraid to fight for equal pay. Where they are not afraid to step in and help a friend, or to stand up when they see something wrong. I want them to grow up in a world where their words are heard – no matter what they are. I want them to not only be respectful of others, but to receive that same respect in return.

Most of all, I want my girls to grow up in a world where “Me too” is history. Where it is, in fact, a historical movement they study in school – one that changed the world as we know it for women.

I want that and more for these two sweet girls we’re raising.

They deserve that.

I am one of the many unfortunate women in this country who can say, "#MeToo." I wish I wasn't, but here we are. I can't change that about myself, but you can bet I will do absolutely everything I can for my girls.  Because they deserve better. All our girls do.
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10 Comments

  1. Desiree
    January 8, 2018 / 11:32 pm

    Your post gave me chills.
    I hope and pray for the same things for both my kids.

    • Jess
      Author
      January 23, 2018 / 10:37 am

      Thanks, mama. I think you even have a harder job than I do – raising both a boy and a girl. Sometimes I think it’s harder to raise a boy in this environment – so much to teach them and to fight against some of our culture.

  2. January 9, 2018 / 8:32 am

    I could not agree with you more. I have focused the last four years on raising a little girl to be a strong, smart, sassy, independent and confident woman and now that I have Rhett, I need to pause and figure out how to raise a little boy to be a good man. One who I hopes becomes the type of man who to love a wildly independent woman, who will encourage her to fight for equality and support her desire to stand up for herself while also being a gentleman and someone who will defend the honor, so to speak. Someone who will stand up and do the right thing when he sees “boys being boys”.

    • Jess
      Author
      January 23, 2018 / 10:38 am

      Yes! I often think the job is even harder for moms of boys than moms of girls. It’s a completely different ballgame and so important to teach them the right way forward. I hope you find the balance!

  3. Susan
    January 9, 2018 / 5:39 pm

    I’m a #MeToo as well. Sigh. It’s scary how prevalent it is, yet how swept under the rug it is. I was so ashamed for years that I didn’t talk about it, but the experience if I say it nicely, or brutal attack if I’m honest, has tainted everything I’ve done in life. I’m super aware of my surroundings, have a very strong second sense for danger, and am very cautious of strangers on the street, double-check the women’s room before I go in just in case anyone is hiding in there, and I’m terrified of the dark, … I don’t have daughters, but I’m afraid for all females and young males. I didn’t let my sons go into the men’s room alone until they were probably 12, and then I’d stand outside the door, waiting for them to come out. One thing I have done is teach them to respect women. I haven’t told them about what happened to me, but maybe one day I will. Good post, Jess.

    • Jess
      Author
      January 23, 2018 / 10:45 am

      Oh Susan, I’m so sorry you experienced it too. It’s definitely something I pushed aside for years and years, and even tried to forget even happened. For a long time, I somehow did. I’d be interested to hear about how it influenced your parenting of boys though – I bet it’s challenging to balance that experience and raising respectful men. Hugs to you, and thank you so much for sharing with me.

  4. January 9, 2018 / 9:57 pm

    This post (and this movement) is so, so important! I too am part of #MeToo, and it’s affected all aspects of my life. It’s heartbreaking to know how many people have gone through something so traumatic. As hard and triggering as this movement is, I truly believe things are going to start to change. Thank you for sharing your story. <3

    • Jess
      Author
      January 23, 2018 / 10:46 am

      It really is heartbreaking to realize just how prevalent it is. I really truly hope things change.

  5. Laverne
    January 10, 2018 / 5:50 pm

    Me too. Two such powerful little words now. I bravely typed those words when the stories were popping up on FB. It was a very long time ago. Like you, I didn’t tell anyone for a long time. I totally understand why girls/women keep silent. It’s humiliating. Embarrassing. I was 16. It could have been so much worse. But it was bad enough to affect me for a very long time. The Me Too postings give courage. And let’s pray they’ve given hope to women everywhere. Sending you a hug, Jessica. Thank you for trusting us with your Me Too.

  6. January 13, 2018 / 12:28 am

    I can;t tell you enough how much I love this post. I currently have two little girls in my care (my foster daughters). They are so pure and so innocent and to think that they may one day experience what I an so many other women face. Its just kills me. I hope that I will be able to give them the strength to protect them self from all types of harm and to help empower them to take charge of their own bodies and experiences.
    Thank you for this insight, its good to see other women standing up for this movement.