- my wife wrote this letter to our two sons, on the occasion of Donald Trump’s election -
My darling boys,
When you were tiny, Dad had some client work in Australia. I was on maternity leave, so we decided that we'd all go with him. We hired a camper van and had an adventure.
One afternoon, I was hanging out the family washing at the campsite laundry and struggling a little - I had one of you strapped to me in a sling and one of you running at my feet taking all the clean washing out of the basket.
A woman of about 70 came on over to me and started to help. She was quiet at first and just helped me. Then she said to me; 'Never forget that you're raising people's husbands here'.
I think about her, and what she said to me, nearly every day. And even more since the recent election.
The Trump/Clinton Presidential race is the first that you, as 11 and 9 year olds, have been truly conscious of. We have loved talking with you about the election and hearing your thoughts.
We know that your views aren't yet deeply political or ideological. You don't have strong opinions on federal health care provision or law and order.
But you were very interested all the same, and you understood the significance of a US Presidential election, for all the citizens of this planet that we share.
We loved that you knew that neither candidate was, or could ever be expected to be, perfect.
However, you did hear one of the candidates say - of half the human race - that you can just 'grab 'em by the pussy'; that 'you can do anything you like' to women.
And I am heartbroken.
Because how do I tell you, my darling boys, that it is never OK to do these things when the President Elect of the United States did it, bragged about doing it, and then still got elected by millions and millions of people?
As Dad and I watch you both grow, I think so much about the people you are already - and the adults you will be. I try to always think beyond raising you as just my sons and to think about the huge responsibility we have as parents to raise not only people's husbands, but their fathers, their friends, their co-workers, their bosses, and the men that they sit next to on the tube, or that they meet late at night in a bar.
I know that it's a huge part of my job as a mother to help to create humans that will enhance the lives of others. Not necessarily on a global scale (though by all means, go for it, boys!), but in your day-to-day interactions with others.
Will you be people who bring laughter and interest and energy and joy to a room? I think you will.
Watching you now, I think you already are. But I'm your mother and there's a good chance that I'm not in the most objective position to judge.
Across the world, most mothers will think that their boys will turn out 'well'.
But, in fact, some of them will have raised a different type of man. The type of man that people need to be a tiny bit wary of, cautious around.
We all know those men. You will meet lots of them. They're the ones who you can't quite trust. The ones who go a little bit far sometimes with the comments. The ones that your female friends, or even your mother, wouldn't want to find themselves alone with in an office or a taxi. Not because they thought they might be raped or killed or sacked, but because they just made them feel so uncomfortable.
We all know these men. We learn how to behave around them. We make decisions about how much we'll just 'live with'. We have tactics for staying out of their way.
You cannot be those men.
You will not be those men.
I want you to love like it's the end of the world.
Whoever you chose to be with, I want you to have incredible love and sex lives and relationships that make you happy, strong and dizzy with excitement.
I want you to know intimacy and friendship, but (much as it freaks me out!) I also want you to experience the joy of frivolous flings and 'got-to-have-you-now' sex.
This is all good.
But you will do all of these things with people who want to do it with you. You will never decide for someone else what they want. Even if the voice in your head is telling you that you know exactly what they want, that it's a compliment, that it's 'all part of the game'.
You will never make that decision for them.
You know all of this already.
But this Presidential election made my job as a mother harder. Just like it did for millions of other mothers and fathers the world over.
Because it opened up the chink of a possibility that you might start to believe that actually that kind of behaviour is, after all, ok.
It never has been, and it never will be.
We have always tried to show you, and will continue to do so, that all men and women are created equal and so are worthy of equal respect.
As of this election, I am sorry to say, all Presidents are not.
I love you boys,
Joanna Jefferson is British, and the mother of two boys.