My Daughter Makes #MeToo Important

#MeToo because I have a daughter who deserves my voice.
10/18/2017 11:40am ET | Updated October 23, 2017

Tonight, I was sitting with my daughter who is 15 and hates Facebook. She calls it a mom blog paradise, and I don’t fight her claims. She may be onto something. She follows Twitter, and she spends time on Reddit. She lives on Snapchat. I am a self-aware mom. I know the dangers of social media. Not only have I lived it, my daughter almost claimed her life over the reality of social condemnation via social media. We work hard at navigating this world together. I learn every day new ways to communicate with my teenagers. Particularly, my teen daughter.

She asked me why the hashtag #MeToo was trending...

I wrote most of this last piece last night. The intro to this piece and what you are about to read, I wrote in its entirety. Last night. However, I need. No. I must add the events that occurred today in which propelled me to find time to edit and publish this piece today.

When I arrived home from work today I noticed my daughter sitting solemnly on the couch. As always I made my presence known and asked how her day was. As always, she muttered a “fine” and we went about our business. (During dinner I would press more about her mood). I heard the local news in the background as I placed groceries I’d bought for dinner on the counter.

As most moms do, I had pounded out my list of things to do in my head during the trek home from work. My list included: Make dinner. Do some laundry. Help the kids with homework. Make sure the dog is walked. It’s taco Tuesday... buy taco shells. Finally, edit that piece you were working on last night if you have the time.

I was halfway there, at least the groceries were on the counter, it looked as though the dog had been walked, and everyone was home and ready to help with Taco Tuesday.

Before I had a chance to ask my daughter to get her butt off the couch and help with the groceries she blurted out, “{Blank}, was assaulted today walking to school. I’m waiting to watch it on the news.”

{Blank} is my daughters BFF. Her longest and closest friend.

My reaction, gut-wrenching horror and shock.

As I am writing this I can still taste the acid in my stomach rising up to my throat. Sick to my stomach doesn’t even compare to the rage I am feeling in this moment. My hands are shaking. No. My entire body is vibrating. I’m not only furious, my blood is boiling. I see red. The tears aren’t rolling down my face. I’m not sad. I’m disgusted and irate and terrified for my daughter. For all of our daughters. For my daughter’s best friend, who while the millions of women on Social Media have braved the hashtag “MeToo”, she was being assaulted on a suburban street in MY safe neighbourhood.

Although, my daughter and I spoke of the incident calmly. Inside my soul, deep in my core, the weight of the words we uttered sat on my chest and tightened every muscle in my heart.

We spoke of prevention and the safety measures she needs to remember while walking to and from school. From anywhere. To anywhere. Walking. Any time. Walking. In the daylight. We were forced, once again to discuss exit plans, safe routes, rape and assault prevention. Once again, because this is the cold hard reality of raising a daughter. Again, because her best friend was assaulted on the way to school. A 15-year-old girl was assaulted by a strange man on the way to school. While the hashtag ”MeToo” was trending on Social Media.

Have you let it sink in? Because I haven’t. My daughter’s best friend was assaulted today. The same friend she walks to the corner store with. The same friend she meets down the street to go get a coffee at our local Starbucks. The same friend that sleeps on my living room floor curled up to my daughter as if they shared a womb together. And now, that little girl’s life is #MeToo.

When my daughter sat me down the night before last and asked me why the hashtag “MeToo” was trending I didn’t expect a day later her best friend would be assaulted.

Why #MeToo? Why did I write the following words last night?

This is why...

I don’t want my daughter to be raped. I don’t want her to live through the heartache of sexual assault. I don’t want her to feel, because of her gender she is less than anyone, unworthy. I don’t want her to be afraid to use her voice.

She deserves to live without the fear I was plagued with. “MeToo” is important, for her, for me. She is why I fight against rape culture on a daily basis.

She is why women need to come together. She is why we need to unite, even if we don’t understand one another. She is the reason “MeToo” is important to me and should be important to you.

Once again. I am tired of watching the enigma that is women fighting to be one. I’m distressed ladies, dangerously exhausted.

This hashtag was meant to bring us together, not pull us apart. I see no reason to fight againstMeToo. I see no such analysis in which causes some women to be wary of the fight against rape culture. None. Except for the misogynistic reality we as women have been dealt. That damn patriarchy keeps beating us at our own game. We keep letting them. We have consistently been told we aren’t worthy of our pain. And now, when we are readily admitting it, coming together and speaking our truths. Some of us are prepared to say we don’t want to expel these words from our lips. “MeToo” shouldn’t be something we should have to say because the bystanders should have stood up for us when we were in the midst of our sexual assaults.

They didn’t. That’s why we are here. No one stood up and said it wasn’t O.K. No one said I believe you. No one stopped it, some even made cruel jokes and blamed us for it.

Therefore, “MeToo.”

Now we decide to stand together, silently, or aloud. But, we stand together. Without judgement. Without sarcasm and shame-filled rhetoric. We proudly stand as one. No, we don’t make another woman feel guilty for not sharing. No, we don’t blame them for their silence. We wrap our hands together in solidarity because this is too serious to ignore. For my daughter, for her friend. For all of us.

Thus, hell yeah, #MeToo. Hell yeah, this is the world we’ve been dealt, and now given an opportunity to change it. Hell yeah, I am tired of explaining rape culture. Hell yeah, I am lucky to have a voice. Hell yeah, I survived. Hell yeah, someone out there needs to hear this. Hell yeah, #MeToo.

#MeToo because I have a daughter who deserves my voice.

I don’t want to say “Me too” either. I didn’t deserve to feel like I had no voice. I didn’t deserve to feel shame. I don’t want to admit that men and women ignored the kind of pain I’ve lived. But, this is bigger than that. This isn’t about people not speaking out, this is about no one speaking out. This is about a lot of women finally speaking out, and coming together.

#MeToo, for my daughter. For my daughter’s best friend. For women everywhere.