Letter to my younger self

To My Younger Self
JANET COLM on December 11, 2017 at 9:10 am
You were right to be mad when that creepy man from across the street felt under your shirt.

You were right to be even madder when your mom told you, “Well what do you expect, leaning over like that in front of him?”

You were right to be scared when that other creepy man exposed himself to you in the alley behind your house.

When Seventeen Magazine suggested: “If a man whistles at you, take it as a compliment and hold your head up a little higher,” you were right to think they were ridiculous and unhelpful.

You were right to stop seeing your “boyfriend” when he left you in the shower crying after he forced you to have sex even though you told him you didn’t want to.

When that guy in the street cat-called you, you were right to turn on him and chase him down the street.

And you were definitely right to stop when you suddenly realized what you were doing.

You were right to organize against rape; to march to take back the night; to learn to change your own tires so you wouldn’t need help by the side of the road; to quit hitch hiking; to go camping by yourself; to always lock your house door; to look behind you on the way to the restroom in the mall; to cross the street to avoid the drunk on the sidewalk; to go for a run at sunset even though you were nervous.

One day, when you are my age, women across the world will come together and declare #metoo. Senators will step down after accusations of harassment and inappropriate contact. One day radio hosts and television anchors will lose their jobs because they acted improperly. One day a brave group of women, representing all of us,will grace the cover of Time Magazine for igniting a movement that shows no signs of being extinguished.

And #metoo will not only be the declaration of a sisterhood of all of us who’ve been assaulted in ways little and small. It will also be a declaration of the sisterhood of all of us who’ve survived. All of us who’ve taken these lessons and held our heads up – not because they are complements, but because we are stronger than we will ever know.

#metoo. We are not victims. We are not even survivors because that means we were victims. No – we are winning!

(This article originally ran on http://www.womenadvancenc.org/2017/12/11/to-my-younger-self/)

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Comments

Thanks so much for cross

Thanks so much for cross posting this. I hope it will get broader distribution. Powerful piece.

Thank you for speaking so

Thank you for speaking so eloquetly for all of us. All of us who have been made to feel every step of the way from discomfort to outright terror.

Since #MeToo went viral, I've learned that many men had no idea how common place an experience this has been for women. They thought it was rare. Or 'imagined.' Or non-existant. Only when so many women speak out at once, sharing experiences both large and small, did they see the full extent of this issue and its damage.

Women are more than half of the human population. We should not have to live in fear.

Sometimes the assault is verbal. As in the tweet posted this morning by our president.

Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!

As you can see, the attacks continue. How vile does he have to be before the nation says, Enough is Enough?

Sen Gillibrand responded:

You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office.

I read one article warning women there is going to be a backlash. Yes, there will. And it will be ugly. We have to continue to stand together. All day. Every day.