We Have To Do Better
If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know that I never bring the news or politics into my business.
If we’re friends on Facebook, you know me to be very vocal and unapologetic, and that I don't give a damn what anyone thinks. You know my political affiliation, my stance on a lot of issues, and mostly you know that I am not afraid to speak my mind whether it be outrage, sadness or pride.
I am a fully self-expressed woman, and that’s what I teach other women—to own their own power, to find and use their words and voices in ways that matter and in ways that model to their children what a fully self-expressed, self-possessed, confident woman actually is.
Which makes it slightly ironic that in my business I have fallen short of doing that myself.
Because I’m afraid.
Because I don’t want to alienate those who may have a different political leaning.
Because I don’t want my soapbox to push you away.
Because I don’t want to lose your business.
Today I am coming out from behind the curtain I’ve been hiding behind because women are being raped. And then women are being blamed for their own violations. And the white men who attack them are being gently slapped on the wrist, while black men who commit the same crimes (and in some cases those who are falsely accused) are doing hard time.
I run a business that is solely dedicated to helping moms become better humans so that they can be better parents and raise healthy, happy and successful children. And while that’s great and all, we are also tasked with raising responsible people, people who know the difference between right and wrong, people who know the value of another person’s body, people who truly understand boundaries and respect them above and beyond their own immediate wants and desires.
Which is exactly what Brock Turner’s family failed to do, as the father's statement at his son’s sentencing so clearly demonstrates.
This case has broken me open in so many ways. I am angry and I can’t keep silent about it anymore.
When I was in college I was raped while unconscious.
I have never written those words before this minute. It wasn’t until last April, when sitting on a beach in Southern California with some of my best coach friends that I realized that that’s exactly what it was. It took me 25 years to see that. It took me 26 years to declare it publicly. He was my boyfriend, and I was unconscious, drunk as hell, when he took me home from a party. The last thing I remember is a close friend saying, "Dude, don’t do anything to her while she’s passed out." When I woke up I had no underwear on and I was sticky. I had not given consent. To be clear: I wasn’t brutalized, I wasn’t attacked (and I believe there is a huge difference—beyond huge), but I was used for another man’s sexual pleasure without giving consent. A man put his penis inside of my body and thrust it around for god knows how long for his own pleasure while I was unconscious.
And back in 1990, no one would have given a shit. No one would have called it what we absolutely know it is now. I am so fucking grateful we’ve come so far that our colleges now educate young women and men on these issues.
And yet, as the Brock Turner case so clearly exemplifies, we have to do better.
We have to do better. Moms have to do better. Dads have to do better.
Heather Plett, a coach I run in similar circles with, put it perfectly in her Facebook post the other day:
“I don't know much about Brock Turner's father, but I know this... If you refer to your son's rape as "twenty minutes of action," you have failed your son. You have failed to teach him a woman's worth. You have failed to teach him his own worth. You have failed to teach him respect and restraint. You have failed to teach him about his own power and privilege and the responsibility that comes along with it.
There's a very good chance that your father before you failed you as well, so you didn't have a very good model, but at some point you have to take responsibility for breaking old patterns and teaching something different than you yourself were taught.”
“At some point you have to take responsibility for breaking old patterns and teaching something different than you yourself were taught.”
If this case teaches us nothing else, let it teach us to do better. To move beyond the constraints of our pasts, to move beyond what we were taught. If we don’t open our minds and hearts, if we are not willing to learn to grow bigger and greater than our histories dictate, how ever will our children?
Expand yourself, do the hard fucking work, break yourself open and excavate the patterns and the mapping and the legacy and choose something different. Choose anything, but for god’s sake please choose, because our unconsciousness, our refusal to look at the underbelly of our own worlds is perpetuating this fucking mess we’re in and it is our job to stop it.