When you were born, I felt a rush of emotions that I know many moms share: I was overwhelmed with joy, fear and urgency. Watching you grow into the woman you are has inspired me to work twice as hard, for there is so much to be done. Throughout the last year, our late night phone calls have changed. We talk less about the books we are reading and the latest movie we watched, and more about the state of our world. Hearing your voice and listening to you describe the way you see the world is energizing.
But, listening to you share your concerns about Trump, healthcare and #MeToo has made one thing all too clear to me: This is not the world that I imagined a young woman growing up in, but it can be.
Right now, women of every generation have the opportunity to come together and share our vast experiences as we march onward to a more equal and equitable society. That place doesn't become reality without us rolling up our sleeves and fighting for our right to be heard, be seen and valued.
I got to spend time with one of our favorite authors this week: Lynn Povich, the author of Good Girls Revolt and the one who helped organize the women at Newsweek. She shared a great deal of insight on how far we as women have come and how far we have to go.
Lynn shared a story from 2009, when a few women from Newsweek approached her about the first class action suit. "This generation of women was told as they were growing up that they could be anything they wanted to be," she said. "When they were being passed over for articles and not afforded the same growth potential as their male peers in the workplace, they didn't see it as sex discrimination: they thought it was them. They couldn't believe that not being treated equally was still possible."
I wish the struggles of previous generations of women weren't still lingering today. But, if there is one thing we've learned from the #MeToo movement, it is that women have undeniable, unwavering strength when they come together. Despite this unity manifesting itself from experiences no woman should have to go through. too many women do.
The Newsweek lawsuit began through whispered conversations in the ladies room and quickly became a movement that changed the status quo for women in the news industry. Never feel as though you need to whisper: your voice is the greatest asset you have. Use it and use it often.
I hope you know how much you inspire me. Watching you travel the world developing sports-based programs to empower young girls has pushed me to work harder for young girls and women everywhere. Life is not always going to be easy, but always remember: you are strong, you are capable, you are beautiful, your perspective matters and sometimes, it is okay to be a "good girl who revolted." But most importantly, no matter where your career and life takes you, always remember that strong women must help other women realize their strength, too. No woman should be held back from achieving her fullest potential because of her socio-economic background, race or sexual orientation. Time’s up, because your time is just beginning, and the struggles of yesterday have no place in our future.
We have so much to look forward to. I'm grateful to have you by my side as we venture down this new path, together.