“Where my girls at?”

“Where my girls at?”

The last few weeks have been an absolute media frenzy when it comes women stepping into their power. The inexcusable, douchebaggery antics of a hollywood producer has rallied voices from men and women alike who are standing up and saying “This behavior is not okay!” And, It’s not just Hollywood speaking up — it is large corporations and small neighborhood businesses, it’s healthcare and finance and politics. This rally cry has reached all corners of our working lives, and truthfully, it’s…..

About. Freakin’. Time.

As the mom of three girls, I have given a lot of thought to what I want my daughters to learn from all of this (aside from never tolerating anyone treating them inappropriately or making them feel uncomfortable). I keep coming back to that familiar phrase we often see quoted:

STRONG WOMEN

May we know them

May we raise them

May we be them

I’ve heard that phrase a million times, and for probably the first time I began to think through what it means….what it should mean….as opposed to being words that simply roll off the tongue. Here are my thoughts:

May we know them

We all have women in our lives we would characterize as “strong.” They are our role models, the women we look up to — the ones who shape our thoughts and our actions. These past few weeks, however, have taught me that often strength comes from the most unlikely of places and from the most unexpected faces. Strength can be those who choose to stand up for what is right, to fight against a bigger enemy or for a greater causes. It may be the quiet one who gets up after being knocked down and says “I will try again.”

Learn to recognize strength in the many forms and in the many faces from which it comes. And when you see that strength, applaud it. Sometimes, that very person is the one who needs to see they ARE strong and to hear they ARE NOT alone. Look at the power the #MeToo movement created in letting women (and men) know that we see them, that we see their power and strength, and that let them know they are not alone.

May we raise them

We have a responsibility to those coming up behind us – whether our children or not – to teach them HOW to be strong. To SHOW them what strength looks like. Teach your children to find their own voice, as well as how to use it. Mentor those in your office who may not have had the luxury of having strong role models. Above all, remember we are a community — and the stronger we can be for one another — the more we can empower one another — the stronger we will collectively be.

May we be them

There is no doubt about it, being strong takes courage. Part of being strong, in my opinion, is supporting others in showing their own strength. Applauding people as they come forth, and as they fight for what is right. As a society, we completely suck at this! The fat-shaming, the slut-shaming and all the other shaming out there does the total opposite of promoting strength. None of the #Weinstein victims deserved the way they were treated, no matter what they were wearing! None of them were any less of a victim because they chose to wait years to come forth. We don’t know their story. We don’t know their hearts, or their history, or their fears. The best way for us to BE strong is to realize that strength looks different on different people. Our job, as women (and as men) is to continually strive to BE STRONG…..however that looks…..and to support others as they do the same.

So get out there – my soul sisters and brothers – and get your STRONG on! I’ll be there to support you.

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