Me too.

I rarely take part in the many mass posts that happen on social media. I did today with those words:

Me too.

A friend of mine posted earlier today, so I used her words in my post:

Sending the radical and transformation power of “Me too” to every corner and curve of our beloved planet.

This is a copy/paste status, but it’s important. #MeToo.

“Me too.

If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too.” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

Me too.”

Thinking about this today is a continuation of thinking about it last week, so it seemed right to share. Last week, I asked my husband, “If you put 100 women in a room and asked them to stand if they had experienced sexual harassment, I wonder if any would be left sitting. If you put 100 men in a room and asked the same thing, I wonder what would happen. Do you think men really know what we go through?”

I went on to share something about how I am often aware that I grew up in a family and environment that cultivated my voice more than other girls and women. I was not only allowed, but encouraged, to speak openly. I grew up calling my friends’ parents by their first name….this was NOT the norm in my tiny town in Southwest Virginia…this is a fact that actually embarrasses me somewhat as an adult. How did I get away with that?! 🙂

The passion I have for my work grows from a couple places and experiences. My passion for making the world a place in which girls and women can thrive grows from a place of heartache. I have a voice, and I am still afraid because I know my voice may not always be able to protect me. I have used my voice to interrupt some terrible situations, but those situations should never have happened in the first place.

“Me too.” is a powerful phrase. It has the power to say, “My experience may not be exactly like yours, but I recognize yours. I don’t want you to feel alone, and I don’t want to feel alone either. We’re in this together. Together we are stronger. Together we will lift our voices and demand new experiences for ourselves and our future generations.”

We have two sons. I want them to grow up knowing how to stand with (not stand over). I want them growing up using their voices to speak truth to power. I want them growing up using their voices to challenge the norm that it’s ok for any girl or woman to live in fear of sexual violence. I know I am not the only one with the goal to influence sons, nephews, students, neighbors, etc. to change status quo.

So, “me too” to that, too.

ps. Before we had sons, I saw this documentary (this is just an intro…the full documentary is also available on youtube). It influenced the way I was present as a therapist with boys in Chicago long before I was a parent. I think it has now profoundly influenced the way I think about mothering two sons.

Heather Headshot

Heather Bland CEO, My Refuge House

Inspired by How Full Is Your Bucket?, A Drop For Your Bucket offers a somewhat stream of conscious peek into my brain and heart during my training “adventures”. Between my 40th birthday in October of 2017 and the 10th anniversary of My Refuge House in September of 2018, I will run 10 different races. My hope is to gather friends along the way who will either run with me or cheer us on as we raise awareness about the journey of My Refuge House! I hope you will receive at least drop of inspiration in each of these raw reflections. Thank you for reading and pondering.

Countdown until we hope to see you in Dallas at Fashioned For Freedom: