Tamblyn says motherhood makes us a powerful component to the #MeToo movement
The #MeToo movement has drastically altered the lens in which we, as a society, view consent and boundaries. These lessons are not lost on our children, either. Motherhood in the age of #MeToo means it’s our job to ensure we aren’t contributing to the oppression of young girls or the hyper-masculinization of young boys.
Amber Tamblyn’s latest op-ed perfectly explains why the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements prove mothers are as important to our children as we are to society as a whole.
“The #MeToo movement was a revolution that fueled me, as it fueled so many others,” Tamblyn writes in her piece for TIME magazine. “I knew I had to jump in and do the hardest work of my life, not just for our culture’s sake, but also for my daughter’s future.”
She explains the change occurring in our culture right now — specifically how we react to how others talk to and treat women and girls. Things may have seemed inconsequential few years ago, like older men little girls to “smile,” for example, are now seen for what they truly are: demonstrations of misogynist behavior. Sure, that’s just one example and it may seem harmless — playful, even — but it’s unnecessary, and also just gross for any man to tell a young girl or woman to smile just to please them.
We’re more aware of those micro-aggressions now than ever before.
“The world has changed since Donald Trump became our president and the indoctrination of our young girls as fledgling objects has never been more striking than under his presidency,” Tamblyn writes.
With this newfound awareness comes new responsibilities for us as parents. “Now more than ever, mothers and fathers of young girls should teach them that they do not owe any man a smile,” she says. “That our young sons do not have to be the de facto students of masculinity and strength. We need to teach our young girls that our physical selves are not to be commanded or communed. That we owe no onus to anyone.”
It took me years as an adult to recognize certain sexual experiences and traumas were committed without my consent. To distinguish between men who treated me as an equal versus those who conflated my worth with their sexist desires for a subordinate, not a partner. #MeToo has made hindsight painfully clear for many of us — which is exactly why our work as mothers is crucial in this era. We’ve got to do our part to ensure our daughters and sons don’t continue this toxic cycle of aggression and sexism by putting in the work at home.
“As mothers and fathers, it is our evolutionary obligation to end the painful narratives of oppression that are handed down to our girls and fellow women like precious keepsakes,” Tamblyn concludes. “We must be honest. And we must demand honesty. Because the act of becoming a mother makes you find out quickly what you will and will not tolerate. It makes us dangerous.”