A Letter to My Daughter
Amanda Cormier, Survivor
Sweet girl, as you lay sleeping off a fever beside me, I felt the need to write you today. You might not understand this yet but I know in the future you will.
I am writing to you today because once again, women are being asked to recount one of the worst days of their lives in excruciating detail in a public forum. I say one of the worst days because, for many of us, this probably isn’t the only time a man has felt he had the right to violate her in that way. She just hasn’t had a good enough reason to share the rest because the culture in this country doesn’t believe you unless you have an army of similar voices behind you and even then, they will try to dismiss your voice.
All that to say, this is my promise to you that I will keep fighting. As our sisters in Lansing and D.C. testify today, the hurt and rage inside me is real and I am reminded that I cannot let the hurt and shame keep me from continuing to fight. You and the women you will grow up with deserve an army of those who know the pain and will take action to save you from it.
I will fight for you so that in gym class, you aren’t held down and humped while you lift weights just to have your teacher laugh and let it continue.
I will fight so that when you tell a boy no, he listens and if he doesn’t, you have the strength to do something about it.
I will fight so that even though those before you spoke up, a doctor isn’t allowed to continue practicing medicine and doesn’t get the opportunity to sexually abuse you for years.
I will fight so that men don’t feel it is their privilege to sneak into your dorm room at night while you sleep.
I will fight so that men don’t feel they have the right to stick their hands up your skirt or pull or hair or push you against the wall when you deny their advances.
I will fight so that men don’t follow you around town and don’t stop doing so until you lock yourself in a safe space until someone comes to get you.
I will fight for you so that the men around you don’t ignore the verbal assaults being through your way and then side with the guy when you stick up for yourself.
I will fight for you so that if a boy attempts to rape you at a party, he lives with the shame, not you and that he absolutely does not get nominated to one of the highest offices in our country.
Baby girl, unfortunately, many women in our nation have stories like mine just for having the nerve to walk out into the world. Although mine has become public, it isn’t unique.
I’m done being silent about it. I promise I will continue to fight for you and for others so that these things don’t continue to women just for existing. I hope that many others, both men and women will join in that fight because things will only change if and when they do.