It's been a very exciting couple of years for women. The women took home more Olympic gold than the men – and a highlight of the Olympics is always women's gymnastics. Serena Williams is one of the most talked-about athletes on the planet. Beyoncé is the most celebrated entertainer in the world. Not to mention, we have Hillary Clinton. The first female presidential nominee from a major political party. These things indicate the progress that should define our generation.
However, it will not, because we have to answer these questions...How did we let a culture sexualize, rape and ignore women? How did we let our justice system dictate what is actually wrong with no real supervision? Who exactly is Brock Turner's judge answering to? And who is that person answering to? How did we get here? More importantly, how are we going to make a change?
These questions are important to me because, at some point, I would love to have children, and I am terrified to have a baby girl. I am terrified because one of my friends was harassed in the middle of the night by a police officer. All she was doing was waiting for her train and looking attractive. She is barely 20 years old.
I am terrified because I have a friend who was followed into her Uber Pool car by a stranger. He told the driver to take them to his hotel so she naturally asked the driver to pull over so she could get out. He then followed her out of the Uber insisting that they go back to his hotel, blaming her for being too beautiful.
I am terrified because I have a friend who is being harassed by someone online. He emails, tweets and messages her regularly, referring to her as Ms. Last Name (her name was taken out for obvious reasons). If you could see the messages, you would surely be terrified – for all women.
I am terrified because I have heard women get cat called on the sidewalks. Not just once, and not just a whistle. They have made insinuations and rude remarks that are not subtle. And for what? Maybe they think they are going to get laid; maybe some of them like having the power. Either way, it is demoralizing.
I am terrified because high school assistant principals can make inappropriate remarks about how high school girls dressed. I am terrified because that could be my daughter being told that she is to blame for boys and their poor grades, instead of the administrator looking for a real cause.
I am also terrified because these are just the stories we hear about. How many other incidents have occurred similar to Brock Turner? How many times do women feel undermined in the workplace and in social settings daily? How many more times will this happen if I bring a daughter into this world? Please, let me bring a daughter into a safe, just, respectful world, and not the one we live in today.