Some feel anger, or fear but there is this other thing, too. Action.
We are mad.
Before I tell you why here is a little sidebar: I spent the last 10 minutes going back and forth about whether or not to write the words "we are mad."
Hmm, gosh, I don't know. People might read that and dismiss what I have to say. 'Another woman getting hysterical and talking about her feelings.' Maybe I should change it? Make it a little more, I don't know, objective sounding?
After careful and graceful consideration, I have respectfully arrived at the decision that I WILL NOT CENSOR MYSELF just because I am a woman and that makes you uncomfortable.
So I say again, boldly this time, that WE ARE MAD.
Furious, in fact. But it's not why you think.
We are not in an uproar because of what allegedly happened to Dr. Ford 36 years ago. Of course, we are deeply affected to hear of yet another possible case of assault against a woman—it's awful. But quite frankly we're not surprised when we hear about women getting sexually assaulted anymore. One in five women and one in seven men are sexually assaulted. It is, dare I say, common.
It sickens us every time. But the allegation is not the source of our palpable rage this week.
Oh, and by the way, see how I am saying words like "possible" and "allegedly?" For the record, we do understand that as of now we are talking about unproven events. Despite the fact that less than 2% of accusations are false, we live in a country where a person is innocent until proven guilty, and it is not our intent to change that. Believe her (as I do) or don't—that is your right, and he has the right to fair proceedings.
His assumed guilt is not the impetus for our fury.
Our anger comes from the nation's response.
Dr. Ford represents that scores of women and men who have been assaulted, and the level of disrespect and disregard that she has been shown has ignited us.
That she has been casually dismissed for waiting 30 years to report it.
That she has been mocked for only remembering snapshots of the event.
That many have stated that even if her allegations are proven, it would not be a deal breaker for her accused.
That is why we are mad.
President Barack Obama once said, "You can judge a nation, and how successful it will be, based on how it treats its women and its girls."
Our nation is currently failing.
Mothers are the keepers of the past and the guardians of the future.
We carry the pain of our mothers, grandmothers, and ancestors.
We wear the pain of our own histories—pain that is inflamed when we watch yet another woman, shaking with fear yet standing in bravery, recount the brief moment in time that changed her life for the worse forever. We have been in her shoes, and listening to her story rips raw the wounds that will never fully heal.
But we close their jagged edges to the best of our abilities, and we carry on because we are mothers, and the future is on us.
We stand here, between our fractured past and our precarious future and try desperately to correct all that is wrong, so that our children can have it a little better than we do.
With unsteady gates and forced smiles, we guide our babies as they learn to stand up for themselves and each other, to distinguish right from wrong, to be a light in difficult situations. We watch over them as they quietly play we silently scream, "Please God, don't let it happen to them."
Mothers feel this pain deeply. And we do not have your support. That is why we are so, so mad.
We do, however, have each other's support. While you stand rigid and yell about all the reasons we are wrong to be upset, women and mothers are changing the world.
And we are guiding our children to create a better future.
We won't stay silent. We won't back down. We'd love to have you join us, but we'll be just fine if you don't.
Just don't be mad when we leave you behind.