Tag Archives: women

I Am #MeToo. Are You?

I Am Me Too- JoaynnLet’s talk about this #MeToo hashtag viral sensation. First and foremost I would be remiss not to acknowledge the true person behind the ‘me too’ movement, Tarana Burke who planted the seeds for the movement in 1996 when working as a youth camp director. She is the Founder and Director of Just Be Inc. (http://justbeinc.wixsite.com/justbeinc/the-me-too-movement-cmml). As noted on the Just Be Inc. site, her organization “is a youth organization focused on the health, well being and wholeness of young women of color.” As then program director for Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity, the goal of Burke’s program was to empower young women of color.

After bonding with and hearing the story of a young girl who asked to speak with Burke privately after an all-girl bonding session event hosted by Just Be Inc. that left her horrified, Burke wrote on http://justbeinc.wixsite.com/justbeinc/the-me-too-movement-cmml, “I will never forget the look because I think about her all of the time. The shock of being rejected, the pain of opening a wound only to have it abruptly forced closed again – it was all on her face. And as much as I love children, as much as I cared about that child, I could not find the courage that she had found. I could not muster the energy to tell her that I understood, that I connected, that I could feel her pain.”

“I couldn’t help her release her shame, or impress upon her that nothing that happened to her was her fault. I could not find the strength to say out loud the words that were ringing in my head over and over again as she tried to tell me what she had endured… I watched her walk away from me as she tried to recapture her secrets and tuck them back into their hiding place. I watched her put her mask back on and go back into the world like she was all alone and I couldn’t even bring myself to whisper…me too.” Ms. Burke said she never forgot the look on the girl’s face after hearing her story. A heartbreaking, sad unforgettable moment…This for me was more than enough reason to start a movement. To read the full story go to the Just Be Inc. link mentioned above.

Essentially, this is what started the ‘me too’ movement – “to help young women of color who had survived sexual abuse, assault and exploitation.” It has now become an online hashtag viral sensation and every women who has been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted have joined in making a statement to let the world know, #MeToo – I am not ashamed, I am not alone, I am a victor, I am a survivor. Ms. Burke I applaud your drive and tenacity to make a difference in the lives of young women of color. Kudos!

When I first stumbled upon the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter a few days ago, I was curious why I was seeing just these two words from so many people (men and women alike) without an origin or explanation behind its meaning. It was not until I clicked on the hashtag on Twitter and discovered Alyssa Milano’s tweet, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet – ‘Me too. Suggested by a friend: “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.’”

As of October 19, 2017 ABC News reported Alyssa Milano’s ‘Me Too’ tweet has now garnered “1.4 million and counting tweets included the hashtag, along with more than 13 million posts, comments and reactions on Facebook” (http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/alyssa-milano-metoo-campaign-vocal-stops/story?id=50582023).

Being the person I am, before becoming a part of this sensation, I did some research and realized after taking a deep look inside myself and thinking of the countless times I too was a victim, I found #MeToo is who I am too.  It hit too close to home. It was personal. And now I desire change that goes far beyond what we see with the hashtag itself. My desire, ‘Me Too’ becomes more than a viral sensation but an entry point to healing at a deeper level than what we’ve seen in society with other movements that gain maximum exposure after going viral but we never see or hear anything about once the hoopla goes away.

Let’s have a discussion, critical dialogue and a real conversation about its effects, what we can do to end it, continue to increase awareness, and what programs we can develop on a larger scale to include collaborative efforts with Ms. Burke’s organization and others like hers to empower not only women of color but those who have been affected by sexual harassment or sexual assault and are afraid to come forth out of fear of retaliation.

Let’s build a community of safety in the creation of safe houses for survivors and non-survivors to go to for ongoing support. Let’s establish a platform with someone like Iyanla Vanzant and Ava DuVernay to reach the masses on a continuous basis and not drop the ball after getting the attention and exposure we desire only to “make a statement.” Let’s design programs to empower, inspire, and influence survivors and those that haven’t to encourage and motivate them to reach their fullest potential.

Let’s reach out to and join forces with Tarana Burke and her Just Be Inc. organization as well as similar organizations to create change. Let’s join forces with Alyssa Milano, and others, who wants to fix the problem and asks others to reach out to her for suggestions to help grow the #MeToo movement. Let’s flood their inboxes and social media outlets to make a difference. Let’s be a strong voice and not stop until we are heard. Let’s get involved and show the world how we will be the change we want to see. Let’s do this!

As for me, I am #MeToo – I am not ashamed, I am not alone, I am a victor, I am a survivor!

Be blessed!

Signed,

#MeToo

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Happy National Girlfriends Day!

Celebrate the many connections you’ve made with women around the world in honor of this day. There are many who may have influenced your life for the better not just today but on any given day.

Then there are friends who are a source of inspiration that are there for you whenever. And will have your back when you meet with storms in times of trouble and stormy weather.

Appreciate those who motivate and celebrate you in spite of you. Show love even to those who don’t celebrate you because in spite of, they need love too. There are even ones who work to empower you in their commitment and dedication. And will be a source of support to help you reach your fullest potential that you may arrive safely to your destination.

Today is not a day to honor just one person, but many. Cherish long-lasting or short-lived friendships that bind you together as women. In some way we all have managed to form a circle of trust to enrich the lives of one another. We’ve changed the world in the sharing of love and knowledge for the betterment of all our sisters and brothers.

Godly connections are most valuable too. Wise counsel, sound advice from true girlfriends will speak truth in love and won’t ever say things to hurt you. But instead will build you up with words of inspiration and encouragement to guide you. They will support you even when you make mistakes. The respect you will have for one another. What a difference it will make.

What comes out of their mouth sometimes can be for your own good. Even when you don’t want to hear it, they will speak out of love. They will listen to understand and will speak to be understood. And will agree to disagree for the sake of sisterhood. They will love you, flaws and all, and will be there for you. To pick you up or catch you when you fall because they care about you.

Quality, sincere friendships are hard to come by and can take a long time to develop. When nurtured, lasting friendships and strong connections will last forever.

Spend some quality time with all the special women friends in your circle of trust. Find a way to connect who those who may be separated by distance. It is a must. Spend some quality phone time. Make a special call to let them know you’re thinking of them today. Call even if it’s to briefly say “I love you,” from miles away.

Remember the lives of girlfriends or friends you may have lost and loved ones who have passed away. Cherish their memory when thinking of happy times and the many things you may have shared on this day.

And now I will leave you with these words as I say, Happy National Girlfriends Day!

Girl power is in full effect! In honor of National Girlfriends Day, women across the world are now calling all mentors, world changers, those who persevered, triumphed, and paved the way. And we mustn’t forget to show love for our “best-est” BFF girlfriends today.

Make today special. Share a kind word or gesture. Be thankful for your “best friend, girlfriend,” circle of trust friends, and special connections. Call; send a text; or an Instagram; or an email; power up Skype to commemorate today’s special event. Let this be a new day of new beginnings. Make new friends. Relinquish grudges, bitterness, or resentment.

Make godly connections. Share with others one of your favorite expressions. You don’t know how much it will mean in the life of someone who may be hurting or could be going through. Send virtual hugs. Make a difference.  Live in the overflow of God’s love. Let your light shine through.

In honor of this special day, I am sending lots of huge hugs and warm kisses to my closest and dearest BFFs, girlfriends, sister friends who are near and far away. I may not be in your presence physically or daily, but I am here in spirit and love each of you dearly not just today but every day. I salute you and wish you a very happy National Girlfriends Day!

Be blessed! -JD

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Why Is A Virtuous Woman The Ideal Woman?

Proverbs 31:10-31 describes the ideal woman who we mistakenly. Think is a woman who is, servile, completely domestic, and retiring. Oh… How untrue. The Bible says a virtuous woman is one who, is of strong character and great wisdom. She is an excellent wife and mother who care for her husband and children. She is a woman of great strength and dignity. She is a woman with integrity.

I couldn’t help but share my thoughts on this ideal woman because it is a good example of what we should strive for, to be, the ideal woman we all can be. As we have reverence of God and live for him daily.

So to answer the question, “Why is a virtuous woman the ideal woman?” Here’s my belief on why I believe. What the Bible tells me.

A virtuous woman exemplifies elegance, grace. She’s a woman of character. She knows her place. She’s confident of her worth; Far more than rubies. A virtuous woman is far beyond her years in wisdom. It’s not about her physical appearance but what’s in her heart. A heart filled with a reverence for God.

She’s described in Proverbs as a woman with outstanding abilities. She may not be one woman, but a composite portrait of ideal womanhood. She’s a woman of many skills. Not to please others but to fulfill…the commands of God. She’s a wife and a mother. She has a love and compassion for others.

She lives for her home and family. She cares about those in need. She’s self-disciplined. Her tastes are exquisite. She’s refined. She’s one of a kind.

She manifests the grace of hospitality. She’s orderly. She ranks highest in all her deeds. She’s the epitome of a woman of virtue and dignity.

She is a woman that we mustn’t imitate but instead be one who demonstrates. The inspiration that we may be, all we can be; phenomenally.

She is virtuous not based on her appearance or what she does. She is virtuous because of her strength of character. She fears the Lord. She is ideal. Simply based on the role she fulfills.

We can’t be just like her, but we definitely can learn from her. Exude integrity, strength, and dignity. Live for your home and family. Be self-disciplined and orderly.

Let the Word of God serve as an example of who we must strive to be. Much like the woman in Proverbs who is all God made her to be. She’s a virtuous woman, wife, and mother. She serves God by serving others. We can all learn from her as we help one another.

Sacrifice for the sake of others. Have their best interest at heart. Be godly. Serve with compassion from the heart. Be a beacon of light. Let the love of God shine through. In the eyes of others who see you. Be the virtuous woman God designed you to be. Be of noble character and integrity.

An ideal woman, A virtuous woman, Indeed.

Proverbs 31:10-12 “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

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