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Thank you President Obama

Thank you President Obama

Anonymous's picture

Dear Former President Obama,

I write this letter to simply thank you for using your position to help women gain an equal footing with gender pay, though your motion has already been made. I was inspired by actress, Alyssa Milano's speech on Capitol Hill on June 6th to do more to help movements such as #MeToo and getting the Equal Right Amendment fully ratified into the United States. To do so I am sending this letter out to various people who not only hold great influence, but those who can see the need for change.

I feel like I should tell my story a bit. I am from Idaho where I have been finding ways to help people dealing with domestic violence, suicidal tendencies, bullying, and more. I have been responsible for failed marriages, so children wouldn’t have to fear a parent trying to hurt them. The soles of my shoes have wood chips from broken doors, so parents would not have to bury their child. Bruises lined my knuckles from standing up for a friend about to be cornered by gang members. I had been stalked and tires slashed because I tried to help a friend escape bad company. My family was threatened because I helped put people behind bars. Abusers have been known to move across state lines just to avoid being confronted by me. I do what I can to put myself on the line for people who might be too scared to ask for help, as they are often the ones in the most need for it.

I do this because I know what it was like to feel alone when matters like this would arise. My parents were never married, and I was kept away from my father after my stepmom tried to kill me and I was forced to defend myself. Currently, my father sits inside the state penitentiary after his frequent sexual assaults on one of my sisters came to light. Another sister I had to protect because our old neighbors had tried to break in and assault her on numerous occasions. My maternal grandparents pretty much raised me as my mother was often too busy with work. I have even tried to take my own life when it all seemed to be much. When I found out about what my father was doing to my sister, it was a wake-up call.

Had my mother, my grandmother, my sisters, and even female friends I’ve met along the way I would be a very different man. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that I would probably be more like the so-called “gentlemen” that take advantage of girls everywhere. So this letter is something I am writing for them. I write this for the young girls who think taking the abuse is a side effect of love. I write this for the women too afraid to walk away from an abusive relationship. I write this for the ladies that had to walk in the rain just to get away from a so-called friend that tried to attack them. I write this for the kids who think that their dreams of becoming doctors, scientists, lawyers, police officers, or even joining the military are pointless because they are “just girls.” I write this in hopes my sisters, cousins, and young friends can get an equal footing into the lives of their choice. I write this in hopes for a better future for my future wife and daughters, should I ever be blessed with them. I write this because the woman I love and others who I hold dear to my heart deserve much better then what they have been getting. To be honest I am writing this as a way to show someone I care for very deeply that not all guys are out there to harm her, because of a fear she held since we met that shatters my heart every time I think about it. She told me she was afraid of getting too close to me only to have me try to harm her, and her not be able to fight back simply because I happen to have the stature of an NFL player.

I might be a white male, and there is no way I can completely understand what all a woman may go through, but I have seen more than enough to know that women as a whole deserve better. I am also willing to acknowledge that had it not been for the hard work and dedication of very unique women, life today would likely be quite different. Had Margaret Hamilton stepped up, Apollo 11 could’ve been a disaster. Dr. Shirley Jackson paved the way for modern telecommunications to come together. Hedy Lamar’s communications systems for the second World War was the foundations for modern Wifi and GPS. Marie Van Brittan Brown made CCTV security systems as a way to combat slow police response times. Speaking of the police, the kevlar vests they strap on before work are thanks to a chemist by the name of Stephanie Kwolek. Of course, there are also APGAR tests for newborn babies to be credited to Dr. Virginia Apgar. While many of us have probably heard the infamous line, “If it hadn’t been for me, you wouldn’t be alive,” being shouted by our mothers at some point in our lives I believe it is safe to say had it not been for the dedication and passion of women, the sky would still be the limit to what ANYONE can truly accomplish.

Getting the ERA into the US Constitution will only be a stepping stone for getting true equality for both genders. As this has been a battle for the centuries, it wouldn’t take much to say the prejudice will take some time to truly erase. But should getting the one state needed to be accomplished, it will be the first domino in a long line. It will help bring equal pay, stop the sexualization of the female form (and save several young ladies from embarrassing dress-code “violations,” and potentially worse), bring more serious mindsets to sexual assault trials and less forgiving sentences to offenders, and maybe stop several people from turning to poisonous habits as a method to curb the pain of their past.

So, Mr. Obama, if by some chance you are able to see this letter I hope that I can get your help in moving this forward. I hadn't included you simply because of your status as former President, but as a caring husband and father who sees and understands the need for change. I hope that you and your family are well and thank you for your time.

Best Wishes