I was in line at Starbucks ordering my normal Grande Dark Roast when I noticed the newspaper on the stand near the checkout. The USA Today for 02.21.18 had the headline: How Bad is Hollywood’s ‘Me Too’ Problem? Data from a recent survey revealed a startling 94% of women in the entertainment industry have experienced some form of sexual harassment in their careers.
I picked it up and asked how much.
“$2.00,” the Barista said.
“Wow. Two bucks, huh? I can’t even remember the last time I bought a newspaper.”
I said it to myself realizing I could find everything online for free, but somehow buying the physical newspaper felt more important.
The ‘Me Too’ Movement quickly became one of the biggest stories of 2017. It will most likely be the biggest story of 2018 and is one of the biggest issues our country has faced in a long time.
Time Magazine’s most anticipated cover named the 2017 Person of the Year the Silence Breakers. They displayed well-known celebrities along side anonymous blue collar workers who were all willing to stand up and share their stories often at their own risk.
Even though ‘Me Too’ is credited to social activist Tarana Burke more than a decade ago, it gained momentum last October when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted it out encouraging women who have experienced sexual harassment to respond with #metoo. Milano woke up the next morning to over 30,000 replies. She burst into tears.
And then there was the Sunday night in January when I was on my way to bed, but Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globe speech stopped me at the bottom of the stairs and held me there until her final words.
“In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th Academy Awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history: “The winner is Sidney Poitier.” Up to the stage came the most elegant man I had ever seen. I remember his tie was white, and of course his skin was black, and I had never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people’s houses.
Her words were so vivid as she brought the story around full circle,
“…it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award.”
Chills still go up my back as I write that.
Then my wife’s curiosity led her to research and discover the first female dentist ever. Her name was Lucy Taylor and she practiced for part of her career in secrecy against all odds of ever becoming a dentist. Lucy studied at the Ohio College of Dental Surgery but was not given a degree upon completion because she was a woman. In 1861 she opened a practice in Cincinnati, Ohio and began seeing patients. Four years later, the Iowa State Dental Society finally recognized her by saying, “the profession has nothing in its pursuits foreign to the instincts of women.”
Amazing. Lucy was a dentist, but she was also a suffragist, an advocate and an educator. She eventually trained her husband to become a dentist as well. Even more amazing.
Why This Article?
As a business owner and influencer in the dental industry, I write a monthly article centered around marketing and helping dentists grow their practices. So is this off topic for me? What’s the point of this article?
We need to talk about this. I need to talk about it. It deserves the attention of anyone who has any type of platform. Talking about it helps it spread.
I want to go on record as saying a couple of things. First, when men excuse their comments about women as “boy’s locker room talk” I want to raise my hand and say that I have never spoken about a woman that way. Ever. Not even with boys in a locker room.
Second, we work with some amazing female clients that I HIGHLY respect. One of the highlights of this last year was hearing their stories and getting to tell them. We also employ female staff that I HIGHLY respect. I am very fortunate and thankful that they have chosen to share their gifts on our team.
I want the world to know that We. Stand. With. Women.
Share Your Story
Also, I sit here in 2018 with the belief that social media is the greatest story-telling platform of all time. I honestly believe we’re just seeing the start of it.
Social media is allowing conversations and information to spread quickly and freely. It is literally deleveraging anything or anybody that has used power to coerce others into doing what they want. It’s shining a light on all human rights.
While some still see social media through a negative lens, I believe its power is disproportionately good. Take bullying for example. It’s not a new thing, but we’re talking about it in more constructive ways. Bullying is not a social media problem. It’s a parents-creating-a-false-reality-for-their-children problem. Social is just bringing widespread awareness to the issue and creating a healthy conversation.
Oprah admonished everyone in her Golden Globe speech, “speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” She’s right. Everyone has a story that needs to be shared. Whether you think your story is big or whether you think your story is small, it doesn’t matter. She’s right.
Let me leave you with words from the great Irish poet… Bono. U2 has a song on their newest album, Songs of Experience titled, 13 (There is a Light). The chorus goes,
If there is a dark
Now we shouldn’t doubt
And there is a light
Don’t let it go out
There’s no denying that there is dark in our world, but because of that, we must share our light. When we share our stories, we refuse to let the light be suffocated. Instead it spreads.
That’s what we decided to do in our little corner of the world of dental marketing. We discover stories that are good and true and beautiful and then we tell them. Which inspires others to find stories in their world that are good and true and beautiful and tell those. Which in turn touches others to do the same. Before you know it, that light is spreading.
Let’s use this amazing time and all it has to offer to tell our stories. Together, let’s find the things that are good and true and beautiful and shine a light on those things. It’s the most powerful tool we have.