Amber Tamblyn's Pregnancy Reveal Nails Our Fears & Hopes for Our Own Daughters

Amber Tamblyn

Becoming a mother to a daughter is the most surefire way to get even more pissed off about the way women and girls are treated in the world. Actress Amber Tamblyn is finding that out firsthand. Tamblyn has published a powerful essay about sexual assault in which she also acknowledges the inspiration behind her recent outspoken stance on the issue -- a baby girl on the way.

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Yes, Amber Tamblyn and husband David Cross are expecting a baby girl. But instead of some cutesy, coy reveal, Tamblyn has come out with an essay in Glamour to say she wants better for her daughter than Donald Trump and the toxic culture of male privilege that has made his rise possible. 

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As a fellow mother of a little girl, I would like to welcome Amber to the club.

Tamblyn's entire essay is raw, revealing, and worth a read. She's been rocked, like so many others, by the GOP presidential candidate's treatment of women. She tells the story of calling her mother to confess the details around her own sexual assault, an encounter that Tamblyn recently revealed on Instagram and which has gone viral: She too was grabbed by the P-word and it was clearly a traumatizing experience.

In case you missed it, here's the Instagram Amber posted:

I need to tell you a story. With the love and support of my husband, I've decided to share it publicly. A very long time ago I ended a long emotionally and physically abusive relationship with a man I had been with for some time. One night I was at a show with a couple girlfriends in Hollywood, listening to a DJ we all loved. I knew there was a chance my ex could show up, but I felt protected with my girls around me. Without going into all the of the details, I will tell you that my ex did show up, and came up to me in the crowd. He's a big guy, taller than me. The minute he saw me, he picked me up with one hand by my hair and with his other hand, he grabbed me under my skirt by my vagina— my pussy?— and lifted me up off the floor, literally, and carried me, like something he owned, like a piece of trash, out of the club. His fingers were practically inside of me, his other hand wrapped tightly around my hair. I screamed and kicked and cried. He carried me this way, suspended by his hands, all the way across the room, pushing past people until he got to the front door. My friends ran after him, trying to stop him. We got to the front door and I thank God his brothers were also there and intervened. In the scuffle he grabbed at my clothes, trying to hold onto me, screaming at me, and inadvertently ripped off my grandmother’s necklace, which I was wearing. The rest of this night is a blur I do not remember. How I got out to the car. How I got away from him that night. I never returned for my necklace either. That part of my body, which the current Presidential Nominee of the United States Donald Trump recently described as something he’d like to grab a woman by, was bruised from my ex-boyfriend's violence for at least the next week. I had a hard time wearing jeans. I couldn’t sleep without a pillow between my legs to create space. To this day I remember that moment. I remember the shame. I am afraid my mom will read this post. I'm even more afraid that my father could ever know this story. That it would break his heart. I couldn't take that. But you understand, don't you? I needed to tell a story. Enjoy the debates tonight.

A photo posted by Amber Tamblyn (@amberrosetamblyn) on

According to Amber, her mother, in response to Amber's confession, simply said, "You know, I have a story of my own I want to share with you."

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Of course she did. Because although somehow we've been programmed to believe it's impolite to talk about, most women have a story to tell. But the idea of our daughters having to swallow that kind of humiliation and indignity is too much.

Amber wrote in Glamour:

Motherhood has been heavily on my mind because I am going to be a mother soon. I'm pregnant, with a daughter on the way. I think constantly about the world I am bringing her into. Will I get a phone call from my daughter someday, one she never wanted to make? Will I have to share with her my story, and the story of her great-grandmother's words to her grandmother? Is it possible to protect her from inheriting this pain? How much do I have to do, as a daughter and a soon-to-be mother, to change not just the conversation about how women are seen, but the language with which conversations are spoken in?

For Tamblyn, the answer is a vote for Hillary Clinton and against the misogyny of Donald Trump. Not just against Trump, but for an American culture that treats women as people, rather than just the sum of our most titillating body parts. 

I'll be voting for more than just a woman; I'll be voting for a revolutionary idea. I'll be voting for a future for my daughter where conversations about our bodies and our lives are broader than what value they have for men. A future where being a mother is less about warning our daughters about our sons and is instead lifting them up to their greatest potential. A future where my girl will someday say, 'Donald who?' and think nothing is revolutionary about a woman becoming President. A future where she can't even believe that was ever even a thing.

In Trump, women all over the world now have a mascot they can point to that shows, in real time, what sexism looks like, how it impacts women, and how damaging it is not just to grown ladies, but also to our little girls who are watching. Bravo to Amber for speaking up.

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There are so many mothers just like me who recognize the jolt of feminism we inevitably get when we consider what the future might look like for our girls. I certainly recognize it in Tamblyn and can read it in her words.

But I hope Amber recognizes that her bravery and willingness to speak up doesn't just help her own little precious baby on the way. She's making things better for all of our little girls. Just one more "nasty woman" doing what needs to be done and making zero apologies.

Amber's going to be a spectacular mom. Congratulations.

 

Image via Image Press / Splash

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