Actress Amber Tamblyn is expecting a baby girl with her husband David Cross. Her announcement of the news came as part of a powerful new essay she wrote for Glamour magazine, in which she shares her concerns about raising her daughter in a society that doesn't always view women as equals.
Tamblyn has been speaking up a lot recently on issues that matter to her. Earlier this month she shared her experience of sexual assault in response to Donald Trump's offensive remarks about women. She begins her essay with a mention of that story, and how she called her mother to tell her about it. In response, her mother had her own similar story to tell.
Tamblyn's mother shared the troubling response she received from her own mother (Tamblyn's grandmother) upon telling her what happened: "Boys will be boys. You just have to be really careful around them."
"This is what has passed for wisdom, what's been handed down between women for generations," Tamblyn writes. "It continues today. It encourages women to take a backseat in their own lives, telling them it's okay: men know how to drive and know what they're doing. It tells us to shush, to not make a fuss, to accept the world as it was built for us. It tells us we shouldn't ask for more than what we are given, from dollar bills to the Bill of Rights. Boys will be boys and girls will be, what? Quiet. Hungry. Subservient. Game."
"I think constantly about the world I am bringing her into," Tamblyn writes of the daughter she will soon be raising. "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?"
Tamblyn, who has campaigned for Hillary Clinton, sees a problem with how people talk about the Democratic candidate and believes it represents a larger issue with society's expectations of women.
The disdain for Hillary Clinton can never be about her record alone. Powerful women don't get to exist outside of context. To discount all the good she's done in her 30 years of public service and pay attention to the bad is, at best, severely myopic. At worst, it erases the struggles and achievements of all women. If we are not allowed to be complex, compromising, wholly human—as human as men—then we are all disqualified.
"The version of Hillary Clinton we wish for doesn't exist," she adds. "That woman is the Madonna part of our nation's complex, a symptom of the absurd cultural standards of perfection we apply to our girls."
Tamblyn closes her essay by saying she'll "be voting for more than just a woman" in this election — she'll be voting for her daughter's future: "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."
You can read Tamblyn's full essay here.