One of my writing goals for the remainder of 2019 was to publish my 20th op-ed on CNN Opinion. It feels very fitting that 20th piece is about what I’ve learned from going viral with my tweet last week.
The last week has felt like a surreal dream and I did my best to put that dream into words! That’s also one of my favorite things about writing — to be able to process what’s happened to me. Because let’s face it: The events of the last week have left A LOT to process. Don’t get me wrong — I’m so grateful for everything that has happened. But a lot has happened in such a short amount of time, and it was certainly nice to sit down and reflect on it.
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, in which I learned that so many women journalists are concerned about their safety these days because of their work…
I won’t pretend that those words didn’t sting, but I knew that I couldn’t let them win. I’m going to give them the exact opposite of what they want, I thought. They don’t want me to post photos of myself? Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!
The fact that this simple tweet has taken on a life of its own is both surreal and overwhelming, but I’m so glad that I tweeted my photos. It was my message to trolls and haters, my way of saying “I’m taking back my power.”
All the women journalists I know? We’re not going anywhere. We’re still here and we’re staying here. We’re going to continue to do our jobs and we’re going to continue to exist on social media. The world is already so unsafe for women. We shouldn’t have to feel unsafe online too.
I also want to give a special THANK YOU to my editors Jane and Yaffa — two of the most amazing editors I’ve ever worked with! They’ve made me a better writer and I’ve learned so much from them! Everyone should have a Jane and Yaffa in their corner!!
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so I see your tweet and we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo
[Photo via Unsplash]