Megyn’s book is a tell all about her life from childhood to current events surrounding the 2016 election. Megyn lost her dad at a young age and it affected her deeply. She had a very strong relationship with him and he always built her confidence up in a way that she could do anything. She also talks a lot about her mom and grandma who were both strong “say it like it is” women. She recounts in 7th grade some horrific bullying she encountered at the hands of who she thought were friends. This experience would shape her life as she recounts adult bullying that occurred to her in present day.
Megyn recounts situations in her life where hard work, effort, and confidence paid off. She becomes a lawyer and lands prestigious jobs at highly vetted law firms. She tells about her propensity to be “all in,” working 20-hour days and having no time for self or relationships. In fact, some of this “all in” mantra doesn’t allow for relationships to flourish and causes her to divorce her first husband, a practicing surgeon. In her zeal to find balance and do what she thinks she would be passionately good at, she networks with others and makes TV news reporter tapes and farms then around to local stations. She tells of how the instant she did these and others heard her, they knew she would be great at this work.
After a stint as a local news reporter, she is hired by FOX news and over the years climbs to the top of the ratings and lands her own show that becomes one of the highest rated news shows on FOX. During this time she gets remarried and has three beautiful children. You can hear in her tone the change that children have made in her life. She brings them to the set, flexes her schedule to ensure she can participate in daytime school events, and ensures that she is present in their lives.
What struck me about the book later is her retelling of sexual harassment she suffered by the CEO of FOX, Roger Ailes. She describes his controlling nature and propensity to get a little too close and to try and kiss her several times. She refuses his come ons and tries to forget about the situation knowing that she doesn’t want to lose her job at FOX. It is many years later when Gretchen Carlson is fired and announces her harassment by Ailes and the tales of many at FOX that force her to share her own situation at the hands of her boss.
What is most troubling is the harassment and bullying she encounters by then presidential candidate, Donald Trump. She recounts the demeaning statements made at the debate stage and the many calls, harassing tweets, not only by him, but also by his entourage. She shares that she is used to this kind of harassment, but was not prepared for the barrage of harassment that would follow in the wake of these tweets by Trump’s supposed supporters. She graphically shares the bleeps, death threats, etc. and feels like she is in the “Twilight Zone” as she is not only reporting the news, but is THE news herself!
As I reflected on this part of the book, it brought me to thinking about the new world of communication that social media has brought forth. A world where anonymously, people can share whatever they darn well please, neglecting to think about how it may impact others. Remember the days when you sent Letters to the Editor and they were printed if they were appropriate according to the rules of the paper? Now, anyone can comment on anything they want to with no repercussion and often it seems spend their days doing this. This world of unedited “written terrorism” leaves lasting scars on some people and we are well aware of what has happened to many kids who have been targeted as we lose young lives to suicide.
We must provide the skills, strategies, confidence and chutzpah for our kids to not make the same mistakes that adults right now are making. Public education is the place where we help kids learn to be well rounded in their thought, disseminate sources, and learn to treat each other with care and respect. We must double our efforts to teach “netiquette” and how to vet sources on the Internet. We must continue to teach sexual abuse strategies and skills to our kids. We cannot allow parents, community members, and other groups to use social media sites toward the detriment of our schools. We must continue to lead by example and espouse civility and moral discourse. We must demonstrate and model the positive and proper use of social media sites to inform AND call parents and others out to inform them of their bully treatment or use. Yeah, I know, we don’t have the greatest role model in our President as leader of our United States. The exact reason why WE Must Settle for More!