As a kid, I remembered watching Dangerous Minds and hearing a line from a Dylan Thomas poem. To those of you who do not know or remember this movie, Michelle Pfeiffer gets a teaching job at an inner city school; the line is, “I came to teach, but you taught me instead”. The movie was a hit, most likely driven by Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio. In addition to the “There are no victims in this classroom!” line, this snippet from the poem stuck with me.
I was fortunate to go to one of the women’s marches that occurred on January 21, 2017. It was so empowering and affirming to see all these people, both sexes in varying ages, come together peacefully to make our voices heard; to demonstrate and exercise our rights as United States citizens, expressing our opinions.
Soldiers fought and will continue to fight for our rights to do this, so telling demonstrators that they are being unpatriotic because they chose to march is unfathomable.
Telling people what they can and cannot do with their rights IS unpatriotic and undermines all the lives sacrificed for the honor to have this right.
After millions of people all over the world marched, our efforts and intentions were undermined and disregarded by a plethora of people. Using smoke screens and red herrings to distract from the real issue is the best way to undermine a grassroots movement. To clear things up:
- We did not march because we are sore losers. We marched because the person that won the presidency made derogatory statements to and about women, minorities, immigrants, and people with special needs. Why is any of this appropriate to warrant a vote, especially for the highest office in the land? In any other job, that person would have been fired and possibly sued.
- We did not march because we want something for nothing. Women want equality in every sense of the word. We want to be compensated the same as a man for the same work. Don’t you want to be paid fairly for the work you complete?
- We marched because women are not trusted to make decisions about their own bodies; over 400 laws deal with women’s bodies, yet none for men. That is like having a house you paid for, but someone else telling you what colors you can paint the walls.
- We marched to have our concerns heard and do not have the money to buy a politician or lobbyist to speak for us. The few that do are drowned out by those that do not.
If you do not agree with the aforementioned bullet points, then consider this: we marched because the current president was and is supported by the KKK. A group in the past has terrorized minorities by lynching, bombing, raping, and assaulting them. This should have been the line in the sand—especially for my Christian brothers and sisters.
Over generalizing the people who attended these marches as uber feminists who want to emasculate men is not true. Women do not want to be treated better than men; women want to be treated as equals, full stop. If a woman marching to be treated equally threatens your masculinity, then you may want to rethink what it is to be a man.
How quickly everyone forgets that both four and eight years ago, people piled into the streets to protest as well. They demanded to see Obama’s birth certificate and questioned his citizenship, stated he was a Muslim, how the U.S. was going to be under Sharia Law, how he was the anti-Christ, and so on. This sentiment continued with stating how Obama and his family were monkeys and were called the N-word more times that should have been accepted.
The difference? We marched peacefully for equality and to prevent the regression of ideals. You protested and burned effigies against the previous administration because racism.
If any of this was harsh, I apologize because it was not my intention. However, do not assume the marching occurred because of radical, hairy, man-hating feminists. It happened because women AND men are tired of the status quo, tired of being treated like second class citizens, tired of being afraid, and tired of asking for the same thing since the 1900s. Men and women will continue to march together for equality and will not stop until equality is met. Until then, we will not go gently into that good night. We will rage against the dying of the light.
Cover image property of: elle.com