(The comments in this story are the authors’ own and do not necessarily represent HCOU)
“I’m planning a ‘Men’s March’ to protest at the creeping global emasculation of my gender by rabid feminists. Who’s with me?”
Who said it?
a) A man in 1917 protesting the women’s suffrage movement
b) A British journalist in 2017 hiding behind social media.
If you guessed “a,” I am sorry to inform you that you are wrong and even in the 21st-century women and almost everyone else who isn’t a straight, white male has experienced some kind of oppression or discrimination. This incredibly misogynistic statement was tweeted by Piers Morgan in response to the Women’s Marches that were taking place all over the world. Unfortunately, it is apparent that he was not the only one who scoffed at the crazy idea of women marching for equality since his tweet had over 24,000 retweets. So, Mr. Morgan, I am sorry that female empowerment scares you and I’m sorry for the people who think that feminism is some evil to be feared.
I texted my friend Hannah at 1 p.m. on Friday about a spontaneous trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the Women’s March. By 7 p.m. we were throwing our backpacks into the back of her Chevy and speeding off to our nation’s capitol. Saturday morning as we walked towards the rally that was happening in anticipation of the march, we passed masses of people wearing pink hats and carrying signs ready to be held up. As we got to the center of the action, we saw a variety of people. Contrary to some people’s beliefs, this march was not all women. There were people representing many ethnicities and religions. People were not only marching in solidarity for women’s rights but also for LGBTQ rights, to protest racism and to unite in support that the United States should welcome immigrants. There were men and children marching. I got chills as I passed a little girl with a sign that read “I’d rather break glass ceilings than wear glass slippers.”
As we stood in a crowd of thousands of people, I felt empowered. When you see statistics about women being paid less than men or hear stories of sexual assault where the victim is treated like they are to blame or women who don’t want to have kids are looked at as living unfulfilled lives and a group of men sign laws about what you’re allowed to do with your own uterus, you can start to feel like nothing will change. Walking with this crowd of people who refused to be silenced by hatred was one of the most amazing experiences. I left with a warm heart and hope for the future.
With these thoughts of hope, also came annoyance. Why is it that we as women still have to worry about not having control over our own bodies? Why can’t two men get married without people saying they’re sinners? Why is racism still a problem in our modern society? At the march, I met a lot of wonderful people. Two of those being a mother and daughter duo named Willow and Robyn. I think they shared this sentiment of disbelief that inequality is still something that we need to be protesting.
“This is my life,” Willow bluntly stated. “The idea that we don’t have complete control over our own bodies and that we’re in a society that thinks sexism isn’t a thing. I’m scared of what we’re headed towards as a country.”
Robyn agreed with her daughter, “I thought that by the time my daughters were adult women things would be 100 percent equal and I’m disappointed to see it backsliding.”
One of the most amazing things about being a part of this day is that I knew that I was surrounded by thousands of other supportive individuals. Marches occurred in cities everywhere in the U.S. as well as all seven continents (even Antarctica).
So, Piers Morgan, you may have had thousands of retweets and had support from people tweeting comfortably through the protection of a computer screen but across the U.S.A. alone over 3 million people took action and made their voices heard, which I’m sure made Susan B. Anthony proud.
(Photos courtesy of the author)