FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

A Call to Men to join Women’s March

It’s not too late for a Men’s New Year’s Resolution: to show up in even greater numbers at this year’s Women’s March than ever before. Wherever they’re being held in Washington, DC or Anchorage, Alaska, let’s encourage men to march for gender equity, and to transform manhood.

The struggle for women’s equality is a struggle for dignity, justice, and freedom in all aspects of women’s lives—from home to work, from bedroom to boardroom. Too many men are slow as molasses to acknowledge the injustices women face. If we can get out of our own way, breathe through our fear of empowered women—if we’re ready to confront a misplaced dread of feminism—there’s a new world awaiting where men will live richer, more emotionally expressive lives.

Beginning in 2017, men joined the first Women’s March in large numbers. For this year’s march, let’s recruit more men. Seek them out in the locker room and the faith community; the poker game and the coffee shop. Invite them to not only advocate for gender justice, but also to speak out for racial, economic, religious, and environmental justice.

With the climate crisis threatening everything, let’s honor Greta Thunberg and a growing youth force rebellion; they are demand­ing we do more than pay lip service to a planet on fire because of the reckless disregard of privileged white men.

Consider: women (including transwomen) are the principal survivors of gender-based violence; women earn four-fifths of what men earn; women (and children) face the greatest risk from climate catastrophes; and it’s women whose reproductive rights are under attack. (Nine states now ban abortion before most women know they’re pregnant.)

Unwavering in their determination to right these wrongs, women are leading a social revolution, from the streets to the ballot box—from the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements to women elected to office in 2018 and 2019 in unprecedented numbers. Central to their vision is achieving gender justice in a movement many men consider our cause, too. For two generations men of all races and ethnicities in the US and around the world have been working to prevent domestic and sexual violence, and to redefine and transform traditional ideas about manhood, fatherhood, and brotherhood. Voice Male, the magazine I edit, has been chronicling those efforts for three decades and this story’s next chapter will be told in part by men who join women at the march and beyond.

What can men do? First, take stock. Women’s marches can spur men to examine our lives, each step a chance to do some soul-searching, asking ourselves how we have contributed to prejudice, discrimination and abuse of women. With the insights we gain, we can help transform masculinity—and ourselves.

Let’s march as fathers, caregivers, grandfathers and mentors, raising boys to value compassion over competition, collaboration over isolation. Let’s march as sons and brothers, uncles and nephews, who recognize that “standard issue” manhood constricts our emotional lives, blinds us from seeing how we can be whole human beings. Let’s march as husbands and partners who recognize that when women are respected and empowered, they are happier and so is everyone around them.

Let’s march with signs reading, “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like,” and “Another Man Against Violence Against Women.” We’ll be following in the proud tradition of another historic movement: women’s suffrage.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of women’s struggle to gain the right to vote. Many men dedicated themselves to that cause, marching behind a banner proclaiming, “Men’s League for Women Suffrage.” These “suffragents” were steadfast in promoting women’s enfranchisement. They took a stand. And later this month, surrounded by a sea of women in pussycat hats carrying signs signifying their resolve to never turn back, men will take a stand, too. If the collaborations and partnerships among women and men over the past few decades have taught me nothing else, it is that men and boys can be part of not just a women’s march, but a women-directed social revolution. If we’re willing to repair the blind spot of masculinity within us, there’s a place for men in this movement. We don’t have to man up, but we do have to stand up.

More articles by:

Rob Okun is a psychotherapist practicing in Amherst, Massachusetts and the editor of Voice Male, a national magazine chronicling the transformation of masculinity.

Weekend Edition
August 14, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Lights! Camera! Kill! Hollywood, the Pentagon and Imperial Ambitions.
Joseph Grosso
Bloody Chicken: Inside the American Poultry Industry During the Time of COVID
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: It Had to be You
H. Bruce Franklin
August 12-22, 1945: Washington Starts the Korean and Vietnam Wars
Pete Dolack
Business as Usual Equals Many Extra Deaths from Global Warming
Paul Street
Whispers in the Asylum (Seven Days in August)
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Predatory Capitalism and the Nuclear Threat in the Age of Trump
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
‘Magical Thinking’ has Always Guided the US Role in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
The Politics of War: What is Israel’s Endgame in Lebanon and Syria?
Ron Jacobs
It’s a Sick Country
Eve Ottenberg
Trump’s Plan: Gut Social Security, Bankrupt the States
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Fake News
Jonathan Cook
How the Guardian Betrayed Not Only Corbyn But the Last Vestiges of British Democracy
Joseph Natoli
What Trump and the Republican Party Teach Us
Robert Fisk
Can Lebanon be Saved?
Brian Cloughley
Will Biden be Less Belligerent Than Trump?
Kenn Orphan
We Do Not Live in the World of Before
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Compromise & the Status Quo
Andrew Bacevich
Biden Wins, Then What?
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
The Criminology of Global Warming
Michael Welton
Toppled Monuments and the Struggle For Symbolic Space
Prabir Purkayastha
Why 5G is the First Stage of a Tech War Between the U.S. and China
Daniel Beaumont
The Reign of Error
Adrian Treves – John Laundré
Science Does Not Support the Claims About Grizzly Hunting, Lethal Removal
David Rosen
A Moment of Social Crisis: Recalling the 1970s
Maximilian Werner
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf: Textual Manipulations in Anti-wolf Rhetoric
Pritha Chandra
Online Education and the Struggle over Disposable Time
Robert Koehler
Learning from the Hibakushas
Seth Sandronsky
Teaching in a Pandemic: an Interview With Mercedes K. Schneider
Dean Baker
Financing Drug Development: What the Pandemic Has Taught Us
Greta Anderson
Blaming Mexican Wolves for Livestock Kills
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Meaning of the Battle of Salamis
Mel Gurtov
The World Bank’s Poverty Illusion
Paul Gilk
The Great Question
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
Trump Doesn’t Want Law and Order
Martin Cherniack
Neo-conservatism: The Seductive Lure of Lying About History
Nicky Reid
Pick a Cold War, Any Cold War!
George Wuerthner
Zombie Legislation: the Latest Misguided Wildfire Bill
Lee Camp
The Execution of Elephants and Americans
Christopher Brauchli
I Read the News Today, Oh Boy…
Tony McKenna
The Truth About Prince Philip
Louis Proyect
MarxMail 2.0
Sidney Miralao
Get Military Recruiters Out of Our High Schools
Jon Hochschartner
Okra of Time
David Yearsley
Bringing Landscapes to Life: the Music of Johann Christian Bach
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail