Today was the “Second Annual” Women’s March. I’ve seen photos of HUUUGGE crowds all across the country. Some news outlets are describing these as protests of President Trump and the current administration and their policies. I am quite aware that they are actually simply demonstrations of a movement similar to the suffrage marches of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Britain and the United States. Even those were not merely focused on gaining the right to vote, although that was the immediate aim. Those early demonstrations and these current ones are, I believe (and have seen commentary to support my opinion), gatherings of women—and men—to show the world and other women that women have their own voices, that they are a powerful force to be reckoned with, that they are finally going to take their places in society and no longer wait patiently for a seat at the table. Damn. It’s about time!
I have never understood why the “other half” (probably the better half) of humanity has been denied so much. Psychologists and biologists and anthropologists and apologists have for centuries been explaining why women are—and according to many of them should be—second class citizens, or even non-citizens. I don’t get it.
Maybe it’s my belief in the Romantic notion of “Might for Right” and not “Might Is Right.” Just because most men are more physically powerful than women and can physically suppress them does not give them the right (and not just in their relationship with women) to put them down. I hate bullies. I got in so many fights as a kid because some bully was picking on someone weaker. Got my ass kicked most of the time since they tend to have groups to support their cowardice.
Why, though, has “civilization” denied half the population? I’m not even going into race or religion or any of the other groups that have been discriminated against. Just think of the female side of it. How many times has the woman with the key to world peace been silenced? Or the woman with the cure for cancer? Or the woman with the clue that unlocks anti-gravity or faster-than-light travel?
It has been my privilege to know hundreds of incredibly intelligent and talented women, and I have been even more fortunate to have fallen in love with and be loved by two of the most amazing women I have ever been lucky enough to meet. Just those two have given the world five children—two men and three women—who are unbelievable parents, artists, socially conscientious and powerful advocates, proponents of peace and love, and examples of the promise of the future.
I taught for more than forty years at the high school and college levels. I have known female students who were then and are now more important and powerful and significant to the world than I can ever hope to be. Despite that, they are hindered at every turn by corporate “glass ceilings” and societal mores and historical barriers that prevent them from achieving all that might be possible, or at least possible as easily or as soon as their male peers might achieve similar goals. Some of those students have chosen life paths that they didn’t really want, or did not choose career paths in which they might have become “all they could be” merely because those paths were not open to them.
Today women marched to show the nation and the world that they’re not going to be silent any longer. They’re not going to be held down. The #MeToo movement and some of the horrific abuse scandals that are being revealed lately are also paths women are marching today. Their voices are strong individually, but together they are loud enough to drown out the thousands of years of “No!” I remember Helen Reddy—I can hear the roar.
What really pleases me is that the women are not marching alone. They are accompanied by their young daughters—and their sons—and many of their husbands and boyfriends and men they don’t even know.
March on. Please. March on.