I think that’s a fair place to start. As a male, white, christian, cis-gendered, straight human; I’ve got some apologizing to do.
Saturday I watched as hundreds of thousands of millions of people across the globe marched for a multiplicity of reasons. This ‘woman’s march’ was filled with people protesting for the basic idea of decency and equality. Not just women, but all races, walks, religions, gender identities, and economic classes marched.
All I did was watch.
An apology is not just saying “I’m sorry” A full apology is an acknowledgment of the offense, an expression of remorse and a commitment to change.
My apology is for those (women) that I have either looked down on, or thought less of, simply due their gender or stature at any point in my life. Although I don’t believe any action in my life has been out of callous malice; a casual acceptance of status-quo has been something I know I have done. Casual acceptance is why we are where we are today in regards to civil rights and gender/sexual-identity equity.
Many of us (men) blame where we come from or our upbringing. An upbringing is not an excuse for indecency, and narrow-mindedness. True empathy overcomes those boundaries, and sees the need and cries for someone to listen.
All people has the right to equal pay/wages in this country. If someone chooses to ‘have it all’ and raise a family while pursuing their career dreams, they shouldn’t be penalized for seeking both or even just one dream. You have the right to seeking the kind of life you want. Anatomy should never be a precursor to higher wage.
As a friend once told me no uterus, no opinion, which later I found out was a ‘Friends’ reference. But as much as my feelings are strong on this divisive issue, I have no right to tell you what is best for your body. Your body, your life, and the life and potential of your unborn child all matter. You have the right to be pro-choice or pro-life, and pro-women’s right all in the same breath. (Not that you need me to tell you that.)
I watched the protests happen Saturday with a heavy heart, and a wondering feeling of ‘should I be there’, marching with my fellow humans. I biked through capitol hill in Denver as the crowds exited the civic center. People walking with their signs taking part in one of (if not the) largest protest in U.S. history.
I’m sorry I have only stood beside you in rhetoric, not in person. I want to change this.
How the strong women in my life have shaped me. How can I ever doubt the ability of women to shape the thoughts, future, and direction of our country? How could we ALL, not give credence to the importance of this moment, this extraordinary time?
When I see the march that was called by all media outlets a ‘women’s march’ that protested for not only right for women, but rights and equality for all. Is equality, civility, and justice so much to ask for in an age that we claim to be the most decent, civil and just?
Civility, equality and justice have never been something freely given by humanity. They are something we must fight for, knock on the door of our leaders, and in a unified voice demanding. If it isn’t given, ‘they’ must answer to masses.
The reality is, that this isn’t over. We must hold this government accountable for it’s actions, and our follow the example seen this Saturday. The thin-haired king may sit on his throne, yelling from his hill; but his hill is sinking into the swamp he claimed to drain.
When the largest ‘march’ or protest in my lifetime happens, maybe we all should take notice. To the many that participated you have taken notice, and you’ve noticed how the world stopped taking you into account.
As stated earlier, my own present reality often shelters me from feeling the full weight of political change, but that is a poor excuse. My humanity compels me, my creator emboldens me, my heart calls me to action. Nothing should stop me from action when I see injustice.
Silence is violence, and passive acceptance breeds normalcy.
These are not normal times.
The one thing that I can take away from the past three days, is that humanity is willing to fight.
We are willing to fight for what we believe is right. We want the best for our fellow human. We want not only our country to succeed, but the world. America could be first, but leading by example, not by some intimidating force or hyper-patriotic nationalism. We seek to lead in being just, decent and equal; not some vague version of being ‘great again'
“Justice is what love looks like in public, just like tenderness is what love feels like in private.”
We all belong, we should all believe in that fact.
We should all fight for this reality together.
Sincerely, One Hopeful Man.
Manspology idea stolen unapologetically from Dan Harmon.
1. Being White
5. No Opinion