Hey guys! Did you see that yesterday?! Were you there?! Did you want to go, but couldn’t for some reason? Did you choose not to go, but later wished you had? Or did you not go but still want to support the movement revealed on the streets of our nation?
Over 4 MILLION people took to the streets for the Women’s March on Washington! I was privileged to march with around 13,000 people in Santa Fe, NM. I do not have the adjectives to describe what just happened. I do not have the political savvy to dive into an analysis of what just happened. I do not have the capacity to really understand what just happened.
But I am sure glad it did.
This is an awesome moment. For ALL of us. And I am shamelessly taking this very moment and using it to further an agenda that’s important to me. That’s right… the Women’s March brought millions of people into the street in response to injustice in our country and here I am, a straight white man, using that energy for an agenda that has been shouted from the roof tops by women for centuries.
Men; we have work to do.
We gotta get busy. We need to dive deep into our understanding of masculinity and make some serious changes. We need to be doing this in ourselves, in our families, in our work places, in our communities, and in our nation. We just witnessed a huge outpouring of Love and Anger. This Love is powerful. And this Anger is righteous. This is the kind of anger that we need to pay attention to. We have No More Excuses to ignore the messages we are hearing from the women of the world. They have been telling us for a long time that we need to get off our asses and make some changes. To be sure, many men have and are. But guys; it’s going to take all of us.
We need to learn about the violence of masculinity and how it impacts women, transgender people, gender non-conforming and non-binary people, and basically anyone not accepted as a “real man.” We need to learn about how we consciously and unconsciously keep the violence alive. We need to show up when we see our brothers enacting and promoting violence. We need to gather together and find our way into a world where ALL men and boys are loving and respectful and ALL women and girls are valued and safe.
This isn’t easy to do. Each of us is struggling within this matrix of domination in some way. Seeing how our identities can privilege and harm us at the same time, takes a bit of learning. Understanding the ways that oppression manifests and responds to change requires effort. We make mistakes. We keep going.
This is not just about sex. It is about race, class, gender, orientation, ability, and all the aspects of identity that shape our experience in the world. Our understanding must center the experiences of those people who are most impacted by gender based and racial violence. We need to understand how and why, Black Transwomen are subject to more sexual violence than any other group of people. To do this requires we understand ourselves.
This is not just theory. This requires daily practice. It is not just idle talk. This is about action. As men, we need to be actively learning about and resisting the violence occurring across this nation. It is happening in the halls of congress. It is happening in our local police departments. It is happening in our work places, our schools, grocery stores, and on the streets. It is happening in our homes.
It will take all of us. Yesterday we witnessed a clear and direct message that things must change. That change is not ONLY for some oddly shaped office at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. That change needs to happen in our hearts, our minds, and our bodies.
Come on guys! We got this!