©Photo by Gaz De Vere. All Rights Reserved
On Saturday, I watched the live stream of the Women's March on Washington. It moved me to tears. Particularly Ashley Judd's rousing reading of a poem written by Nina Donovan, a 19-year-old woman from Tennessee. She was literally making truth great again.
I found the solidarity, bravery and the uprising of love overwhelming, mainly because I was brought up by a loving and uncompromising feminist lesbian mother - Polly Perkins - a woman who fought for equality at the forefront of this movement in the 60s and 70s.
I was born and raised feminist by default. I thought that was the norm. I never knew any different. But I won't take my background for granted.
My mother and her generation believed in effecting change in the world through protest and conscientious objection to injustice and inequality. We live in an age where mobile phones can pick you up, take you to a restaurant, buy you dinner and play your favourite music, and yet, online misogyny is a 'thing'. A thing that runs into hundreds of thousands of aggressive messages sent to women every day across social media all over the world.
The march also moved me deeply because, as I looked into the crowd of fearless women, every so often you could see a man - a husband, a father, a son...
Every so often.
As with any valuable cause, it is perception that carries the key to change. Yesterday, millions of women were changing the perception of those who might think it is not important enough to warrant three million people marching across the world.
This perception must be changed. It has to be changed. Once and for all. And to change it, MORE MEN need to speak out in support of the women who are leading the fight. Gay rights are taken more seriously when straight people support those rights. And so it shall be if men start to speak up and out for women's rights.
This is not just a women's issue, it's a human rights issue.. and half of the humans on this planet are still being treated as second class citizens in many corners of the earth.
Some men can sometimes feel intimidated by groups of women coming together and expressing themselves perfectly to the rest of the world with total independence. This male insecurity has to be addressed and stopped.
It is counter productive. Men and women must support one another. What we share is more powerful than what divides us. I've seen a lot of posts from women yesterday about the marches.
But not a lot of posts or comments from men.
Sorry if this has offended anyone but I wouldn't be my mother's son if I kept my mouth shut about this. This is obviously not directed to those men who have shown solidarity.
The idea that a woman needs to be 'liberated' is archaic by today's standards, and yet my mother's album cover from 1973 is as poignant now as it was then. And as she did then, we all must promote awareness about the issue.
The politics of fear that has been thrust upon so many people in the world at this time means our silence can only be a crime against our own humanity, our own progress, our own evolution. And given the continuing struggle for women's equality, it is time that more men become both vocal and pro-active. Perhaps then, this century may start to look different to the last century.
For all the right reasons.
Let us all be agents of change in whatever way we can. This is the time.
I am He For She. Join us.