by Sal Mastrocola, No Nets
This Saturday, millions of women will descend upon Washington DC to march against the incoming presidential administration, joined by millions more marching around the globe. I’ll be boarding a DC bound bus this Saturday at 4AM to march with them. My wife has volunteered herself to be captain of said bus. Full disclosure.
Anyway – I’ve had a number of conversations over the last week with friends and colleagues who will also be exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly this Saturday. But not everyone seems to be on board. A surprisingly high number of my female friends’ partners are electing to sit this one out while their ladies march. The reasons my female friends have supplied for their partners’ absences range in scope – some are legitimate. But I’ve heard one too many responses along the lines of “he’ll be hanging out in a bar with the other boyfriends nearby, we’ll meet up afterward,” or “it’s a women’s march, so he’s going to let me do my thing,” or even “I asked him – his answer was ‘it’s not for me’.”
Question for my fellow guys… fellow husbands… fellow dudes who have women in their lives that they care for deeply. Do you believe that the women in your life should have access to affordable healthcare? Should have agency over their own bodies? Should be able to raise children without fear of retribution from their employer? Don’t you care about how our country’s institutions see these women, these human fucking beings? Didn’t some super qualified and famous blonde lady once say “women’s rights are human rights”?
Okay – If not for the amazing women in your life, what about your friends of color? Your gay cousin? Your muslim neighbor? Your disabled uncle? Are you so certain in your spot on the social ladder that you can suck down a frosty brew with your bros, confident that the slimy, sticky tendrils of our orange haired overlord will never cast off your impenetrable shell of privilege?
The unfortunate fact is, as men of privilege, many of the things we do in our day to day lives directly or indirectly contribute to gender inequality, and we’re not really conditioned to think about how, when or why. So, would it kill us to take an active role, even just for one freaking day, and do something direct that will have a positive impact for someone who isn’t us?
The beer will still be there.