I joined the women’s march in Ann Arbor because I believe women should have the same opportunities as men to lead meaningful, fulfilling lives. As we made our way through the quaint Ann Arbor town, my friends and I led the charge, starting chants in an otherwise relatively docile crowd. But once the sea of pink beanies condensed over the University of Michigan’s central campus, the energy completely shifted. Originally I planned to stay only for a few speakers, but the sheer urgency and conviction that each spoke with glued my feet to the ground. While all of the speakers were great, one in particular stayed with me, and that was congresswoman Debbie Dingle. She did not speak so much as yell for an entire twenty minutes, her shrill voice piercing as could be. It was moving to see such passion and vigor personified, and was definitely worth the lower back pain from standing up for so long. I scanned the crowd for protestors and signs with messages that stood out. Some resorted to humor, others were serious. Some were succinct; others published manifestos. I am a strong, intelligent, independent, bossy woman. Do you still want to grab this pussy…? (Yes).
As a man, I have never labeled myself a feminist, just as a guy with a pulse. I am also someone who is not an expert on feminism- far from it. But I do know the basic tenets. Women should have equal rights and opportunities as men, both socially and in the workplace. It’s about the fact that over the last hundreds of years, women have been largely excluded from history books at the mercy of the patriarchy. It’s about a search for a new identity. But above all, it’s about power.
Feminism is important if we are to have a future where half of the population is no longer inhibited. It is important because we need to empower the half of our population that is often intellectually superior if we want to create a better world. Let’s encourage, not hinder, the half of the population that is better at multitasking- and get more tasks done. Let’s share power.