I wasn’t expecting much from yesterday’s post about the Good Men Project. It certainly got a lot of attention, though. It appears that this is a pretty important issue for so many people. Thank you all for your comments, emails, tweets, and follows. I’m so glad that I was able to write about this.
This morning, a friend posted this comment on Facebook (and I hope he doesn’t mind that I’m shamelessly stealing it for my blog):
“Newsies”. Such a great movie with a great message. Shows that when you put a large number of small voices together, the message rings louder and clearer than one giant voice.
Yes, my friend, you are right. We don’t need one voice—or even a few individual voices, all in our separate spaces—to make a difference. We need all of us, all the time, making it clear what we expect.
It pains me to read some of the garbage on Good Men Project’s web site. But it pains me just as much when I see women who think we need to depend on male feminists/allies to make change. What we need, first and foremost, is each other. We make up half the population. How is it that we have failed to put our collective voices together to demand what men have without question? And what can we do to remedy that?
We women have made incredible progress in the last century. To think that my great-grandmother was among the first women with the right to vote is mind-boggling. Was it really so recently that we couldn’t participate in electing those who represent us? We’ve made strides in so many areas. That is something to celebrate.
Yet at the same time, we still have so far to go. We still have so many places where our leadership isn’t welcome. What I wouldn’t give to replace last night’s Presidential candidates with two wise, articulate women! I can think of at least ten women on each side of the political divide, as well as a number of women who belong to neither party, that I would trust. It saddens me that I may not live to see it happen (though I still hold out hope).
We need to learn from our past. How did we make those changes before? We seem to think that if we just vote for the right candidate, it will fall into place. But that’s the equivalent of trusting the men-folk to know what’s best for us. Surely we can do better. We are more than a decade into a new millennium. It’s time we used the power of numbers to make change. And if some of those actual good men want to come alongside us and add their voices too, well, I certainly won’t say no. But it needs to start with us.