I have made it a point and my purpose to write about my love for women and show my gratitude to the women in my life who have influenced me, motivated me, and inspired me the most. From my mother, sisters, aunts, and cousins to the handful of female best friends that have stuck by me and encouraged me to just be – me. I’ve worked for strong women all my adult life and have been surrounded by women with voices and opinions since I was a young boy. Yes, I’ve definitely have had the support of men but my truth is my truth, and it has been the words and the example of women that made me think, made me stronger, and made me the very best me.
When my two nieces, Natalie and Colette were born, my eyes opened even wider to the topic of female empowerment. My grateful heart started to beat even stronger with purpose wanting to see the world they live in become one with equal opportunity and rights that support them to be leaders, bosses, and – yes, fighters. Freedom fighters, equality fighters, and human right fighters.
With all eyes from around the globe on the United States these days, I call out the men in the world to stand up taller and to speak up louder for their wives, their sisters, their mothers, their daughters and the women in their lives. In January, the Women’s March brought out just these types of men: the ones that held their young daughters up on their shoulders, held signs, wore pink, marched and rallied.
If you are a woman reading this article, my intent for this piece is to let you know that I and thousands of other men support you. We are here for you and will continue to be. Yes, your voices are loud enough. We hear you loud and clear. We honor your words. We echo your words.
For the men reading this article, let us take a hammer to the stereotype and feeling many of you have when it comes to standing up for women. Call it what you may, but there is indeed an insecurity among men when it comes to talking openly and publicly about women’s rights.
Do you feel that other important political topics like gun laws and homeland security are more socially acceptable for men to have a public opinion about than, let’s see, equal pay, domestic violence, and women’s healthcare?
I think a lot of it boils down to fear and the running old topic of what is masculine versus feminine. Yes, I believe there are men out there who truly think that standing up for women on social media, loudly in public or among other men is looked at to not be masculine. Why? Well, we can fill up pages and pages on the world’s history, religious views, and societal norms of men and women. But I’d rather focus on today and get your wheels turning in a forward motion so that we provoke progress, change, and work to shatter any labels or stereotypes when it comes to showing support for women.
What we know to be true is that everyone is going to have an opinion with current events. There are some topics that will naturally connect and relate more to one person more than another. But, if we want women’s rights to be brought even more center to the world stage, we need more people (and more men) to speak up. We need them to not just understand but to use their platforms and be the example to young boys, showing that they respect women and their rights.
I ask you to turn to your husband, boyfriend, brother, son, and friends and have a conversation to see what their thoughts on women’s rights are. Some may already know the various areas where women are not treated equal and the many other challenges they face. Yet, I believe many are aware there is an issue but don’t necessarily know the specifics and the severity.
What they see on television and what they already know may certainly be very different from what you think they know. And people in general only know what they know. So, lets educate, listen, and encourage the men of the world to not be afraid to use their voices when it comes to women’s rights. Challenge them, teach them, and bring examples of how your rights are not just women’s rights but human rights. We are all connected and all affected.
My mission is to get more men to stand with women, to say thank you to the men that already do, and to work together so that equality becomes more of a reality and that we fight for what is right. Let us unite.
With Love and Gratitude,