With a name like “Women’s March,” most people probably believe it would be all women walking together in solidarity to close the wage gap. However, men were well-represented on Saturday as well as issues other than women’s rights.
Husbands, boyfriends, brothers and friends came to support women and other causes the march represented. Though only a guess, men seemed to make up a third of the crowd during the Women’s March 2.0 of the Tri-Cities.
“I consider myself a humanist,” said Andrew Spitznas, who marched on Saturday. “I think the election of Trump has been a setback for humanity. I think it’s a set back for women, for members of the LGBTQ community, for African Americans, Hispanics, so I just felt a need to be here to express my solidarity with those who are often marginalized.”
Men like Spitznas showed their support by marching and participating in the rally and conversations afterward. Some even came with their pink, cat-eared hats and signs with phrases like, “Boys will be respectful,” “PROgress [over] CONgress,” and “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. – MLK, Jr.”
One reason for the march was to inform people about midterm elections and give them information about local, state and national candidates. Other reasons included women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, racial discrimination, sexual harassment and assault, immigration policy and environmental protection.
Many local groups and organizations were represented during the rally at Founders Park, and speakers shared personal stories and discussed their platforms for office.
“For myself personally, I think that it’s not about men or women—it’s about oppression across the board,” said Nathan Farnor, an ETSU student and speaker during the presentation.
Farnor believes all people are oppressed in some way, whether it be based on religion, class, education, sexual orientation or where they live.
“I think we have to tap into those things and we have to put ourselves into other people’s shoes,” he said. “Then we’ll realize we’re all fighting the same fight. Gay rights, women’s rights, environmental rights, economic rights, racial rights—it’s all the same fight in the end.”