13 Men Explain Why They Participated In The Women's March On Washington

by John Haltiwanger

On Saturday, millions of people flooded the streets of cities across America and the world to march in solidarity with women.

Those who participated in the march are now a part of history.

It's estimated at least 3.3 million people marched in hundreds of cities across the US, and it may have been the largest demonstration in US history (numbers are still coming in).

But it's safe to say the march exceeded expectations and was a massive success.

Prior to the march, it didn't appear as though many men would participate.

Some seemed to feel excluded by the name, which, quite frankly, was pretty stupid.

Jonathan Chait, a writer for New York magazine, argued it was "poorly named" and it should've been more clear it was an "anti-Trump march."


But perhaps the real problem is a lot of men are just really bad at thinking about women's issues and don't stand up for gender equality in the way they should.

Yes, the march was called the "Women's March." That doesn't mean men weren't welcome.

Fortunately, a number of men seem to have understood this, and were thrilled to participate in the march.

In Washington, DC, there was a significant number of men dispersed through the crowd.

Some came to the march alone.

Others came with their grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, girlfriends, wives and friends to declare a simple but profound message: Women's rights are human rights and we should all be feminists.

John Haltiwanger
John Haltiwanger
John Haltiwanger

In a country with a long history of sexism, where women didn't gain the right to vote until 1920, it's pretty rich some men felt excluded by the name of the march.

These men missed the point entirely.

Simply put, men's rights and opportunities aren't limited and attacked in the same way women's rights are whatsoever, which is why the feminist movement is necessary in the first place -- and why Saturday's march was centered on women.

Our new president is a misogynist.

He was caught on video bragging about sexual assault, multiple women have accused him of sexual assault, he has a long history of making sexist remarks and his administration is already fighting to curb reproductive rights.

That's why there was a Women's March -- to let Trump know he will be held accountable for his rhetoric and policies toward women and people will not stand idly be if he attacks women's rights, among other issues.

It's not rocket science.

The number of men who marched on Saturday was definitely encouraging, but we still clearly have a lot of work to do in terms of getting more males to support gender equality.

John Haltiwanger
John Haltiwanger

Before the march, Elite Daily spoke with a number of men who planned on marching and why they felt it was important.

All of these men, other than one who marched in New York City, participated in the Women's March on Washington.

Hopefully, what they had to say will help encourage more men to stand up for women's rights.

James Benjamin Ebersole, 25, Washington DC

My first response to why I marched in a women's march is 'why not?' But beyond that I'm marching because I am a feminist – there is no earthly reason that women should not have equal rights and equal pay. Hillary Clinton's defeat by such a repugnant man has threatened to gouge the heart out of the women's rights movement and the good progressive people of America. On November 9th, we woke up in what seemed like a different country, but these marches remind us that we're not alone and we are the popular vote. In sum, I grew up with empowered women all around me and I want all the little girls who had to watch our best chance at the first woman President to know that they have a voice and we're right there with them. This isn't over.

Logan Miller, 26, Richmond, VA

I am marching today for the rights of women because I am a feminist, and also as a member of the LGBTQ community it is of utmost importance that we stand in solidarity against misogyny and bigotry! I believe men should stand up for women because we all have a mother or a sister or a friend who is female and they deserve nothing less than equality. Women's rights are human rights!

Grant Kouri, 33, Washington DC

I am marching because I believe societies that embrace... what women have to offer will ultimately benefit that most. If we aren't inclusive of half the population... we squander half of our capabilities and opportunities.

Jackson Ellis, 30, Washington DC

I am marching because I think Donald Trump is the most irresponsible candidate to run for public office in my lifetime. He exemplifies the worst that our society has to offer. He's racist, sexist, xenophobic, puts people down for religious differences, puts down disabled people, minorities and women and comes from reality television. The list really goes on and on. Our country deserves someone who is thoughtful about the issues this country faces and is willing to work hard to solve them. Donald Trump is selfish, self absorbed and clearly cares more about his personal brand than the well-being of Americans. For these reasons it is important to stand up. But more specifically, every day, women are harassed. Whether it be verbally, physically or sexually, women deal with these issues every day. For Donald Trump to be such a blatant chauvinist (repeatedly bragging about sexual exploits, women's bodies and assault) and not be held accountable is unacceptable. What kind of message are we sending young girls and boys that the President of the United States thinks its OK to boast about these things? The march is a lot of things but, in my opinion, maybe the most important thing it represents is that this type of behavior is not OK and the public at large needs to know it.

Eric Horwitz, 27, Brooklyn, New York

Bottom line: Women's rights are human rights. Men need to stop being uncomfortable with that and take some goddamn responsibility.

Benjamin Garbart, 27, Baltimore, MD

I'm marching this weekend to participate in an active demonstration of protest for a cause which is very important to me. The primary impetus behind my participation is my wife – she had the foresight to plan to attend the march as soon as she heard about it; and, after learning more about the reasons for it, I felt that it's almost necessary to show my support as well. Not only am I married to a strong, self-determined woman; but I have two sisters, a mother, a grandmother, a mother in law and two sister in laws; all of whom meet that same description. The fact that gender equality is even an issue in 2017 is an absurd demonstration of how we, as Americans, cling to defunct and outdated social norms. It is time that we start to adhere to the ideals that we uphold as Americans in all their various interpretations. Furthermore, I think that the act of physical demonstrations by the people in support of what we believe have become even more important in this age of digital interaction. When something has the importance and gravitas to physically shift our generation away from simply using social media platforms, I think that alone is a show that it is worth noticing. Although it distresses me that the projected demographic for the DC march is going to be primarily white, I hope that this march comes to fruition for all women across America and that it genuinely helps to get the message across to the incumbent presidency that theirs is a voice and a force that will not be silenced or ignored.

Benjamin Hancock, 29, Asheville, NC

I'm attending the women's march to show solidarity with women and their right to equality and respect. I am also being present with women against one of the most threatening public figures I have encountered, a figure who represents, to me, the worst impulses... Ultimately, I feel that being present for this event will help promote organization to make lasting changes in the next political cycle. Image matters and the clearest image I can imagine is of thousands of citizens filling the streets of DC expressing their interests.

Teddy Bisrat, 28, Bethesda, MD

It is important for men like me to stand up for women's right/gender equality because it is the least we can do for our mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends and others we care for... It is the right thing to do and it sends the message that women have the capability to achieve anything a man can. If it wasn't for my mother, sisters and my wife, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Nathaniel Babcock, 23, Baltimore, MD

I am attending the Women's March in DC to stand in solidarity with those who do not share the privileges I was born into (white, upper middle class, Christian and male). This election season has exposed the hatred that exists in all forms within our country. It has emboldened those who threaten and wish to roll back the inalienable rights that our founding fathers and countless soldiers fought to preserve. We have been attempting to live up to these ideals of equality and freedom since our country's inception. We have made astonishing progress in my lifetime and this march will prove that we the people will not allow a backslide. We will demonstrate and inspire love and kindness. The rhetoric of the incoming president has left a countless number of my friends and family genuinely scared that they may be mistreated, abused, jailed, or worse due to their varying ethnicities, viewpoints, and orientations. As Americans, we will stand up to show the new president that the will of the people is cooperation, kindness and love --not hate. As Americans, we will march through DC to celebrate the beauty that comes from diversity in all it's many forms... We must show that our democracy is strong; that we do not support isolationism or gross nationalism; and that Americans are not ignorant and hateful: Rather, we are kind, compassionate, loving and believe the spreading of this message is truly the best method of improving the collective human experience.

Alessandro Burlew, 20, Frederick, MD

I am marching because in today's world, there is so much hate and discrimination. I want to march for something that counteracts that type of ideology. I want my mother, and my future wife and any daughters that I might have to have the same exact rights that I have grown up with.. I am marching because I believe that pay should be equal no matter what race, gender, etc. All men and women should march together in unity to promote and show support for equality for everyone.

Adam Curtis, 29, Silver Spring, MD

I think every individual, especially white men such as myself, have a moral and historical obligation to stand up in support of anyone and everyone who could be oppressed or subjugated.

We have to play the hands we are dealt, and not standing up for my friends and family would be ethically and personally unconscionable.

Chris Cisar, 30, Arlington, VA

Trying to come up with an explanation as to why I am going or why I support the cause is a bit difficult to put into words.

For me -- it just seems obvious that women would have full rights everywhere on the planet, let alone in this country. The fact that we are even debating it or having to be active about it in the first place is severely disappointing for a country that labels itself as 'free.'

Ben Woolf, 34, Baltimore, MD

I think for a lot of people, including me, going to this march is a symbolic response to a president whose campaign showed open contempt for women. Donald Trump won this election by appealing to chauvinism. He used the same kinds of dog whistles we've heard from nationalist demagogues before. His strategy was to validate the idea that white men should feel like persecuted victims by a PC society run amok. Going to the march partly has to do with notion that it's on us as men to stand up to the normalization of violence and intimidation that Trump came to represent -- including violence against women. But for me, it's also important to show the world that many of us are not on board with what the president and his team represent from a policy perspective. I hope that more men are learning that so called 'women's issues' are everyone's issues. There has never been a society on earth that didn't immediately become more prosperous and successful after empowering women politically, giving them control over their reproduction, and protecting them from discrimination. If Trump and the reactionaries in his cabinet want to see that undone, they're not going to do it without a fight. Men need to be a bigger part of that fight going forward.