WASHINGTON — In advance of the Women's March on Washington, there was speculation that men might be put off by the event's name and fail to show up on Jan. 21.
The Washington Post wondered if it might be considered "unmasculine" to voice support for the movement, citing the relatively low number of men that RSVPed on the march's Facebook event page, and a larger reticence of men to identify as feminist.
Even the march's co-chairs acknowledged the masculinity problem baked into its premise.
"This is a movement that is led by women, but it is not just for women," Linda Sarsour, a co-chair and the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, told the Post. "It’s for all people." But, she added, "[Participants] have to be OK with being led by women."
After a presidential election influenced by sexism, it seems safe to say that many men are not OK with being led by a woman. Poll results reflected that quite clearly. But of course, not all men are excited about a future under President Donald Trump, either — and many have expressed concern at the rampant racism, xenophobia, misogyny and dishonesty his campaign propagated.
Sean Johnson, Baltimore
Sean Miller, a DJ from Baltimore, spoke to the importance of men doing their part to "get women to an equal place."
"I’m marching because I think that it’s a show of solidarity," Miller said on Saturday. "It’s important for everyone who supports what this movement is about: that women do not have equal pay and are not seen in the same social standing. For myself as a black man, myself as a man, and just all of the reasons that I have privilege, even though I am a minority, [I recognize] we are not equal, and it’s important for me to stand up and use my voice"
Herb Miller, Wasington, D.C.
Herb Miller, 81, said he came to support his daughter, Jane McLaughlin.
"[I'm marching] because she wanted me to," Miller said on Saturday. "And because we marched together 10 years ago ... [at the pro-choice march on Washington] on the mall."
"And you don't necessarily like the president," McLaughlin reminded her father.
"No," said Miller. "A different Bush."
Alexandre Joseph, Washington, D.C.
Alexandre Joseph, born and raised in Haiti, came to Washington, D.C., to attend school.
"I'm marching here for my mother and my sister and my cousin," Joseph said on Saturday. "Because as bad as it is in the U.S., it's even worse in my country, in Haiti."
Stephane Israel and Jeff Gamon, Brooklyn, New York
Jeff Gamon, a 52-year-old web producer, marched in Washington with his husband, Stephane Israel, 39, who came to the U.S. from France five years ago.
"I'm here to oppose the election of Donald Trump, and to support everyone who was marginalized by his campaign and continues to be marginalized by his Cabinet selections and his policies, including taking down pages on the Whitehouse.gov website yesterday that supported civil and LGBTQ rights," Gamon said.
"I'm here to support everyone who is opposed to his election, especially all the women who were targeted," Israel added. "And yes, I still have hope for change. I'm here to resist."
Duvalier Malone, Washington, D.C.
Duvalier Malone, a political consultant, columnist and community activist, said he wasn't going to come until he saw Whitehouse.gov had scrubbed certain pages from its "issues" menu.
"Yesterday when I noticed that the LGBTQ and the civil rights part of the White House website was taken down — living here in Washington, D.C., and working with poor communities in Mississippi, I was very concerned," Malone said. "So today I’m here standing for women, and not just women, but standing with people from all over the country."
"I want the president to wake up tomorrow and see the news coverage from today and say, this is what America’s about. These are whites, black, Latino, gay, straight — people from all walks of life are here today, and that’s what America’s about, and we just wanna make sure that this is represented in his administration. So I’m here today just standing with diversity, standing with people from all over the world, to say that we need to unite. Because I do believe that we are stronger together.”
Michael Whitesides, Boston
Michael Whitesides, a 21-year-old political science major at Boston University, said came to march because he sees the threat posed by Trump and his Cabinet.
"I am here because I believe that the Trump administration, his presidency and all of his Cabinet appointees pose a huge threat to our democratic system and our continued longevity as a country. And I think that, in the face of that, we need to have an active public demonstration against him, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Aaron Jaffe, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Aaron Jaffe, a 21-year-old student at Millersville University, said he's marching aginst Trump's damaging rhetoric.
"I’m here not just because of what Trump may be able to do in policy and legislation, [but] the rhetoric that’s created from what he says and what his fellow conservatives say ... is really dangerous to society and it’s really dangerous to American discourse."
"The best way to fight back ... is to march and show that, while his voice represents some of America, it’s not the only America there is," Jaffe continued. "People can be free to love one another and show that through what they feel and openly speak about it.”
Robbie Dornbush, Washington, D.C.
Robbie Dornbush, a junior at George Washington University, said he joined the march in his own backyard on behalf of his female friends and friends of color.
“All of this has been pretty in my face," Dornbush said. "I remember on Election Night, it was incredibly heartbreaking. I was at the White House and I could not stop thinking about my friends. I’m a person of color, my friends of color, my Muslim friends, my female friends — and so I’m out here marching for them.”