There was a glorious Women’s March on the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. It was glorious because it happened, an exercise of the right to assemble, to present grievances, to challenge the government. It was glorious because so many women, men too, turned out.
Whether they knew the mission of the March isn’t really that important. Even if it was merely to show support for their gender, it’s a perfectly sufficient reason. And if you didn’t agree, so what? They don’t need your approval to march or to express their views, whatever they may be. Nobody forced you to go, though some children might have been corralled into being props.
There was silliness, as one might expect, such as writing “messages” to no one on tampons. And someone complained about women being forced to purchase tampons when men get razors for free.
Sorry, guys, but our secret is out.
In 1972, during what is now known as the second wave of feminism, a constitutional amendment was passed by the House and Senate. It was called the Equal Rights Amendment, and it stated:
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
By “sex,” the ERA meant the binary, male and female. The word had not yet morphed into 31 flavors. And even with this limited definition, the states failed to ratify it. Not because of privileged males, but because housewives and mothers were riled up based upon fear that their choices would be ridiculed, diminished, disallowed.
That was 44 years ago that the ERA passed Congress. Forty-four years later, women are marching, leaving messages on tampons, in a show of solidarity. As of 2010, women comprise 50.08% of the United States population. For the math challenged, that’s a preponderance. Yet, there are no businesses started by women in the Fortune 500, no law firms started by women in the AmLaw 100. There are women CEOs (24 as of 2015) and Managing Partners (7 as of 2014), but their ascension to leadership is in enterprises begun by males.
This isn’t snark. I supported the ERA in the 70s and still do today. Whatever issues I may have with the emanations and penumbras has no bearing on the core point, that women are and should be equal to men in the eyes of the law.
But in the past 44 years, you haven’t done much about it. Of the top six corporations in market cap today, five were founded since 1972. All by men. Why not women? Why not you?
By marching, you are seeking something, to be heard, to be appreciated, to get your way. Whom are you asking? Why are you asking for anyone’s permission or approval. Take it. Seize it.
Instead, you wrote messages on tampons, which inures only to the benefit of the tampon maker. That would be a man.