Standing atop State Street in downtown Madison, Wisconsin as the seemingly never-ending mass of people marched towards you, you saw the signs and heard the chants for women’s civil rights. Although that fact is unsurprising considering that it was a ‘women’s march’, the wide degree of those chanting and carrying signs may have surprised you.
In the midst of up to 100,000 people parading through downtown Madison were people of all ages, races, denominations, and in fact, genders.
One may ask, ‘if it’s a women’s march, why are there men protesting, as well?’ Men took to the area between The Library Mall and the state capitol as allies sympathetic to the potential plight American women could face under the new administration. They felt the need to march because they’re worried that the rights of their fellow humans are at a tremendous risk.
“As Hillary [Clinton] so well said, women’s rights are human rights,” Kristopher Gasch said. “[The march] wasn’t anti-anything; it was pro-equality and pro-diversity. That’s why we came out today.”
Some men marched for the protection of women’s rights specifically for the women in their lives. They share the same general sentiments as Gasch, but are worried and scared for their female loved ones, acquaintances and co-workers.
“Support women…my mom and sister are in Washington so I’m here to support them,” Clayton Servais said. “Everybody has a mother. Everybody should be nice to their mother. It is human rights for Chr-st sake.”
Another group of men attended the women’s march in protection of their own civil rights that may be at risk under the new administration… gay men. Women’s rights was the main cause of the march but there were many other causes present that afternoon, and arguably the second biggest demographic of protesters were marching in the name of LGBTQIA rights.
“It’s so much more because there has been disrespect to so many cross-sections of people–LGBTQ[sic], minorities, women—it’s been across the board and it’s never been like this before,” Jim Rivett said. “Personally, as a gay man, anytime somebody threatens to take away your rights, it’s time to get up, speak up and become public with it. You have to get out there and get more involved more than ever because silence is the biggest danger.”