White Man’s Perspective at Women’s March, San Francisco

“It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people — women as well as men.” — Susan B. Anthony

The wonderful, turbulent symphony of culture that is San Francisco is not that of a “one culture”. In a city obsessed with defining the identity of its citizens, its cultural identity is ironically founded on the principle of being identity-free. Free of gender, sexuality, race, economics, and many other labels we use to structure our complex selves into succinct, flawed understandings of one another.

Romantics of The City enjoy a sweet song that can often fall flat of its ideals — resolving that a poor measure is worth the full sonata. It’s a song we all have a part to play; and in many cases, we preform magnificently together.

The Women’s March that I witnessed in San Francisco was no different as it felt like something more than a collection of people supporting gender equality. It was a movement of all at-risk peoples joining to demonstrate against a Trump authoritarianism.

I’m while, male, and heterosexual; so other than having to learn to breathe underwater, I’m not at risk of my life being disrupted by any measurable means like the people I was surrounded by on January 21st, 2017.

My only thinking in the days leading to the march was “I need to be there — as a man, as an American, and as an ally”; but on arrival, the thinking about my participation dramatically shifted.

For some context, I am not someone that people would generally describe as *ahem* “volume restrained” or “personality descrete” (proof — I’m the loud one).

Imagine my surprise when realizing I’d scarcely spoken a word since arriving — to the point one friend remarked I had been “a church mouse”.

After diving deeper into the crowd with my friends, I knew today wasn’t about me lending my voice. It just didn’t feel right.

I needed to support; not lead. My natural instinct is to conduct and champion exuberantly and throw all my passion at a single point.

Today was not about that.

Instead, I chose to observe, breathe-in, and document the events around me as an ally; to be second chair to those whose voices needed to be heard.

Peter’s Job: Shut the fuck up!


These are their stories…

All my photos from The Women’s March, San Francisco can be found here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskMtD9Uf