Guest Blog by Marvin Mathew
Gatorade ran a well-known Commercial in 2006, Everything you can do I can do better between Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm. It framed the ability of women to compete just as well as men. Gatorade’s commercial tied into a movement dating from the 1970’s in America. It continues today with President Obama’s words, “Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.”
It’s time to join the President and stand alongside women. According to Dolores Huerta, 2011 Medal of Freedom Recipient, a great way for men to get involved is to “Talk to other men and sometimes step back and let women step up.” Directly from the words of a legend, all it takes is speaking to a brother, father, and friend.
Women are capable, but as long as we don’t stand alongside our mothers daughters, and sisters, reminding them of the endless possibilities for them, then we, as a society have not finished our journey and our duty to our children. Raised by a single mother in New York who did the job of a father and a mother, my sister and I learned firsthand that women are just as capable as men. I share this story with many Americans from urban city centers to the suburbs and most rural towns in this grand nation.
The ability to achieve, succeed, and shine must be protected through legislation and enforcement of that legislation. However, these results will never come about if we allow the injustice of todays systems to continue. Many are standing up and recognizing the tides are turned towards equality—it’s our time to stand with them.
Take note of this moment in American history as is a precious time to bring to light the importance of this cause. It is clear that our leader and President is ready to stand with women, it is our duty to join him and stand with them as well as men of all ages, but particularly as millennial and young men.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Let us mark not the end of our lives with silence, but the beginning of opportunity and justice by our simple conversations. Since 2001 our lives have been American has swayed many ways and the world has watched us, sometimes confused at our actions. It’s time to identify with those that birthed us and remind the world why America is the great nation that it is.
We must not let this time to make what is wrong, right, pass by. The time for change is now.
Marvin Mathew is the Director of Male Allies Outreach at the National Young Women’s Council.