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I, too, was one of the men at the march. Wearing a bright pink shirt with the phrase, "This is what a feminist looks like" emblazoned across the front, I was a little worried that a radical feminist would attack me for the insult (unlike the average feminist, radical feminists often claim that it is impossible for a man to be a feminist; we can only be "pro-feminist"). Instead, I was stopped by countless people telling me, "You look great in that shirt!" One pair of young women told me they were working on a photography project, and needed as many people wearing the shirt as possible. They were really excited to have finally found a man sporting the phrase. That was only the beginning: I can't count on both hands how many rolls of film (or memory cards) have me posing in the shirt. The thing that stuck with me the most was how incredibly friendly everyone is. Everyone was simply nice to each other. The love that spread among all of the possibly over a million attendees was almost tangible. It almost gives me hope for humanity.

I volunteered as a counter for the event. Our job was to get as many people as possible to sign a list of names, so the organizers would have some vague idea of the number of people in attendance. Once you were counted, we gave you a little green sticker. The entire march became a treasure hunt, looking for those few lapels in the crowd not adorned with the "Count me in!" stickers. A friend and I continued collecting names through the entire march. By the end, at 10 names per sheet, 10 sheets per pad, and about 10-15 pads, we had each collected over a thousand names. I read the next day on the Washington Post that there had been 2,500 counters. I realize that it's unlikely that all the counters were as dedicated as we were, but it is truly incredible to imagine that if the average was less than half of what I did, there would still have been over a million signatures.

Why did I go? I haven't been in any kind of protest since high school. I've never been a very active feminist activist, although I have always been decidedly pro-choice. A major reason I felt like I had to be there was that I fear for my country more than I ever have before. George W. Bush has been stripping away our rights faster than I ever thought possible. He has been merging church and state to a degree that I never would have imagined. The Christian right is well on its way to making the United States a nation of which I do not want to be a citizen. I want to believe that we can change things. I have a naive hope that maybe someone will notice if the largest single protest ever gathers on the Mall with a united voice. The underlying issue, which was on pins and signs all over the capital, is that women's rights are human rights. I don't feel like my presence as a man was in any way unexpected. Clearly, as a human, I should believe in human rights. Thus, how could I not be as strong a proponent of women's rights? I don't yet know if anything we did will matter, but, having been part of something so big, my outlook is optimistic.