Men in Yellow Springs take a public stand for women

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Men in Yellow Springs lined the streets Wednesday night standing up for women.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Men in Yellow Springs, buoyed by Michelle Obama’s recent speech attacking the words and behavior of Donald Trump, lined the village’s downtown sidewalks Wednesday evening to show support for women who have been victims of harassment, intimidation and sexual imposition.

“It’s an extremely important cause,” said Matt Housh, who participated with his young sons. “It’s important that we support women in our households, all over the country.”

Men in Yellow Springs took a very public stand for women on Wednesday evening, Oct. 26, 2016. (Todd Jackson/Staff)
Men in Yellow Springs took a very public stand for women on Wednesday evening, Oct. 26, 2016. (Todd Jackson/Staff)

People of every gender, race, creed, color, nationality or political persuasion were encouraged to participate in the event. Organizers said they wanted to remind fellow Americans that words and actions that degrade women are unacceptable in locker rooms, communities, throughout Ohio and the United States.

Trump has repeatedly denied the wave of sexual-assault allegations.

In a speech over the weekend, he vowed Saturday to sue every woman who has accused him of sexual assault or other inappropriate behavior. He called them "liars" whose allegations he blamed Democrats for orchestrating.

Another participant, Andrew Kline, brought his 3-year-old daughter.

“I am really disappointed and sad to see the words coming out the mouths of some of the strongest people in our land — namely Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton,” Kline said of the Republican and Democratic standard bearers vying to become the next president of the United States.

Kline said he wants his daughter to grow up in a world where she’s protected from the kind of language Trump has used during the campaign.

Michelle Obama, stumping for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire on Oct. 13, attacked Trump, especially his foul-mouthed boasts about sexually attacking women.

RELATED: Michelle Obama denounces Trump

“This is not normal. This is not politics as usual,” Michelle Obama said, her voice breaking with emotion. “This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn’t matter what party you belong to — Democrat, Republican, independent — no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse.” She implored the crowd to “stop this madness” by voting for Hillary Clinton.

But she went beyond the politics of the moment.

“I know it’s a campaign, but this isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong,” she said. “And we simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer — not for another minute, and let alone for four years. Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough.”

In Yellow Springs, at the event inspired by the first lady, Kline admitted “It’s pretty depressing” that there has to be a rally such as the one held Wednesday evening.

But at the same time, he noted, “It’s heartwarming to see people come out and deliver a more positive message that lifts young women and girls up in the world and doesn’t cut them down.”