"To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men...."
See in text (Protest)
Wilcox’s “Protest” opens with a strong claim: we are cowards if we make the mistake of being silent when we should protest. While Wilcox’s specific protest comes shortly, it is important to recognize the historical context around the poem’s 1914 publication: it was the height of the women’s suffrage movement, the start of World War I, and socialism had become a real political force.