International Men’s Day: A Damning Disconnect.

Today is International Men’s Day.

Were the other 364 days not enough? Did they need to slap a title on November 19th so they could feel special?

Did they get jealous of women having all the fun each year on International Women’s Day that they had to create their own?

No.

International Men’s Day is valid. Or at least it could be.

The day was created in Trinidad & Tobago in 1999 and has been steadily gaining traction all over the world. IMD organizers claim the day is for “focusing on men’s health issues, boys’ development, family activities, and promoting greater gender equality”. Sounds pretty great to me.

Unfortunately, as is the case all too often, there is a damning disconnect between theory and practice.

If IMD was really promoting these issues, the day would look a lot different. You would see classrooms educating boys and girls about the intricacies and importance of gender equality. You would see time reserved for sons to spend time with their male mentors. You would see lectures being held on prostate cancer research and conferences examining mental health issues prevalent in men. You would see fathers teaching their sons domestic duties.

I am not saying that these things never happen, but IMD is far from being the homecoming of awareness, advocacy or action. Today there was no march honouring those males the world has lost to suicide. There was no unveiling of a men’s shelter. There was no special edition commercial to suggest ”Boys can be ballet dancers too!”.

Rather, we saw ‘Beeris The God’ tweeting, “Today is international men’s day! @MENlNIST #Meninism #InternationalMensDay”. We saw @LondONtheinside tweet a photo of a burger saying, “For #internationalmensday Make like a man and eat THIS. Scotch Egg Burger @SayYeahBurger”.

Yes, there were indeed certain individuals engaging in productive conversation and posting informative links on social media, but for the most part IMD is filled with resentful men’s rights activists (MRAs) and a lack of action.

But men do deserve a day, or more importantly boys. Young men are struggling.

  • Boys are rapidly falling behind girls in school, inevitably only comprising 43% of college students, 33% of college graduates, and 30% of university valedictorians. (Waldman, Slate)
  • In the UK Alone, 12 men commit suicide each day. (Poole, Telegraph)
  • Boys account for 80% of high school drop outs. (Day, Huffington Post)

So let’s do something about it. As women (and male allies) work towards empowering the disadvantaged gender, men (and female allies) should work on eliminating male-specific obstacles like education, mental health, and hyper masculinization.

In the last 15 years, International Men’s Day has done little to raise awareness and tackle issues plaguing men. There is an absence of clear emphasis from IMD to engage men to further support gender equality. As Michael Kimmel from The Guardian says, the day feels too combative, too spiteful. The day feels more likely in spite of rather than inspired by the women’s movement.

The day feels like a MRA gut punch.

But next year on November 19th, men should come together and promote positive change. Men should set an example for boys. Teachers should discuss ‘non-traditional’ career paths with their male students. Fathers should teach their sons to how to cook dinner. University students should launch a campaign to break down gender stereotypes.

IMD needs tangible advocacy; otherwise it is just like the other 364 days.

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4 comments

  1. ” for the most part IMD is filled with resentful men’s rights activists (MRAs) ”

    Why do you think this is?

  2. Cristi tanase · · Reply

    Actually mra did a great job promoting the day…not sure if you attend their forums but they had a super blast event with fathers and sons and mothers….they raise some money for a fundation… Got some gatherings done in some states…

    Nothing hateful, nothing bad… Just you know…like you say it… Helping out males….especially young males

    Not tell me please where did you find out abiut those male statistics?…. Did mra already pushed its agenda into all feminists? Do somehow relly believe that males are humans too? Not just rapists and sexists?

    I am sorry to dissapoint you….but do take some time and register to any mra forums and check them out…. It will NOT hurt you at all…

    I mean yes…. You will see some idiots from time to time, but nothing a feminist did not see or read before….. And they are a very small minority….

    You can just spend some times and see the evil males in action….(not so evil)…. But you can also go and speak….no fear….they are not gonna insult or hamr you in any way….

    Actually this will be a great way to understand them….

    Yes male rage, insult and threaten…. And yes they may hurt some felings…that is why they often keep some spaces for themselves because other people may get super hurt super fast…..

    But they are not toxic rapists appologisers…
    Actually yiu do not want to know about some of their thoughts about rapists and how they should get punished…..you may get sick fast….

    So again, have a great male day, and please do not stay away from them….stay 1 week on their forums and you will see that there is much more hate to fear on a feminist forum than on a male rights forum…..(we kind of get super agressive on haters….and we kind of use force….we know is not a feminist way to do….. But it sure works)

    Sorry for my grammar errors…not native and writing from a tablet that eats letters….
    Happy man day too you too….

  3. Cristi tanase · · Reply

    Oh…. You may want to avoid mgtow….that is a total other level of “men”…. Let’s just say that some of us got really hurt and they really do not care anymore about any more reconciliation….

    In time I hope society will create less and less mgtow men…but for now they rise fast and the trend is quite scary even for a male…..

    So if you want go to other forums on manosphere…. Mgtow is not a place to undertand males….or maybe it is…..if you are man enough…..not s joke, not a dare…. Do not do it….

  4. There is a great deal of gender inequality both for men and women depending on the issues and location. In addition, both sides have their aggressive proponents who degrades the issues. To make matters worse, there has been a great effort to better the conditions for women, but at the expense of men. That is why these seemingly anti female groups have come into existence. They are not so much anti female, rather a response to feminists who push inequality and false information.

    I suppose that you would have to be a man to understand this, just like you would have to be a black person to understand how racist society is towards them. Many women don’t see the inequalities that men have to deal with and vice versa.

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