International Men’s Day

But why can’t we have International Men’s Day?

“Pfft, you women, you say you want equality but you have a whole day to yourselves and we men don’t do we”. OK, it was a tweet. But I still saw it.

Well it’s good news, men. You can have International Men’s Day. But first you do have to fulfil the following criteria:

Every time you leave your front door, think about what you’re wearing. Ask yourself, is this likely to spark off a cacophony from passing women, who are physically bigger and stronger and will therefore make me feel vulnerable and threatened just for leaving my own front door in jeans and a jumper

Don’t go out on your own after dark. Well preferably don’t go out on your own. If you do go out on your own, especially after dark, and suffer a criminal act, expect people to ask why you were out on your own. And at that time of night. And what you were doing

You do “x” like a boy is an insult. Also “boyish” is an insult. From here on in, just for being in your own skin, you’ll be told you’re weak and inferior. But don’t worry. 1 day out of every 365 we’ll celebrate you, so it’s OK

4.8% of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies will be held by men

At many academic institutions, only 1 in 10 professors will be male, although you’ll be pleased to know that at lower grades, you’re almost on parity, so you know, what’s the fuss

You’ll live with the fear that around 1 in 5 men will be raped in their lifetime and that if that happens to you, someone will say it was your fault for doing something. It doesn’t matter what that was. It could have been being out late, wearing the “wrong” thing, being drunk, trusting someone.  Anything. Because some people fail to realise and acknowledge that rape is the fault of rapists, not that of their victims. Because some people persist in believing myths about rape.

You’ll live with the knowledge that you’ll always earn less than women, whether you choose to have children or not

You’ll read articles about your achievements as an astrophysicist that start “Dave is a father of two, how does he fit it all in?”

Almost every film that you watch will leave you feeling disengaged because 90% of the cast are white and female and the 10% that aren’t will get shot early on or wait on tables. Or get shot whilst waiting on tables

Someone will develop a test asking if at least two men in a work of fiction talk about something other than a woman. At least half of all films will fail this test because they will all be about women doing women things

You’ll be told that an alien with two hearts who time travels, solves the world’s problems with a sonic screwdriver, regenerates, and travels in a box that’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside can’t be male, because that would be really weird

You’ll be told you’re shrewish, bold, hysterical, rude or bossy just for doing your job and expressing an opinion. You’ll have a nagging feeling that women don’t get treated like that

Women will explain things to you. Even when you have a PhD in the topic and a wealth of work experience and they have neither of these things and are clearly wrong, they will explain your own job to you. They will call you a boy whilst they do this, even though you’re 38. Then when you object, they’ll say you’re being hysterical

When we give people two equal CVs, one with a male name and one with a female name, people will judge the one with the man’s name on more harshly

Famous male authors will be told to publish as women or just use initials instead of a full first name because a book by Joe Rowling wouldn’t sell

We’ll give you one day to celebrate you and someone will manage to ruin even that by saying “but it’s not fair, why do you get a whole day to yourself?”

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3 thoughts on “International Men’s Day

  1. And women never ever are aggressive, they neeever manipulate, provoke or are even violent to men…. ? ?
    Wow.
    I think men and women both have their challenges in life,in society.
    And there are many good sides to being a woman, too. (Many live comfortably with the men around them, being served by them in many ways. And they enjoy it.)
    Some scenarios that you described are truly horrible (but it’s not like every second man, or more, is a monster, or a pig), but who will write about the equally (or even more) horrible things women do.
    Therefore a so-called ‘Men’s Day’ makes just as much sense as a ‘Women’s Day’.
    But what would make even more sense is an ‘Objectivity Day’, in which we celebrated to not see things from our own perspective, but try to understand the ‘other side’ as well. Empathy, that’s what it’s called. I heard women are so great in that.

    1. Hello Paparadu. If you go back and read my post again, you’ll see that at no stage have I said that all men do something or that all women act in a certain way. I’m not a fan of determinism or a strict dichotomy in the assignment of gender roles. The absolutism is yours, not mine and is done to avoid tackling a more subtle argument by attempting to paint it as unsubtle.
      If you want to find out more about the “not all men argument” and why it is problematic, follow #NotAllMen on Twitter.
      International Men’s Day is on 19 November. You can read about it here http://www.internationalmensday.com/
      Whether or not you think that women are equally horrible, you cannot get around the fact that the vast majority of violent crime is committed by men. Responding to that with “but we don’t all do it” does not acknowledge the problem or get to the root of it. Replying “but some women do some shit too” again does not get at the root of the problem. Everyone knows women can sometimes be violent, pointing that out is not going to make for a more equal society.
      The facts are that women are under-represented in parliament, underpaid, judged more harshly in their achievements, portrayed by the media as passive rather than active, in contrast to men (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/06/proof-tabloids-represent-men-and-women-differently_n_6416436.html) and more likely than are men to be the victims of domestic violence. Deal with the nuances of that argument, rather than attempting to portray it as black and white and then saying “oh look, I found an exception”.
      As for objectivity, I suggest you explore some of the philosophical arguments about objectivity and its implications (there is a strong association between rationality, masculinity and objectivity, possibly you need to be better versed in the history of scientific thought to understand that). Being objective is about having one viewpoint and imposing it for reasons of rationality and logic, it’s not usually defined in the way that you’re defining it although it would be interesting if you did reclaim objectivity and give it a different meaning.
      You’re not answering my points. You’re making up you’re own points, pretending I said them, and then answering that.

      1. Hey, helenblackman, thank you for taking the time to reply so thoroughly!
        Interesting, your response.

        Firstly, I’d say I pulled a sensitive string here, …right? 🙂

        Secondly, I see now where you’re at. And why you think that we have so different views.
        I don’t want to see whether women or men are so and so. I want to see everybody as ‘persons’! I don’t associate myself as ‘we’, identifying with ‘all men’, but I associate myself with human beings!
        (And despite you claim to be ‘innocent’ as you truly never said certain things clearly in your text, the underlying message is there.)

        About the ‘facts’ that you refer to:
        1.you mean the number of ‘reported’ violent crime is maybe higher! (Men, in vast numbers, would almost never go and report that their wife has hit them, over and over and over again. They don’t talk about it, even to their closest friends or family.
        2.and how do you determine ‘violent crime’: only the crispy clear cases, where it’s proven, or every accusation of an angry wife?
        3.it’s not true that women are only ‘sommmmetimes’ angry/violent. Recently they made experiments with an ‘anger chamber’ for everyone to freely use: the absolute majority to use it were women! (Also girls gangs that go beating up other kids in the streets and bragging about it are on the increase… should that be a solution?)
        So coming back to ‘fairness’: I recommend again to see persons than starting to crush humanity by adding fuel to the hostility/envy between sexes. (I’m not saying that you do that.)
        One thing is clearly visible for me as I work with kids groups: boys express their aggressions in a physical way indeed. More than girls. And often I have to be strict to them boys because of that. But here and there I discover sometimes massive underlying (hidden) campaigns of girls who unite against another girl (or a boy) and celebrating a feast of mobbing over the poor individual that your heart would break (and these wounds are not seen as bruises).

        Now that is what I call violence, too (emotional violence). Is that recorded by the ‘Huffingtoners’, too?
        In order to deal with the problem you’d have to go to understand why boys nowadays have seemingly more aggressive feelings.
        You’d find that they sit around too much in school than moving their bodies. Computer games and such things support sitting around, too. So bodily they are in deficit. And too many distractions in nowadays world doesn’t really help making them more balanced I’d say.

        So if you want to solve the problem, I suggest to give kids more chances to move, do some sports, go climbing (where they learn that they have to trust others, and work together with others in order to reach a goal). That way they will learn to respect a fellow human being, may it be male or female.

        Cheerio,
        P.

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