Sunday, November 19, 2017

10 Reasons We REALLY Should Be Celebrating International Men's Day

So it's International Men's Day. I haven't really prepared much but I did come across this great post by Glen Poole at The Telegraph. He plainly lays out 10 reasons we should be celebrating International Men's Day. I just want to go over some that really strike a cord with me. Please bear in mind that while Glen speaks mostly from a UK perspective I'm in the US so that's where I'll be coming from.

1. Everyday isn’t International Men’s Day

This is a common complaint and derailement of the very idea of IMD. This often comes from (mostly) women and feminists that simply don't like the idea of dedicating time to focus on men. They think that if they can convince everyone that men get attention all the time and don't really need any specific focus we can all get back to the "real" focus which in their minds should be women. Honestly I think they don't like it simply because IMD is something that has come up outside of the purview of women's interests and feminism but that is largely speculation.

2. We need to talk about men

If you stop and take a look at how men are doing these days you will quickly realize that things aren't so great and that everyday is not IMD. The vast majority of suicides in the US are male. Boys are falling behind girls in nearly every level of education. Men have a shorter life expectancy than women. Fathers are fighting against an unjust system to stay in their children's lives. The majority of the homeless in America are men (here on page 9). So yeah I don't think there is anything with talking about some other capacity than "what are men doing wrong and how can they do better for the sake of women?".

3. Politicians have embraced the day

While things are not as fortunate here in the US the idea of IMD is gaining traction here. The city of Philadelphia is one of the first, if not the first, city in the US whose mayor has issued an IMD Proclamation. Yes that won't fix men's issues overnight but the longest journey has to start with a single step.

4. It’s inclusive of all men and boys

One thing complainers and naysayers will do when they want to rail against the idea of IMD is that they will try to liken it to  "Heterosexual Pride" or "White History Month". Personally I think that says more about what they think of men than it does about men. Think about it. In order to prevent focusing on men and boys these people generalize "men" as "straight white guys" as a quick way to declare that we don't need any attention.

That sounds pretty racist and sexist to me but somehow that keeps getting passed off as "progressive". Gay. Straight. Transgender. Cisgender. All races. All religions. All economic positions. We are men. We really have to get past this tendency to pick apart men as a group into other categories just to keep us divided. Being supportive men means being supportive of men regardless of other characteristics.

8. You can be a feminist and support IMD

Feminists are quick to say that you should be a feminist because feminism supports men. To that I have to ask, "Why are feminists so dead set against International Men's Day?". Yes I know "not all feminists" but there WAY TOO many that are against it for that to resolve the question. You would think that a movement that frequently brands itself as being supportive of all people even men would be on board with setting aside some time for men to focus on helping them for their own sake.

I mean unless there is something wrong with being supportive of men for their own sake......?

You should definitely go read Poole's whole list and more importantly don't be scared to help a guy out. Ask him how he is doing. Let him know you're there to listen to him if he needs an ear. Let him know that you are there to support him if he needs help. Let him know that he matters to you.

Have a good day folks.