Happy International Not-Men Day: men won’t disappear if you stop talking about them

Yesterday was International Women’s Day! And how did we know that? By telling everyone when International Men’s Day was.

This issue has been happening for a few years. IWD turns up and a bunch of people get miffed and ask “When’s International Men’s Day then huh? HUH?” The ideal response being “well, every day is International Men’s Day” but the literal response being “It’s November 19th”.

This year people were ready. They knew when IMD was, they were ready to tweet the date out, to say “Look, you DO have a day all to yourself as well! Don’t complain!” And that’s how Twitter spent most of International Women’s Day talking about International Men’s Day.

This happens a lot. Someone will write a Facebook post about how it’s International Women’s Day and give a shout out to all the amazing women they know, Someone will reply saying “And the men too!” It’s the same mindset of #BlackLivesMatter being turned into #AllLivesMatter – “don’t forget about me!”


An appropriate image for yesterday.

We know there are good men who do good things. But spending a day talking about women will not make those men disappear. It won’t make the good things they do go away. We just want to spend one day talking about something else: namely, women. If someone has a birthday and everyone gets them gifts, do you moan that it’s not fair because you didn’t get any gifts? No, of course not, you’re a decent human being. It’s not your day.

There’s a reason I didn’t write this blog entry yesterday. And that’s because I didn’t want to spend International Women’s Day talking about men. It isn’t their day. Men are very capable of standing up for themselves – we do not need to spend our day reassuring them that we know they still matter too. Men are capable of managing their egos enough so they don’t fall apart when we spend one day not talking about them. Women don’t have a duty to placate men with “it’s ok, we’ll talk about you soon I promise!”

So, next International Women’s Day, talk about women. Talk about how wonderful they are. Not talking about men for one day will not make them disappear. Women deserve to be talked about without reference to men. Pass the Bechdel test, ladies. Celebrate yourselves.

Happy International Women’s Day 2015!!


7 Comments on “Happy International Not-Men Day: men won’t disappear if you stop talking about them”

  1. PanickedCat says:

    Disappearance is not the issue, surely? How about we drop the titles and just celebrate awesome people everyday? Being separatist does not create unity.

    • Emsy says:

      Because men and women in society are not equal. Men are recognised for things women are not. We need to take a day to specially recognise the achievements of women otherwise they can be ignored. The same isn’t true for men. Ideally we wouldn’t need a special day, but until that happens we need to make a special effort to recognise the achievements of women.

      • PanickedCat says:

        Men and women are not equal. That is just fact. There are things that are impossible to paint different sexes with the same brush and trying to do so is counter intuitive at best. I disregard women’s day in the same way I will men’s day. Separation will never create unity.

      • Emsy says:

        Men and women are different, but they should both be afforded the same opportunities and chances in life. Different and unequal are not the same thing at all. There is no reason women should make up a low percentage of CEOs, politicians, people who achieve recognition in the arts and sciences – the reason they do is because they are not afforded the same amount of recognition for their work as men. Men are treated more favorably, and have been for centuries. Surely then the solution to that is to then treat women more favorably to bring both men and women up to the same level?

      • PanickedCat says:

        I never said anything about unequal. No reason? At all? The amount of CEOs and politicians reflects the cross section of society that is interested in the positions, not the cross section of society that exists. Why? Because that wouldn’t be fair. I trained as a firefighter and there was a woman on the course, she couldn’t physically lift the weight of the ladder; a thing you HAVE to do as a firefighter because of you can’t, people could die. She still passed though because the fire brigade was pushing an equal opportunities initiative at the time. I hope she didn’t kill anyone, I really do.

      • Emsy says:

        This is very much not the case, and one example does not a thesis make but it’s not my job to educate you so if you really want to see why that’s not the case there are plenty of places that will tell you why.

      • PanickedCat says:

        Indeed. I was just citing that forcing equal opportunities is not always a good thing. It causes unfair results.

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