International Men’s Day: Is This Holiday Worth Celebrating?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Today is November 19th, 2017. Today is World Toilet Day, although there is another holiday that is getting a little more recognition than that and it’s International Men’s Day. This holiday was conceived on February 8th, 1991, and inaugurated on February 7th, 1992. The holiday is now observed annually on November 19th, much like how International Women’s Day is observed on March 8th. I’ve been thinking recently and a lot of other people have as well, what is the true significance of International Men’s Day?

To answer that, I was on Twitter earlier today and I managed to come across a variety of tweets. Many people are saying things along the lines of: More men have mental illnesses than women, you should recognize men who may as well be considered role models, and this day shouldn’t even be worth celebrating because “every day is International Men’s Day.” My response to that last one is this: Yes, it is true that men are more privileged than women. Men are traditionally paid more, they’re not sexually harassed as often, and they never had to ask for the right to vote (with exceptions). However, to say that every day is International Men’s Day is like saying that the Hulk is always incredible. That’s not true, the Hulk is sometimes angry too. While I was on Twitter, I came across a tweet from a user I follow who happens to work for Teen Vogue, @laurenduca, a user who I admire because basically she’s fighting for women’s rights and she’s written a great article I read in the past. However she recently crafted a tweet that personally, I disagree with:

Let’s get something straight here. I was going through some of the replies to this and some of them were rather chuckleworthy. They were talking about Louis CK and Harvey Weinstein. As I was reading this, I wasn’t necessarily “surprised” she would tweet something like this, but it made me question this very holiday. I already have questioned it in the past, but it brought the questioning back into my mind. Not to mention, it brought a new question into mind as well. That question is: How many women hate men? Also, how much do they hate them? I’m not saying Lauren Duca hates all men. If she did, there’s a good chance she wouldn’t have liked some of my tweets praising her. Although let’s dive a little deeper into this by talking about the concept of feminism, because a little birdie told me Donald Trump is a little too controversial.

Feminism by definition is the advocacy of women’s rights in the realm of gender equality. If you ask me, I believe women deserve an equal amount of rights as men. Although here’s the thing. We already have an International Women’s Day, and I actually happen to recognize that holiday more than I recognize International Men’s Day. International Women’s Day is recognized because women fought for rights, mainly the right to vote. I recognize this holiday more because I feel that men get a lot of credit, and there are times when women don’t really get much spotlight so I feel the need to give it to them. On Twitter, I give shoutouts to women in honor of this day. I literally search for random Twitter users who happen to be female or I choose from female users I already know and give them a shoutout. In 2015, I did this for a month. In 2016, I did it for a few days, and in 2017, I made a whole day out of it. My question is when it comes to these holidays, if you want gender equality, why can’t both genders get a holiday? Yes, women, throughout history, had more struggles, but both men and women deserve recognition. At the risk of sounding like Donald Trump, I’m referring to the good ones. We don’t need to recognize men like Adolf Hitler or Osama Bin Laden or Joseph Stalin, we can honor those who have done good for the world. People like John F. Kennedy, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King Jr., or Alexander Graham Bell. The same goes with women on their day. Forget about people such as Abby Lee Miller, Kim Kardashian, or Irma Grese. Try to remember those who have brought positivity from your gender. People like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Amelia Earhart, or Oprah Winfrey.

Down below is an image I’ve seen from multiple Twitter users.

If you ask me, you could probably do without the domestic abuse victim statistics because when it comes to basic math, 40% is below the majority between the genders (I assume these stats possibly include men who identify as transgender). Also, the fact that men serve longer in prison isn’t exactly worth pointing out either. It’s almost like saying “Hey! We committed crimes! So give us more credit for our time!” Although at the same time maybe they’re talking about the average time spent for similar crimes committed by both genders so this kind of makes sense if that’s the case. Granted, prison is awful, plus there’s always a chance that someone might be there for a reason they don’t deserve. Let’s say that there’s a law broken that the majority of people disagree with, or there are people who have been falsely accused, etc. Nevertheless, these statistics are valid and are worth recognizing. Suicide is a major issue, it’s executed multiple times a day and it’s very unfortunate whenever it happens. I just want to say to everyone who’s thinking of committing suicide, don’t. You won’t know what you’re missing. Why not live life a bit longer? See if it turns around if it’s got you down. Homelessness is also a big issue, if I were homeless, I wouldn’t be writing this. I want people, regardless of gender to have a home that way they can be who they want to be. …As long as they don’t become an asshole. Pretty much all of these issues are important.

When it comes to mental health, that’s a focal point for this year’s International Men’s Day. Men are more likely than women to find themselves living with antisocial disorders or substance abuse. Also, there are men who have been raised to to become masculine, and there are also those folks who can’t join that club. They remain silent for themselves and don’t express their feelings as much as other people.

In reality, the real reason why I think people question the idea of International Men’s Day is the fact that men are often viewed as privileged compared to women (which is true) but the thing is, I feel that a number of people fail to recognize that there are good men out there. There are also men out there who need help. Going back to Lauren Duca, to “cancel” a holiday like this one is discrimination. Yes, men have done this to women for years. Although in reality, we all want equality. The whole idea of feminism is to not only make progress in terms of giving more rights to women, but to make sure they have AS MUCH, NOT MORE, rights and power aside men. Sure, there are different rights women can have as opposed to men, like rights having to do with being able to get abortions. After all, men can’t get pregnant, but I’m pretty sure my point is made. Stuff like this is why I hate the new “Ghostbusters” reboot, it’s saying “women are superior to men.” They’re not. Men aren’t superior to women either. As genders, we’re supposed to work together. We have our differences, but in the end, said differences are just in existence. Think of it this way. If a woman said the male gender doesn’t deserve International Men’s Day, imagine what would happen if a man said the female gender don’t deserve International Women’s Day! Also, what if we took away Father’s Day? It would also be fair to take away Mother’s Day. Actually, you know what? A small part of me wants those taken away that way Hallmark has less cash-cows on their hands. By the way, love you mom and dad! We have holidays for food, for f*cking food! National Cheeseburger Day is on September 18! National Lobster Day is on June 15! We even have… a holiday… FOR CROUTONS! CROUTONS! FOR F*CKING CROUTONS! I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP! We, a civilized society, have a holiday, for f*cking croutons! Look it up! I’m not kidding! National Crouton Day! Observed on May 13th! EVERY F*CKING YEAR! I mean, people like croutons. So… I better let them have their day.

Ultimately, I think International Men’s Day is not a bad idea. Sure, International Women’s Day is a day that I recognize more, but it doesn’t mean I just completely ignore the idea of International Men’s Day because there are men who deserve recognition. Whether it be the brains like Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, or the brawn like Mahatma Gandhi, William Wallace, or Aron Ralston, or even those men who can’t speak for themselves. So people, if you think all men are bad or get too much attention, look further. Women are advancing up the charts in terms of achievement and recognition and part of me sees what the future will be like for them. Although while women will have their rights, part of me wonders if we’ll be seeing a role reversal in the future where women get all the rights and men don’t get as much. I’m not saying that this will happen, and I believe a good portion of us are capable of knowing what “equality” means, but it’s something that I wondered if it will ever happen. I don’t mind a future where mostly women have power, I just want a future where people of any gender will have rights as equal as the person next to them. So yeah, happy International Men’s Day.

Thanks for reading this post, and I want to know your thoughts. Do you think International Men’s Day is worth celebrating? Do you think it’s stupid? Let me know your thoughts down below! Also, as far as movie reviews go, I have tickets to see “Justice League,” I’m seeing it the day before Thanksgiving so look forward to that review and a couple days later I’m gonna be seeing “Wonder,” which stars Jacob Tremblay, who also starred in one of my favorite movies of the decade, “Room.” Stay tuned for those reviews and other great content! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

 

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