I stayed out of the fray yesterday. For once miss gobby chops didn't know what to say. At first I thought International Men's Day was a joke but when I realised it was genuine, has been genuine for some time, my initial response was a flicker of outrage.
Women have come a long way, a long, long way but only through the sacrifice of many brave people and to my mind women are still a political minority. Seeing an international men's day was like hearing someone campaign for straight Pride (which I have heard and NO WORDS); it was the same level of bafflement as when a white person at a house party asks me why they can't say ni**er, because why would you want to? Why?
So when I started scrolling through the tweets, maybe I was looking for a fight but then I noticed that a lot of people were using the day to promote a lot of undeniably important issues, issues that have touched my family and I thought, okay this is good. But then I wondered if it was solving anything? It's often reported that men feel unable or uninvited to express themselves completely and honestly, is shoving all these challenges into one day solving that? I want to talk about suicide for a month, a year if we have to. I want those blessed with testicles checking those balls every darn day.
As part owner of a boy there are things I fret about when I have a few minutes spare - will he underachieve in school? Will he feel pressure to conform to an outdated image of masculinity? Maybe I'll never be able to answer these questions and International Men's Day will.
Personally I'm at the point where I think I'm about ready to do away with gender. I have no idea what makes me a woman other than the fact that I self identify as one. There is no part of my body that I would be any more or less of a woman, with or without. There is no action I perform that is inherently womanly.
So I'm thinking perhaps we should just have International Persons Day, where we treat everyone as we would wish to be treated, we place no expectations on anyone and we make International Persons Day every day and celebrate it as often as we can. And then I read another article about a woman dying, literally dying, just because she is female and I realise men probably don't need an International Men's Day any more than I need an International Women's Day. We all need to stand up and support International Women's Day because every second somewhere there's a woman that can't.
Do you feel International Men's Day will empower our sons?