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Happy International Men’s Day

Micaela Johansson, Photo Editor

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Yes, you read the headline correctly, International MEN’s Day. As if 364 days aren’t enough, we actually have a day to celebrate the accomplishments of men, worldwide.

This year, Nov. 19 is not just any day. It’s International Men’s Day and, according to internationalmensday.com, the theme for 2017 is “Celebrate Men & Boys.” Why that is considered a separate theme makes no sense to me.

Let me remind you that the whole month of November is commonly known as “Movember.” In support of prostate cancer, men stop shaving their mustache for the entire month. I wonder if it would be equally encouraged for women to stop shaving in October, in order to show support for breast cancer, or in March in support of International Women’s Day? Doubtful.

Not only is “International Men’s Day” entirely unnecessary, but it minimizes the issue of equality. I know that most men will probably read this and say, “well, since we have International Women’s Day, why shouldn’t we have a men’s day?”

The answer is simple. Men aren’t oppressed around the world, nor are they denied promotions and equal pay on the premise of gender.  According to rainn.org, men have a one in 33 chance of being sexually assaulted in their lifetime, while one out of six women become victims in their own lifetime. These statistics make me wonder if what we need is better male role-models for young boys. A man who raises his children equally and doesn’t encourage “slut-shaming” – language such as calling girls “whores, sluts, hoes,” etc. – may have major effects on their boys’ future behavior toward women.

Barbra Streisand made a list in her article for The Huffington Post, which includes some of the daily differences men and women experience:

“He strategizes – she manipulates.”

“He’s committed – she’s obsessed.”

“He shows leadership – she’s controlling.”

“A man is a perfectionist – a woman’s a pain in the ass.”

Streisand’s list includes additional comparisons, but my point is made clear through these four lines.

I could go on with things that women have to fight for and go through everyday – that, for a man, are a given. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful for the men in my life, but I don’t need a special day to celebrate them – besides their birthdays, of course. I’m also well aware that not all men are bad men.  However, as of now, we don’t need an “International Men’s Day,” because, the point is that we are not equal.  

Until we can remove both “International Women’s Day” and “International Men’s Day,” I suggest that we start with the latter.  As an alternative, I propose the introduction of an “International Human Day.” A day that we put our differences aside and celebrate our similarities as humans. A day that serves as an example for making all our days more humane.

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