Why International Men's Day is a feminist issue
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Today is International Men’s Day – although you might not have been aware, because it’s hardly been given any attention in the mainstream media. Typing the words into Google News this morning presented only a couple of articles – both questioning whether an International Men’s Day is a valid use of anyone’s 19th November. Why this is, I couldn’t say. Maybe it’s because over the last 18 months feminism has finally, finally begun to get people talking angrily again, and for some flawed reason this means people are worried about focusing too much attention on the issues that men face, for fear of being shouted down by some version of an angry feminist lobby that only represents a very tiny minority of the movement. The overwhelming majority of all feminists are working towards a more equal balance between the genders, on a national or global scale, depending on their particular areas of interest. It’s not a huge surprise that combating gender inequality on this scale takes effort and time from both sexes. Oscar Rickett, writing in The Guardian this morning, says: “men have most of the power. This remains the same, despite Angela Merkel. Every single day is international men's day because day after day, in country after country, far more men wield far more power than their female counterparts.” He goes on to point out that the equality conversation cannot be carried out by men alone, and needs to include everyone. Obviously, he is correct. But who is actually saying only men have to be in support of International Men’s Day? That would be like saying only women can be involved in International Women’s Day (8th March every year) – an absurd notion. One of the primary issues of contemporary feminism is getting those who aren’t inclined to read up on the subject to understand that there are thousands upon thousands of male feminists fighting the cause every day. If you’re fighting the women’s cause, it helps to include men, and vice versa. Separatism is only going to get us so far.
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