International Men’s Day Should Absolutely Be A Thing

Doug FrenchFatherhood on Friday, scholarship

The image above is a still from this video, where several people read and react to information about International Men’s Day (November 19). Early on, a woman asks the question that many are probably thinking: “Isn’t every day International Men’s Day?”

It’s understandable to think that if you draw parallels with International Woman’s Day, which “celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.” But as the video progresses, and the participants start reading out some alarming statistics about life expectancy, education, suicide, rates of incarceration, etc., that imperil men disproportionately, we see that IMD serves an entirely different purpose.

As we work for gender equity in professional and caregiving roles, we need to confront the cultural factors that are creating the fearful, disaffected men who act tragically when their despair is directed inward, and antisocially when their anger is directed outward. To suggest that these problems aren’t worth our consideration tells our boys that manhood—and by extension, fatherhood—isn’t much to look forward to. And the cycle is doomed to perpetuate.

IMD and IWD are all about achieving balance. (Their shared hashtag is #BalanceForBetter.) If there’s one thing that unites the lives of all people, it’s that we’re all struggling to overcome one thing or another. That both days exist establishes the point that not every day is International Men’s Day, nor should it be.


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“The year was 2006, I was a student at a bible college who had a policy about unmarried students having sex… and my fiancée just told me she thought she was pregnant.” — Justin Connors, My Biggest Regret As A Father

“Maybe this isn’t about spiders at all. Maybe it’s about me comparing my own life to the beautiful innocence of my son.” — Darragh Gerraghty, Why Dads Cannot Be Afraid of Spiders

“Apologizing when you are wrong doesn’t make you weak or soft. It makes you human.” — Vernon Gibbs II, Apology Holds Power to be Greatest Gift to Our Children, Society

“Don’t ask questions when you have something to prove. A father can always see that coming. There’s honor in revealing yourself through genuine curiosity.” — Tom Chiarella, How To Talk To Your Dad


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