There are many common misconceptions about the event
By Craig Allan, Staff Writer
When some people hear International Men’s Day, I feel that they assume that the day implies celebrating men… but why is celebration the only option?
We are approaching International Men’s Day (IMD) in Canada on November 19. I wonder what men should do to celebrate IMD? Mud wrestle? Hold a weight-lifting contest? Maybe we should all try to kill some animal like a goose or a deer, then skin it and cook it up for dinner? Certainly, there is no real practice for how to celebrate IMD, but according to some, there should be no celebration of IMD at all. When searching for articles about IMD, arguments for or against its legitimacy or appropriateness are everywhere. Articles bemoaning the idea of a day for men include statements along the lines of “Everyday is International Men’s Day!” and other articles bringing up how ridiculous it is to celebrate IMD. I certainly agree with these points, there’s no need to celebrate IMD.
I feel that there can be no doubt that men have dominated society throughout history, and with that dominance have committed great and terrible things in the world. Articles will argue that we need International Women’s Day, because women’s accomplishments are not as widely celebrated as men’s accomplishments. In this respect, we do need International Women’s Day to celebrate and champion the cause of women. I believe we do not need that with men.
I’ll tell you what we do need though: to address the problems that occur to men. Like how men are more likely to commit suicide than women; how men, specifically non-white men, are incarcerated much more often than women; or how men are less likely to achieve full custody of their children over women by a large margin. Also, if we acknowledge the achievements and strength of men so often, we should also acknowledge that that level of pride may be a barrier for men to go to the doctor when they feel sick.
When some people hear IMD, I feel that they assume that the day implies celebrating men… but why is celebration the only option? When Remembrance Day happens in Canada, we don’t refer to the day as a celebration of dead soldiers. We say it’s a day to honour the dead and advocate for veterans and veteran causes. It does not help that the founding doctrine of IMD is about highlighting the achievements of men, but maybe that too needs to be addressed and changed.
That is why I am writing this article. I think we need to abolish IMD and change it to International Men’s Health and Awareness Day. Sure, it is a mouthful, but it is more accurate. To say things like “Everyday is IMD!” is putting your head in the sand and avoiding the problem. A lot of the problems I have mentioned are saddled in the same stereotypical gender roles and patriarchal society that many women want to see abolished. So, to all the feminists, smash the patriarch activists, and women’s march attendees, let’s all acknowledge the value and necessity of International Men’s Health and Awareness Day.