Globally, females are demanding that their voices be heard.
Today is International Women’s Day, which marks pretty much the only period all year when we officially celebrate all the “social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, ” while also reflecting on the fact that all of us need to work towards “accelerating gender parity” on a global scale.
According to the World Economic Forum for example, the gender wage gap won’t close until 2133. That’s over 100 years from now.
But while International Women’s Day started as a protest for better pay and the right to vote, it’s evolved into something much bigger — and with the #MeToo and #TimesUp motions gathering more and more momentum, this day may be more important in 2018 than ever.
Of course, as if on cue, a number of men have been up in arms online since they are feel this day is “sexist.”
On Twitter, men( who have magically forgotten that Google will rapidly provide the answer to any question in the world) are chiming in to ask “Why no International Men’s Day ?” and smugly pointing out that the world would be up in arms if such a holiday was even suggested, much less celebrated.
Guess what, though: Despite the fact that International Men’s Day — like Heterosexual Pride Month and White History Month — are celebrated on a daily basis, International Men’s Day does exist . And it’s held on November 19. There’s a website and everything.( If you need a head start, 2018 ’s theme is “Positive Male Role Models.”
Fortunately, for all the guys out there who didn’t know this, English comedian and playwright Richard Herring( you may have insured him on BBC ?) is doing the hard work of educating the outraged. And he’s creating fund for the domestic violence charity Refuge at the same time.
Herring’s been calling out Twitter dudes on International Women’s Day for years. But in a viral Twitter thread today, he went above and beyond.
He started out early — just as soon as the thousands of dudes( and some girls) who’ve come up with this very original question woke up and reached for their phones — and grew increasingly more incensed as the working day progressed. Here are just a few examples of how he responded to the many, many dudes who asked “When’s International Men’s Day? “
This is embarrassing. You’re celebrating being a human on the women’s day. You need to wait til November 19 th. I imagine some of your sidekicks will have a field day if they know they think you are a woman. Personally I am cool with it. it’s a spectrum, right? https :// t.co/ FwZM1k 8Taa
— Richard K Herring (@ Herring1 967) March 8, 2018
Aside from creating fund for charity, Herring is sending two important messages.
First, International Men’s Day( insanely, if you ask me) does exist. So the issue of its absence from the calendar are performative rather than genuine.
Second, the fact remains that apparently girls can’t enjoy even the working day of solidarity without humen asking “What about us, though? ” It’s an important comment on how few people consider the history, context, and real-life implications of the movement.
It’s a striking reminder of how far we have yet to go.
The reality is, International Women’s day isn’t sending the message that men don’t matter. It’s that “women matter, too.”
Nobody wants to take away from International Men’s Day. It’s on the calendar! And we are all free to celebrate when the time comes, I guess. Herring’s humorous tweets are pointed, but they’re not about shame.
Here’s what they are about, though: Around the world, girls are leading marches, protesting inequality with one-day’ domestic’ boycott, and engaging in activism in the face of oppressive regimes. In Manila, The New York Times reports, girls gathered to denounce President Rodrigo Duterte, who’s earned the reputation of being among “the worst violators of women’s rights in Asia.” In India, girls marched on parliament to demand an aim to “domestic violence, sex attacks, and discrimination in employment creation and wages.” And in Afghanistan, females marched for better education and protection from violence.
Of course, for those in positions of privilege, equality will feel like persecution. It’d do well for all of us to reflect on that as we work to dismantle systems of oppression and work towards fighting for equality among the genders.
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