It seems every time there’s a discussion concerning such subjects there’s a clause that the phrase ‘Battle of the sexes’ has to be used. Which is both irksome in its playground mentality and useless since pitting groups against each other rarely gets either set anywhere. This is not some opportunity to mock International Men’s Day. I am a week or so late anyway so HA HA joke’s on me. Nor is it an argument over which sex is more deserving and you won’t find the sentence ‘every day is International Men’s Day’. At least not beyond this paragraph, which ends…now.
In protest, plans for a Men’s Society started to take shape. The Women’s Society were notified, we said go ahead. I am paraphrasing but I believe the email I received informed me this society would be: ‘for all the students who were also members of Fathers4Justice’. Sadly it turned out there were no such fathers attending our small university and so the Men’s Society fizzled out before it even began.
Why am I telling you this anecdote? Partly because it is anecdote Thursday but mainly because I think it demonstrates this peculiar knee jerk reaction both sexes seem to have when it comes to the opposite sex turning to each other for support. There is an overwhelming suspicion that either side are gathering to indulge in an hour of misandry or misogyny.
There was no reason a Men’s Society at my university couldn’t have been an asset. However you identify yourself, you deserve a form of support and a safe space. Statistics consistently note that suicide rates in the UK are higher amongst men than women. Education is not working for young boys and who is to say pinkification doesn't affect little boys as well as girls.
International Men’s Day and International Women’s Day are not opportunities to try and out-pathetic the other sex. There are no strict rules about only one sex having an international day, so there’s no need for us to duke it out. So come the 19th of November 2012 I will not be mocking it, or insisting it isn't necessary. I shall probably be unwittingly ignoring it. If you want to celebrate it though, I support your right to do so.