Hail the patriarchy! Nov. 19 was International Men’s Day. Did you celebrate?
It’s an international, time-honored tradition (or at least the last 30 years) to celebrate the “cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements” of the male species and promote awareness of many issues affecting men. It was first established in 1992 by a University of Missouri professor. Unlike its feminine counterpart, International Women’s Day, IMD has no communist or socialist origins. And, also unlike its feminine counterpart, it doesn’t receive nearly as much attention or acknowledgment.
That must change. It’s an important day beyond the so-called battle of the sexes. There are many issues that solely affect men but do not receive widespread attention. One such area is education. Consider academic performance deficiencies between boys and girls.
The Heritage Foundation reported that boys in schools are struggling. Statistics show that through middle school, 41% of girls are proficient in writing compared to just 20% of boys. Warren Farrell and John Gray cover this and other educational deficiencies in The Boy Crisis. Other issues affecting men include significantly higher suicide and incarceration rates compared to women.
Admittedly, I had never heard of the day. There weren’t any celebratory Google Doodles or political proclamations. Had I not come across actor Henry Cavill’s Instagram, I would have never known about International Men’s Day. I suppose its anonymity is a casualty of living under the oppression of the contemporary focus of matriarchal dominance. Nevertheless, it exists, and it should receive more attention than it did.
The core tenets of the holiday are its Six Pillars.
The First Pillar is the promotion of positive male role models in the world. This doesn’t mean men who are celebrities or athletes but rather the “everyday, working-class men who are living decent, honest lives.”
The Second Pillar is the celebration of men’s contribution to the world. This includes man’s positive impact on “society, community, family, marriage, child care, and the environment.”
The Third Pillar is to promote the health and well-being of all men. This includes all aspects, such as physical health, mental health, and other avenues, such as social, emotional, and spiritual growth and development.
The Fourth Pillar centers on discrimination against men. While the Left has mastered manipulating the public into thinking that the current world is no different from the patriarchies of eras past, much discrimination against men does happen. This pillar’s purpose is to acknowledge it, especially in “social services, social attitudes, societal expectations, and law.”
The Fifth Pillar is to improve gender relations worldwide and promote gender equality.
And last but certainly not least, the Sixth Pillar focuses on creating “a safer and better world, where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.”
This holiday came to fruition after decades of grassroots activism advocating the male equivalent of International Women’s Day. International Men’s Day was established on Feb. 7, 1992, a month before IWD, by a Missouri University professor, Dr. Thomas Oaster, and a small group of men. After losing some momentum, Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh revived the day in 1999. He made some changes and moved its date to Nov. 19. The entire history of the day can be found here.
“International Men’s Day has the potential to become the global medium to heal our world,” Teelucksingh said. “The concept and themes of International Men’s Day are designed to give hope to the depressed, faith to the lonely, comfort to the broken-hearted, transcend barriers, eliminate stereotypes, and create a more caring humanity.”
As part of the holiday festivities, the International Men’s Day website suggests numerous activities for the celebration, including festivals and fundraisers, speeches, school activities, seminars, conferences, and government observances, among others. It also provided a variety of logos to use for the holiday. This year’s theme is “Helping Men and Boys.”
International Men’s Day is celebrated in 90 countries, including France, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, and (only) parts of the United States. Only California, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, Illinois, Florida, Hawaii, Arizona, Michigan, and Alabama recognize the day.
However, one place it is not recognized is the United Nations, even though it does so for International Women’s Day. Despite all the rhetoric of equality and equity that regularly emanates from the U.N., it does not support equal recognition for the celebration of men. Clearly, its desires and agendas to promote equality, inclusion, and ending sexism only go one way. Men have done a lot for human civilization and, just like women, deserve a day to be honored.
After all, as Edwin Louis Cole said, “Being a male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of choice.”