It’s that time of year again! That’s right, it’s International Men’s Day. Yes, you read that right. No, it’s not new. It’s been around for a while. Yes, I’ve had those arguments on International Women’s Day, too.
Anyway, I’ll stop with my derailing, because today is all about celebrating the achievements of men and lauding their contribution to society. The fact is, we don’t do that often enough. We as feminists fail to pay enough attention to what men have done for us, and it’s time to appreciate that. In honour of International Men’s Day, let’s talk about men, and only men. Today, gents, just to balance the scales, it’s all about you.
Men are doing excellent things in the workplace. By any measure, they are being rewarded for what they do by getting themselves paid more than women. Bravo, men. You deserve that. The stats say you’re worth it: even when we account for the fact women are more likely work part time, or be on maternity pay, you’re still getting more. We all know why that is. It’s because you’re worth it. After all, you built this system where people have to work and very few reap the benefits, with the vast majority of us completely alienated from the fruit of our labours. It’s only fair you’re getting something back for your contribution to this.
Let’s celebrate the fact that men are keeping the rape statistics–a feminist staple which we couldn’t do without–booming. Up to 99% of perpetrators of rape are men. That’s right. Up to 99% of you! Once again, might I just say how impressed I am by your hard work. You’re also doing pretty well on other violent crimes: props to you for covering, for example, 92% of domestic violence cases, and dominating the physical violence in particular!
Perhaps we should now turn to a little bit of male history, since that’s something which rarely gets taught in schools. Who shall we discuss? Shall we think about the colonialists, the architects of genocide, the rapists, and the murderers and the tyrants? Maybe we’d like to think about all of the wars which men started, in which men died. There’s just so much male history to teach, and I cannot believe that they don’t teach male history in our schools!
I must applaud the tenacity of men. When you men are in the room, women speak less, and I’m sure that’s because you have loads of interesting stuff to say. How we’d cope without valuable insights such as “You’re pretty” and “But not all men…” and rephrasing what we’ve just said, I really don’t know. I’m glad you’re tearing through this culture of silence.
But most of all, I feel it’s essential to bear in mind that it is men who have contributed the most to build this world. Certainly, it’s western bourgeois white cis men who’ve done the heavy lifting, but you’re the most underrepresented group of them all. I’m glad your achievements are being recognised not just by International Men’s Day, but also White History Month.
I really don’t feel like you can see all that you’ve created, men. So perhaps on this day, of all days, think about your role in making the world like it is, and keeping it that way.