One of the posters for International Men's Day.
Every year, March 8 marks the global celebration of International Women's Day. It's a chance for women the world over to gather together and acknowledge our global achievements. It's a chance for us to mourn for the women and children lost to gendered violence. It's a day which encourages us to reflect on how far we've come in terms of gender equality and how far we still have to go.
But what about International Men's Day? they grumble. Why don't we have a day to acknowledge us? IT'S REVERSE SEXISM!
Why don't men have a special day every year to acknowledge how special and wonderful they are? There's the small matter of them having every day already to enjoy the comprehensive collection of advantages the patriarchy bestows on them, but that's just a normal day. It's not a special day. Why don't they have a special day, like the women have? Because it's not fair for women to have one if men can't. It should be EQUAL. Everyone should have exactly the same amount of everything, except when it comes to job quotas and promotions and films made about them and books read about them and salaries and being taken seriously by a court of law because all of those things are matters of merit and they're quite obviously very different.
But here's the good news, men! Women don't actually have 363 less special days a year than you do! They actually have 364 less special days, because you already have an official International Men's Day. And guess what? It's today! Congratulations, you're special.
Fellow women, to help mark this special, special occasion, I've come up with a handful of ways we can let all the men in our lives know that we love them and are thinking of them as they celebrate just another normal day of being number one.
1. No nagging!
Listen, I know you love to talk. All women love talking. Talk talk talk, even if no one's listening which mostly they aren't because women= boring. But this is his day. And if there's one day of the year where he shouldn't be required to put up with your nagging, then it's International Men's Day. Don't tell him about those shoes you saw last week that you just absolutely have to have. Don't talk to him about how your best friend is annoying you again, he's not interested in that petty female crap. Don't ask him to help with the dishes or the laundry or the baby. This is International Men's Day, and that means he gets a day off from helping out around the house.
2. Host an event in your workplace that celebrates men
You've probably attended an International Women's Day event or two. Well, if you're a woman you have. Fewer men tend to turn up because it's a bit niche, isn't it? When they do come, it's usually as speakers or members of local government and sometimes even both! But just because there's only a few of them doesn't mean they don't participate at full levels. They're always asking questions at the end about how men can take a prominent role in the movement and they love the morning tea that the women folk have put so much effort into providing, and then there's that lovely bit where someone always specially thanks them for turning up.
Show you love and appreciate them by putting together a similar event at your workplace. Don't worry, it'll probably look a lot like the ones you've already had for IWD. Women will do all the planning, the organising and the baking and then men can turn up and pat themselves on the back for being great blokes. Just make sure you organise a bigger venue because even though the same amount of women will turn up to offer their support, there will be loads more men because it's more relevant to them.
3. Reflect on all the inroads men have made in a world that oppresses them every day
For example, all the positions of leadership they manage to hold despite facing so many obstacles. Or what about how they manage to balance being a senior member of their company with the occasional day of babysitting? How about the bravery they show in freely walking the streets at night, despite knowing there might be drunk girls in short skirts who might tempt them into doing what anyone would expect?
Let's hear it for all the men who've been able to comfortably hover above the glass ceiling of life despite all the challenges they haven't had to face to get there. Heroes, all.
4. Movie night
Men like downtime just as much as the rest of us although they don't get to enjoy it as often because work can just be so demanding. Take him to a movie tonight to let him know that's he's worth it. Let him spend some time with other men, like the ones who are always having blockbuster stories told about them and then getting the girl at the end because he's worth it too.
5. Don't stop at International Men's Day
When it comes to men, it's really important that we let them know at all times how much we appreciate and value them. We all know that there are Bad Monsters out there but, like, 99 per cent of guys are really good*. If women have to talk about all the violence, misogyny and other woman stuff that always seems to happen to them, they should be conscious of doing it in a way that doesn't make guys feel bad. That's why I propose we also start an International Not All Men Day. We can have a parade and an awards ceremony and we'll invite women to tweet about all the good things men do using the hashtag #menrule. Perhaps we can slate it for April 1st.
Happy International Men's Day! Or as it is otherwise known, Life.