#IMD2014 : Manhood Rites of Passage

It goes without saying that I believe International Men’s Day is the ultimate example of whiny-arsed men having tantrums about the entirety of the female population of the planet lining up to suck their cock. This year’s tagline is:

The ability to sacrifice your needs on behalf of others is fundamental to manhood, as is honour. Manhood rites of passage the world over recognise the importance of sacrifice in the development of Manhood.

Men make sacrifices everyday in their place of work, in their role as husbands and fathers, for their families, for their friends, for their communities and for their nation. International Men’s Day is an opportunity for people everywhere of goodwill to appreciate and celebrate the men in their lives and the contribution they make to society for the greater good of all.

You know who also makes sacrifices every single fucking day: women. It’s women who do the vast majority of caring in our  world: for their children, extending family members and their communities. It is women that do the “volunteer” work needed  to maintain libraries, hospitals, and youth facilities. How many men do you see running parent councils at schools? Running fundraising for playgroups and nurseries? Which parent shows up at school to help with reading? This isn’t because women “don’t work”. Women do all of this on top of working full time (whether in paid employment or not). If women went on strike tomorrow and refused to do any care work, volunteer work or paid employment, the economy would collapse. And, this  is without acknowledging women’s reproductive labour through pregnancy. If men went on strike tomorrow, women would step in and pick up the pieces.

How the fuck is being a grown up a “passage to manhood”. Seriously, this is even bigger claptrap than the appalling shite they ran last year on role models.

How many men do you know who can do the following:

  • name the school crossing guards
  • take the day off work when their kids are sick
  • name the teacher/ dentist/ GP
  • know how to operate the washing machine
  • even know where the washing machine is located in the house
  • spend their evenings sewing costumes for World Book Day
  • stand in a queue for 5 hours to get their kids a ticket to see Mr Tumble
  • do 50 % of the childcare and housework

Because I don’t know any. I know a lot of women whose partners think cooking dinner constitutes helping out at Christmas and have no problem whatsoever in taking 3 days off work when they have a sniffle but don’t lift a finger when their wives have the flu.

I also don’t see a whole lot of men working to end violence against women and girls. When we live in a world where:

  • men choose to kill 2 female current or former partners a week
  • one in three women experience domestic violence
  • more than 30 specialist refuges for women have been closed due to funding cuts
  • more people are upset about Ched Evans being denied the right to play football than they are about him committing rape
  • where the BBC can write articles confusing child sexual exploitation and grooming with affairs
  • where the majority of children living in poverty due so because their “fathers” refuse to pay child maintenance

I don’t see men “sacrificing” their salaries to ensure that their children are properly clothed and fed. I don’t see men “sacrificing” their hobbies to care for their children or vulnerable relatives. I don’t see men running fundraising projects for their kids school or their mother’s residential centre. I don’t see men fighting for laws that would protect vulnerable people from sexual and economic exploitation. I see a whole lot of men benefiting from these laws though.

The real difference between International Men’s Day and International Women’s Day is that men are whinging about behaving like adults and women are campaigning to stop rape, domestic violence and fatal male violence against women and girls. This is just another example of Margaret Atwood’s famous quote: “men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them”. These aren’t equally valid campaigns. International Men’s Day is a joke and men who think they “sacrifice” requires cookies and a special day are the kind of men who need to be kicked off the planet.

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