International Men's Day is probably most recognised as a bit of a joke. On International Women's Day, there will inevitably be a parade of sore men asking 'WeLl WhEn Is MeNs DaY?!', and some providing the calm and matter of fact answer of 'November 19th'.
There is an argument that marking a day for men is not as necessary as marking days for more marginalised people. On the surface it's easy to agree, but days like these are intended to amplify issues that don't usually get proper attention, it would be good to actually do that and not just dismiss it.
Here are three statements that are simultaneously true:
- In general, life is easier for men day-to-day.
- Mens rights activists and their synthetic outrage is ridiculous.
- There are serious issues that disproportionally affect men.
Here are some statistics (geared towards the UK):
- Suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 45, with the rate being around three times higher for men than women
- The vast majority of homeless/rough sleepers are men
- 94% of workplaces deaths are suffered by men
Compared to a list of issues that strongly affect women or marginalised groups, this selection is pretty small, but we should still recognise that these issues exist even in the face of the undeniable privilege that still comes from being male.