The Twitter-sphere is abuzz with many people asking the question: What about International Men’s Day?
While I don’t want to get into the fact that it took the same amount of time to type the tweet as it would have taken to search online for the answer (THERE IS ONE!)—the fact that this question has been popping up, often with misogynistic comments attached, says something about where we are on this year’s International Women’s day.
International Women’s Day is a day for both women AND men all over the globe to advocate for gender equality and celebrate women’s political, social and economic achievements. Today we’ve witnessed a stream of tweets with statements such as:
-“when is international men’s day? I’m looking forward to some sandwiches”
-“What? Since when is there an international women's day? is there a middle class white men's day I have to look forward to?”
-“dear clueless men lamenting the lack of an International Men's Day, there is one. It's called Presidents Day.”
-“ok, so when is international men’s day?! Oh wait… the other 365 are! #lol”
The fact that some men (and women) are responding to this day, a day that exists to combat this type of rhetoric and engrained sexism (MAKE YOUR OWN SANDWICH), with ignorance and crude jokes—makes it clear that people might not understand the day’s purpose. There were more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions introduced in at the state-level in 2011, we have women being called derogatory terms for fighting for their right to contraception coverage and GOP Presidential candidates who are afraid to distance themselves from those responsible, the US ranks 78th in the world for percentage of women in office and worldwide women are paid 18% on average less than their male counterparts.
Some may argue that setting aside a day for women perpetuates the idea of gender inequality—but, as long as gender inequality exists, International Women’s Day can serve as a day to reflect on the achievements of the year-- as well as the work left to do.