International Men’s Day: Let’s Celebrate

Why Not?

Last year was the first time International Men’s Day came on my radar. There was and remains much debate, at least in some circles, whether we need to observe such a day.

In my post on my former blog on the subject, my view was that not only should we observe the day but we should celebrate it. Why not? Many reasons have been put forward why it is an unnecessary observation. The most overriding and compelling, to some, is that in our world structure and systems it is International Men’s Day everyday!

It is indeed a fact that men ‘rule’ the world. No one can with a straight face deny that men earn more than women for as long as we can remember. To this day, women still earn about 70% of men’s income for doing the same job.  My question, though, is this – does that mean we should not celebrate International Men’s Day? Does the fact that men perpetuate more violence, generally speaking, in their homes and elsewhere bar us from observing a day for them?

What if celebrating them would help reduce the more aggressive, sometimes mean-spirited behaviours? Does observing International Men’s Day really take away anything from women?

Feminists Fight Against International Men’s Day

You might have read a post of mine in which I mentioned my ‘falling out’ with the term feminist? A large part of the reason for that has to do with the attitude and presentation of modern-day representatives of the so-called third wave of feminism. As a woman of colour, I have often felt more marginalised by some of these feminists. Their rhetoric, behaviour and attitudes have in many ways excluded the concerns, issues and lives of women who are not necessarily of their income brackets, skin colour or who have totally different lived experiences.

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Only yesterday on my Facebook page I shared this video that, when I watched it the first time, made me smile and hopeful that the fourth wave of feminism, the more inter-sectional one, will be far less myopic and truly inclusive not only of women of different experiences and circumstance but men. Have a watch:

I Will Celebrate My Brothers, One And All

Writing on International Men’s Day last year, this is some of what I had to say:

“Why should they not have a day? If having an International Men’s Day will:

  • Foster greater respect for themselves and for women
  • Engender compassion, caring and greater understanding of the world
  • Allow them time to introspect and reflect on their role in the family and communities

then I am all for an International Men’s Day.”

People in about 60 countries around the world will now be observing this special day for men. As I quoted last year, according to Wikipedia:

International Men’s Day (IMD) was inaugurated in 1992 by Prof Thomas Oaster and re-initialised in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago.  The longest running celebration of International men’s day is Malta, where events have occurred since 07 February 1994.International Men’s Day, now standardised globally as 19 November finds support from a variety of individuals and groups in Australia, the Caribbean, North America, Asia, Europe and Africa. Speaking on behalf of UNESCO, Director of Women and Culture of Peace Ingeborg Breines said of IMD, ‘This is an excellent idea and would give some gender balance.’

international men's day
Celebrating men – all of them

Today, the debate continues even in the Parliament of the United Kingdom about the value of celebrating this day. Read more here and share your thoughts on the main point that this day is an opportunity to highlight men’s issues. What do you think about this story about a male university student feeling compelled to commit suicide after feminists on his campus won their fight against celebrating International Men’s Day?

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As I concluded last year, “whether a greater level of gender balance is achieved through the celebrations remains to be seen. I for one have no issue with men having a day set aside for things other than sports, war and cutthroat competitions.” This could be no more true for me this year – as a womanist, a mother-in-law, a manager of male employees and a human being who has a special interest in women’s affairs but love men as equals.

So, here are five ways you can celebrate the men in your lives, including those at work and the ones at home. Read this article in The Daily Life for them. Please also share this blog with your men friends on social media and let them know that we have varying and practical conversations here for subscribers! If they join our community, they will receive one daily email update as well as my monthly FREE newsletter that includes an affirmation poster that both men and women will find useful!

Men, have a wonderful day and cheers!


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42 thoughts on “International Men’s Day: Let’s Celebrate

  1. […] – International Men’s Day: Let’s Celebrate was published on November 19: “What if celebrating them would help reduce the more […]

  2. No problem with it here. Its great to recognize the men in our lives and support them while they support us!

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are absolutely right! Hope you celebrated the one in your life! 🙂

  3. My father , my husband and my brother are the great men in my life.And I will be forever thankful with that.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Well, I hope you celebrated them! 🙂

  4. Wow never knew there was a day like this. I have been blessed to have some phenomenal men that surround and support me. What a great day to let them know in an extra special way how much I appreciate and love them.

  5. Angie@chasingmyhalo

    I just heard of this Day for the first time this year. My husband will be happy to learn about it too!

    1. Ms Claudette

      I hope he made the most of the day! 🙂

  6. I haven’t heard this Day in our Country at PH, but I’m sure this is fun and cool, It’s so nice to lived in your country because they had a lot of day to celebrate.

    1. Ms Claudette

      There are many in my country who don’t know about it either 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  7. This is the first time I heard about the International Men’s Day. I really think it’s a great idea to have the men celebrate this.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Glad we were able to bring it to your attention! 🙂

  8. I think it is a great idea. Let them have their day. Tell them what you love about them and all their good qualities! Maybe it could help make positive changes to share compliments to more people!

    1. Ms Claudette

      I completely agree with you! 🙂

  9. My first thought when I read the title of this was “Why not?” and that was your opening sentence! Why shouldn’t we both have a day? 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      Great minds think alike! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  10. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as International Men’s Day. I have a few good men I would love to celebrate with.

  11. Every person (except pedophiles, rapists, and the like) should be celebrated.

  12. cheers to all the men in our life, without them we can never be who we are since they fill the pieces in our life.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Cheers! 🙂

  13. victoria

    This is the first time that I’ve heard the international Men’s day. I think this would be a good celebrate

    1. Ms Claudette

      Glad that we were able to introduce you to another social issue! 🙂

  14. Elizabeth O.

    There’s nothing wrong with celebrating Men’s Day. Although I must admit, if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t even know we had one. Lol. To be honest, no matter what occasion you celebrate there will always be people who would disagree.

  15. It doesn’t bother me, but I won’t be celebrating it either. There are so many silly holidays in general. I don’t have time for more, lol

  16. i take national days with a grain of salt minus holidays. there’s a national cupcake day and so forth so there is no problem with a national men’s day or international men’s day

    1. Ms Claudette

      I hear you Michelle 🙂 seems though some people take great offense to their being a Men’s day. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  17. Never heard of this day. Is there a ladies day.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, there is an International Women’s Day – celebrated on March 8 for decades now. 🙂

  18. I can see both sides but there have been great men in the public eye and in the local eye there are a few special men to me as well

    1. Ms Claudette

      Exactly! There are great human beings basically and if they want a special day, why stop them?

  19. I have never heard of international men’s day is this in Canada only? I think the idea is a good one we celebrate women everyday why not men. When most people hear the word feminism my though shift to a women that hate men but its not so. Its about equal right for all regardless of gender thanks for your inspirational article.

    1. Ms Claudette

      When you read my post you will see that it is celebrated in 60 countries across the world. And thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  20. I’ve never thought about this before. I say let them have their day.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes! Let them have it! Thanks for stopping by Tina! 🙂

  21. My perception of feminism is that we should promote equality regardless of, gender, class or ethnicity.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I so agree with you! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  22. dltolley

    Of course we should celebrate our brothers! When has celebrating someone’s achievements detracted from our own? On another note, you should visit my Husby’s place of employment. He is one of two men in an office of 11 women. His bosses are women, and all of the women earn vastly more than he does. Even those at his same ‘pay grade’. In his world, the pendulum has swung completely the other way. So I’m going to celebrate my Husby. Who takes care of our entire family and always has!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you so much for sharing that Diane! Sometimes we get so caught up with the issues of women empowerment that we forget that we ALL are humans and need a boost! Namaste 🙂

  23. Great post. lots of stuff I don’t usually stop and think about!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you! I am glad we made you stop and think, even for a bit. Namaste. 🙂

  24. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I have never heard of International Men’s Day, but I am game for celebrating.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Well I hope you had a fine time celebrating the men in your life today! 🙂

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