Today, the 8th of March, is International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day is a day dedicated to recognising the hardships faced by women in the world, the challenges they’ve overcome and the contributions women have made to society as a whole. It’s a positive day that should be regarded as an important event for all people in our society.
Now with that out of the way, here’s the two people should strive to avoid on International Women’s Day;
The “When is International Men’s Day?” Guy
Okay so International Men’s Day is a thing, it’s in November, the 19th to be specific. In an effort to be balanced I am going to play devil’s advocate here, yes it is true that there are a few areas where guys on the whole are getting fucked over; men make up 80% of suicides and there’s next to no media coverage about this, it’s a shitty situation, that combined with suicide prevention groups getting the least funding of any major charity is something that bothers me to no end. Now, do I think this is the direct result of sexism? Not really, certainly it’s there, when you try to have a rational discussion about the poor state of men’s mental health there’s always going to be some angsty tumblrista saying “I drink male tears” and “Masculinity so fragile” and of course the irony is not lost on me that people on tumblr routinely claim that they’re physically terrified of men yet go out of their way to belittle them. That said, the real issue is that people in general don’t treat suicide as a serious issue, there’s a lot of victim blaming in suicide situations e.g. “Just stop being depressed” which is about as helpful as telling cancer patients “just stop having cancer” it’s stupid and people need to stop saying it.
There’s other areas where men are getting metaphorically kicked in the balls as well; they have a 20% chance of gaining custody in a divorce, they live shorter lives, they’re more likely to be physically assaulted, they’ll often get harsher sentences for committing the same crime as women, they get raped the most (mostly in correctional facilities) and while people love to talk up the “top 1%” as being almost exclusively male, they’re also the bottom 10% of income earners. Now these are all shitty things and they should be discussed more openly, the thing is you’re not really helping by trying to distract from issues facing women by screaming that men have issues too. This is entirely unproductive and all it leads to is a pointless shouting match and very little being accomplished.
Perhaps the biggest criticism of these sort of guys is that often they themselves don’t suffer from any of the issues outlined above, they’re usually middle class guys, some of them do have mental health issues but it’s usually symptoms more in line with Borderline Personality Disorder. Most of these guys again, aren’t going through divorce or custody battles, they’re usually not committing violent crimes and unless jails have recently started providing laptops and Wi-Fi, I doubt they’ve spent much time in a correctional facility. What you tend to find is these men occupy the adolescent to young adult age group and generally these people have stalled in term of emotional development which can lead to frustration and irrational behaviour. Long story short; yes there are serious issues affecting men in the world today, yes the media should be held accountable for not covering them and yes there are shitty people who subscribe to the notion that “Women getting raped is a tragedy, men getting raped is a punchline”, there are shitty people everywhere, stooping to their level doesn’t help you in the long run. So before you go on these rants, understand that really you’re targeting a very specific section of the population who get off on provoking responses like the one’s your giving them. On International Women’s Day don’t be that guy.
Creepy Tumblr Rape Fetishists
It’s no secret that Tumblr is a pretty terrible place on the internet; hop on over and you’ll find these really weird “blogs” (using the term loosely here) that consist mostly of reposted gifs, jpegs and “motivational quotes”, you’ll also get some really weird shit like people self-diagnosing themselves with mental disorders, pushing the concept of transgenderism so far that they are actively defending the notion that a person could actually be a wolf trapped in a human body and god awful fan-fiction. Seriously some of the horror you find if you stumblr (lel), into the fan-fic section cannot be unseen.
So why should we be avoiding these people on International Women’s Day? Well, rape is a very serious issue, an issue that as a society we’ve had a hard time addressing, however, various organisations can confirm that since 1990, rape in Western countries has halved. That’s great news, unfortunately these particular groups have decided to engage in a rather offensive fetishisation of rape, and in turn they’ve given rise to a reactionary group of rape-deniers.
This is a pretty horrible situation, because what these groups do is damage the actual work of anti-rape activists around the world. For example these people make up all sorts of fake versions of rape, fake rape incidents, etc and then take to social media spreading these lies around. For actual victims of rape this sort of misinformation and the rather disturbing fetish these people have regarding rape is incredibly damaging, not only to their personal mental health but also to the way the public perceives rape in general. When ridiculous terms like “stare rape” and “cyber rape” are being thrown around in an entirely non-ironic manner, it cheapens the seriousness of actual sexual assault and insults the victims of these crimes. Treating these serious issues as a hobby is a very real problem and unfortunately these groups seem to be particularly empowered on a day like today.
My advice; avoid these people like the plague, they have done more damage to the way society perceives issues regarding sexual assault and violence than just about anyone else in modern society. Whatever their intentions may have been, their actions have served as a rallying cry for rape apologists/deniers everywhere by turning sexual assault into a joke/sub culture. It’s disturbing and quite honestly suggests that perhaps mental health care needs even bigger reform than previously believed.
Luckily for most of us, we don’t fall into either of these categories; if you’re a rational minded human being, remember that International Women’s Day is an important day and should be treated as such. Women make up half of the world (actually I think it’s 52% at the moment) and as such deserve a day of recognition, remember that just because today is day about recognising the contributions, challenges and issues facing women today, doesn’t mean that other issues don’t exist as well. You can support more than one thing at a time and you should. Just remember today is the day we set aside specifically for women and no one should be trying to take that away.
For more information on IWD 2016 visit the official website: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/