International Women’s Day: Survival Advice for Concerned Men

International Women’s Day can be a very scary time for some men. This day each year, woman across the world boldly and unabashedly celebrate the strengths and achievements of their fellow sisters, whilst continuing to shine a light on issues of inequality and injustice.

Some men celebrate this day too, some choose to keep a watchful silence, others might think all this noise is just an unnecessary rocking of the boat. And some of you feel personally affronted by all this feminine hysteria.

But fear not, Broflakes and men who have taken umbrage! You will survive this! Here is my guidance for making it through the next 24 hours…

First of all, as it’s often one of the most googled questions on International Women’s Day, I’ll save you the bother: International Men’s Day is on the 19th November. Now I’ve told you that, you can refrain from posting a status update or a tweet passively-aggressively asking this question.

Next, take some deep calming breaths, and know that progress and feminist gains will not come at your expense. You don’t lose your rights when somebody else is rightfully handed theirs. Try to remember this before you hit ‘send’ on that trolling message to the ‘Feminazi’ you singled out on Twitter.

Now I know you probably think the gender pay gap is as much of a myth as the female orgasm, but believe me – just because you haven’t been privy to either of these things, doesn’t make them untrue. You can spend your time today googling counter-theories on the pay gap and why it is a malicious lie, but just because Linda in your office gets paid the same as you, doesn’t mean that the pay gap isn’t alive and well in every corner of the globe.

It’s also worth me pointing out that we all know, of course, that #NotAllMen are bastards. But the problem with this hashtag is that it insists we focus our attention on the good, and ignore the bad. Sometimes, we need to focus on the bad to realise that there is a problem, and face up to it as a society as a whole. Responding to a positive and empowering female movement with ‘#NotAllMen’, silences the women that need to have their voices heard. So, on a day that focuses on Women, let’s maybe not try and make it all about patting men on the back for not raping. Let’s keep the focus where it should be. For today at least.

However, if you’re absolutely insistent on keeping ‘men’ at the forefront of International Women’s Day, why not look up and back the burgeoning #AskMoreOfHim campaign that has already been backed by a number of high-profile men who want to do more than just pay lip-service to the idea of equality. Gender equality can’t be that much of a hysterical notion if there are even some rational and considered men, with perfectly formed superior man-brains, who publicly back it too, right?

Finally, just chill your boots (there’s no male equivalent of ‘calm down, dear’ – funny that…). Know that International Women’s Day isn’t a personal attack on you. Just because you got your heart stomped on by some girl a few years back, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a severe global deficit in gender equality that urgently needs addressing.

But rest assured in the knowledge that after today, nothing earth-shattering will happen to change the status quo. The pay gap won’t close for another 50 years. There’s unlikely to be a female president of the US for at least a decade. There will still be more CEOs named John than there will be women CEOs in total. Your life as you know it will not change…and that, for the billions of women across the world, is the problem.

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