Guest Editorial – Eve Jeffery
The Wikipedia entry for feminism says: ‘Feminism is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes’.
Yep, that’s me. Equality for all. In fact, if you took a peek at my sensis entry for ‘religion’ you’d see ‘equalitarian’, though I think it will be a while before the movement catches up to ‘Jedi’.
Equality for all, including animals (I am an annoying vegan), women, children and even men – ALL earthlings.
I had to go to Wiki to see if there was an International Men’s Day – I didn’t know if one existed. I know some of my sisters shuffle their feet and say ‘isn’t EVERY day men’s day?’, but I think if we are going to be real feminists, fighting for equality of the sexes (let’s add gender to that as well) then we need to be really equal. But wait…
The reason this occurred to me was that I was thinking about what International Women’s Day means to me. In my view, it’s a day to celebrate being a woman, but also to find out about being a woman – a good woman – and looking at ways to deal with my weaknesses, learning how to promote and develop my strengths and finding out how to help a sister out, and be helped.
International Men’s Day is just as much not about sinking beers and talking shit and watching porn as International Women’s Day is not about covens, communal menstrual bleeding, drinking chardies, talking shit and watching porn.
Mandy Nolan is abso-bloody-lutely right! The patriarchy is broken, but men most aren’t, and the ones who are, deserve help too – NOT Bettina Arndt style – they need to be able to access the types of things we celebrate on International Women’s Day.
Back to Wiki – it says International Men’s Day is an occasion to celebrate boys and men’s achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care. The broader and ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values.
The International Men’s Day website promotes ‘Men Leading by Example’. It continues… ‘Manhood is the foundation for fatherhood. Good men make good fathers’. I’m down with that. As a woman who had babies to a wonderful human who was also an alcoholic, who sucked at being a responsible father – who fucked up time after time ’til he died, I wish he’d had better mentors, better examples, other blokes who said: ‘Dude – pull up. You have a missus and kids. Get yourself unbroken.’
International Men’s Day seeks to address many different issues surrounding men’s mental health. If my kid’s dad had been able to access mental health help, maybe he wouldn’t be dead now. Maybe if he’d had the wonderful support that can come from an event like International Men’s Day the way women can celebrate International Women’s Day, who knows?
International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8
International Men’s Day is celebrated annually on November 19.