An internationally recognised day just passed without most of the population knowing about it, that is International Men’s Day which is held on 19th November every year to promote the awareness of male health, discrimination and gender relations. The mainstream media is certainly not interested in promoting it unlike International Women’s Day where our ABC sacked its male staff for a day and holds a yearly Q&A episode to promote the day.
The reason for the overlooking of International Men’s Day is because of the view that is pushed forward from our media and cultural elite that men don’t need a day to focus on issues affecting their gender because they have male privilege. We are told that it is women who receive the raw deal in our society suffering under the patriarchy and if men have any problems it is nothing compared to what women suffer.
Of course, nobody denies that women don’t have their own challenges but so do men, and as a mature society should be able to focus on both. Australia demonstrated earlier this year it did not have this level of maturity with the disgraceful media treatment of Cassie Jaye director of the men’s rights movie The Red Pill. Her appearance on the Project was the most staggering where host Carrie Bickmore argued we shouldn’t discuss men’s issues because of domestic violence affecting women.
The issues that men face in our society are not imaginary and sadly the lack of attention they are given led to tragic outcomes. Men are more likely to be the victims of violent crimes, men have higher rates of depression and suicide, men are more likely to die at work accounting for 93% of workplace fatalities, three in four homeless people are men, then there is the discrimination against fathers in the family courts system which also disadvantages children of both genders.
Men are also the victims of domestic abuse in the UK they account for 40% of all UK domestic violence cases. Men also lag behind women when it comes to education in western nations with 60% of all Bachelor’s degrees in the US alone being obtained by women.
Of course, by highlighting these statistics we are not trying to argue men are more oppressed than women and turn into a game of oppression Olympics, we are simply making the case that the physical and mental well-being of men needs attention as well.
Women in non-western nations certainly face abhorrent levels of discrimination, oppression and violence that needs to be addressed. But it is disingenuous and insulting for the feminist lobby in the west to claim it is just as bad here and use that as an excuse to claim that men are never discriminated against and justify non-action on men’s issues.
Although we have a somewhat out of control feminist movement in Australia including the freightbats who take pleasure in the suffering of men we do make an effort to look after men’s health. Currently it is Movember when men grow moustaches to raise money for men’s mental health. Beyondblue Australia’s most prominent mental health organisation was founded by a man in Jeff Kennett because he wanted to help others like himself male and female fight mental health demons.
Australia’s family law system which has long disadvantaged fathers is now undergoing a review. This is thanks to the lobbying of arguably the nation’s strongest men’s rights activist One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson who highlighted the injustices of the family court in her maiden speech to the Senate in 2016.
If it’s good enough to have both Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day then surely there is room for both and an International Women’s Day and Men’s Day, after all isn’t that what equality is all about? Let us not forget the challenges men face, if we put more effort into addressing them the benefits will not just benefit men, but those around them and will ultimately strengthen our society.