International Women’s Days – Let Us Celebrate Equality, Not Belittle It

feminismYousafzaiToday is International Women’s Day, a day for celebrating the women’s right movements and calling for further gender equality. This year’s theme is #BeBoldForChange, where people are encouraged to take a bold stand toward a more inclusive, equal world.

Achieving equality is of benefit to both men and women, and International Women’s Day isn’t just about women. It’s about celebrating gender equality, and celebrating the movement to help bring the genders closer together. Men (like myself) should be using this day to celebrate our sisters, mothers, daughters and friends. I also want to use this opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and actions around the world and to highlight how gender equality helps men as well, but I hope you’ll excuse me an angry rant about self-titled ‘men’s rights activists’’ first.

With all this talk of equality, and women’s rights, it is no surprise that self-pitying men with victim complexes are hijacking this celebration of gender equality to cry “but what about me?” – It takes a special kind of attention-craving to get so upset about people other than you being celebrated, but let’s be honest who didn’t expect it?

Young, white males crying on the internet because they’re ‘oppressed’ by feminism has become so commonplace that it is entirely predictable. The anti-feminist rhetoric has spread like wildfire among “alt-right” trolls, and it never changes, it remains the same drivel that feminism is some form of attack on men.

There are very few words that express my disdain for the cry-babies who are so offended by the idea of an International Women’s Day, they hijack the cause to blubber nonsense about how attacked and oppressed they feel by others being celebrated.

When men cry about not having a Men’s Day on Women’s Day, they show that isn’t really the issue, because there is a Men’s Day and a 3 second google search would have told them that. They show they are angry because people other than them are being celebrated for a change.

This way of thinking is almost understandable; because while feminism is not an ‘attack on men’ – it is a direct attack to the bigoted views of these ‘alt-right’ trolls. It is a direct attack to the privileges they have come to expect. It is a direct attack on their bigoted views. It is a direct attack on them, and they fail to see that it is their own doing – so they cry oppression!

Feminism and gender equality is a huge help to men, and any men who want to live in a world where both genders have the same opportunities, should support the aim of getting women onto an equal playing field.

It is toxic views of masculinity and femininity that are a cause of many of the problems that men face because of their gender. It is outdated views on the motherly role of women that lead to unfair paternal struggles.

Men’s suicide rates are astronomical, considerably higher than women, and the cause of this is widely believed to be society’s view on men and masculinity. Crying and showing feelings is considered weak.

The push for equality of the sexes – feminism – is a fight against these toxic ideals of masculinity – for the benefit of both women who suffer under patriarchy, and the men who suffer under impossible ideals and expectations.

Enhancing the role of women does not belittle men, in fact it strengthens men! All men who truly care about society and fairness should understand that by not holding-back 50% of our society, we all benefit!

The fight for equality is far from over, and more can be done to ensure both men and women are on equal footing. By creating this ‘us vs them’ mentality, and portraying men as victims of man-hating feminists, so-called ‘men’s rights activists’ have pushed us backwards, and we must continue to fight their vile rhetoric.

We should use this day as an opportunity to celebrate all the strong women around the world, who have fought against sexism and bigotry to push forward real changes to society.

We should use this day to celebrate the fact women are leading at every level of society, from arts, to science, to business and politics.

We should use this day as an opportunity to celebrate all the women we care about, who considerably enrich our personal lives.

Finally, we should use this day to recognise that the fight is not over, we should recognise there is still much to be done in the fight for equality of both genders – and we should endeavour to do a little more to help remove the barriers women face in society.

Let us all take a stand against the anti-feminist rhetoric that threatens to push back decades of progress.

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