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International Mens Day 2017

The 19 November was International Men’s Day (IMD), and what a day it was. Dads4Kids put out an IMD media release with men from five other nations, if you include Glen Poole from the UK, currently living in Australia.

Where did it all start? What is your involvement with International Men’s Day? I thought you’d never ask.

International Men’s Day was started by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh on 19 November 1999 in Trinidad in the Caribbean. Different forms of International Men’s Day existed in various fragmented ways before this date e.g. Thomas Oaster celebrated IMD in Kansas City on 7 February 1992, but nothing really happened internationally, in a coherent way.

I first heard about International Men’s Day in 2007 from Uma Challa, a female men’s advocate in India with the ‘Save Indian Family Foundation’. Uma encouraged me to celebrate International Men’s Day in Australia. For me, this Indian mother-of-two is the real hero behind International Men’s Day, because without her practical and positive encouragement, the team at Dads4Kids would not have taken International Men’s Day to the world.

At that time, celebration of International Men’s Day occurred on several different days and the team at Dads4Kids played a strategic role, along with others, in bringing all those divergent manhood celebrations on to 19 November every year. The Dads4Kids team also created the International Mens Day logo as a gift to be given to the men of the world to encourage them. It is not owned by anyone but by everyone. This helped bring global unity when it came to men’s issues.

The team behind Dads4Kids registered www.internationalmensday.com on 13 June 2008 with the purpose of building a website and producing videos to help promote and resource the celebration of International Men’s Day around the globe. Our first Vimeo promo for International Men’s Day in 2008 tells the story up to that point and now has an overinflated count of 474,000 views.

Dads4Kids put up the first comedy promo video for IMD in 2009, IMD for Real Men, which now has almost 16,000 views. In those days you would have been hard pressed to find any videos promoting International Men’s Day on YouTube. In those days this comment on our video was painfully true:

 Wow I didn’t know men had a day. I knew that women have a whole month but at least men get a day… I don’t know of any agencies or funding for men’s health but maybe one day.. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THINKING ABOUT MEN!

There are six pillars behind International Men’s Day:

  1. To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sportsmen but everyday, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
  2. To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
  3. To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  4. To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law.
  5. To improve gender relations and promote gender equality.
  6. To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.

The International Men’s Day hashtag was #1 on Twitter in the UK in 2017 thanks to the amazing work of Mark Brooks, the mastermind behind www.ukmensday.org.uk. He told me, on the phone that IMD had gone viral with up to 120 individual celebrations in the UK.

However, in India, Anil Kumar, Uma Challa and the team at ‘Save the Indian Family Foundation’ from a sheer numbers point-of-view, led the way. Sadly, India’s 2015 male suicide figure was 91,528 men, over twice the figure of 42,088 for female suicides. Unfortunately, the Indian legal system has a massive anti-male bias, not dissimilar to western countries like Australia. Unfortunately the antimale bias contributes massively to this shocking statistic.

In 2017, an International Men’s Day YouTube search revealed 2,360,000 results!

Now the biggest single video for International Men’s Day on YouTube is the Indian 2014 So Not Fair humorous video advert for ‘He’ deodorant. This comic song video has 570,000 views and is well worth the watch. It will definitely provide some laughs for those who are laughter deprived.

The second IMD YouTube on the list has 470,000 views and features UK Parliamentarian Feminist Jess Phillips MP laughing at those who are making a stand for men and the problems they face.

This video of the UK IMD protest at Trafalgar Square in London in the UK has 16,000 views  and this powerful video featuring women in India talking about the men who inspired them is very moving.

Last year’s Stop Male Suicide video is now up till 6,400 views and this year’s IMD Red Pill promo video is now up to 5,000 views. The comments show that the incredible media bias against men continues till the present day. This one, “So when it’s international women’s day, all you see is stuff about it. Everywhere. Yet on men’s day, I didn’t even know it was IMD until almost the end of the day….” The second comment is as equally damming. “The silence from the media about this day is deafening. I have not seen a single mention of this on any news or current affairs show, and until I stumbled on this while looking for something else I had no idea that this day existed.”

The brilliant video from UK Lend and Invest shows that business can speak up for our fatherless children and perhaps point the way to a better future. The sign held up by one of the men in the video gives us the reason why it is so important for us as fathers to step up to the plate and man up for our children, “Boys from fatherless homes are 9 times more likely to commit crime.”

Lovework

Let’s start getting ready for International Men’s Day next year by being the best dads we can be for our children now.

Yours for our children

Warwick Marsh

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