If you were to suggest abolishing Mother’s Day, there would be a hue and cry of ‘misogyny’. If you were to suggest renaming Mother’s Day to ‘Special Person’s Day’, thousands would march in the streets in protest.
But abolish Father’s Day? Hmmm, yes. Let’s have a conversation about that. What a jolly good idea. (I jest of course.)
This morning Good Morning Britain hosted a segment seriously discussing the abolishment of Father’s Day. But it’s not a new discussion. Two years ago, Judy Finnigan on Loose Women, thrilled the largely female studio audience by saying, ‘I think mothers deserve a day rather more than fathers.’ She got away with it. Had a man mumbled, ‘I think fathers deserve a day rather more than mothers,’ the nation would have screamed ‘Misogynist!’ and his career would have been summarily over.
But it’s perfectly fine, apparently, for the shoe to be on the other foot. What is it called? Is there a word for it? Actually, there is: misandry defined ‘dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men (i.e., the male sex).’ But that’s okay, apparently.
It’s perfectly acceptable for women to hate on men without being labeled a ‘misandrist’.
It’s perfectly fine for women to chortle, ‘Lay him right the first time and you can walk over him for years’.
It’s perfectly fine for interviewers to shove a mic in a male actor’s face and demand to know if he’s a feminist. (When the term was coined, it would have been nonsensical to expect a male to identify as a feminist.)
Is it any wonder that as of 2015, 75% of all suicides in the United Kingdom were male. That’s eighty-four men each day who decided to end it all. According to the Telegraph, ‘Psychologist Christina Hoff-Sommers…teenage boys…sometimes want to talk about how they felt, they don’t want to do it constantly…They told me they thought it would be useful if environments existed where it was possible for them to speak freely about the things that were troubling them, but made it clear that these spaces wouldn’t necessarily resemble a therapists’ office. And whilst some said they actually felt more comfortable speaking to a woman about difficult emotional matters because they felt less judged, others said they were in need of a male mentor, something they felt their life lacked.’
Could it be by the constant negativity, invalidation and mockery aimed towards those of the male gender, we as a society are contributing to the male suicide epidemic? According to a 2017 article in Esquire, ‘An academic study published by the Medical University of Vienna in June 2015 looked at male suicide survivors aged 18–67, and family and friends of suicide survivors. It concluded: “Almost all men reported that their masculine beliefs led to them isolating themselves when they were feeling down, to avoid imposing on others… and instead, relied on coping strategies that required less immediate effort and provided short-term alleviation of problems, for example, drug or alcohol use, gambling and working excessively.” ‘
Instead of supporting our men, we’re kicking them when they’re down.
Since infancy, we have been taught to be colorblind towards ethnicity and skin color. Shouldn’t that same thinking extend to gender? Instead of dissing or elevating any particular gender, wouldn’t it be better for society to be genderblind. Neither misogynistic nor misandristic.
People. Just people. All talented. All struggling. All stumbling now and then. All supporting each other. All worthy of respect…but not condescension. Not perks nor discrimination based on gender.
Much is being made of the all female cast of the new movie Ocean’s 8. Wouldn’t it be even more empowering if no one noticed it. It’s simple a cast of wonderfully talented people. As a woman, I find it demeaning to my gender for there to be hoopla surrounding the ‘all women cast.’ Or female MPs being called out particularly for being female.
No new ground has been broken by Ocean’s 8. No blow struck for women and feminism. In 1939, Metro Goldwyn Mayer produced The Women with an all female cast, a female writer and female screenwriters. Even the bric-a-brac, horses and dogs in the film were female. No one remembers it now.
By suggesting the abolition of Father’s Day, feminists are cutting off the branch on which they stand. While railing against misogyny and misogynists, they become misandrists and commit misandry. If it’s wrong for men to hate and oppress women, it’s just as wrong for women to hate and oppress men.
It’s not merely a gender issue. It’s a mental health issue as well.