It’s International Women’s Day – so can someone please explain to us why ‘International Men’s Day’ is trending on Twitter?
Every single year, we spend the whole of International Women’s Day explaining that, yes, there is an International Men’s Day, too.
Why? Because, whenever the 8 March rolls around, misogynists everywhere inexplicably wake up with one burning question on their minds: when is International Men’s Day?
It is an affliction that apparently renders them a) unable to think about anything else, and b) suddenly incapable of using Google. So, desperate for reassurance that their male privilege remains intact, they turn to Twitter for help, fingers clumsily tripping over their keyboards as they demand answers from women everywhere.
Which means that, yes, we have to spend our day reminding them that there is, of course, an International Men’s Day, and that it falls on 19 November (and pretty much every other day in the calendar, too).
As a result, the phrase ‘International Men’s Day’ is genuinely trending on International Women’s Day – which has left feminists everywhere feeling… well, pretty exhausted, to say the least.
Thankfully, some good is coming out of this mass idiocy.
Many may not know that the comedian Richard Herring famously spends every single International Women’s Day responding to the men demanding to know when their day is.
This year, though, he’s doing things a little differently: he’s raising money for Refuge at the same time – and he’s already at 82% of his target, with a cool £41,117 in the bank for the women’s charity (at the time of writing).
Writing on his JustGiving page, Herring explains: “Every International Women’s Day, I go on Twitter to search for people asking, ‘When’s International Men’s Day?’ to let them know that that is on November 19th.
“Weirdly most of them only seem to care about this on International Women’s Day, and, when November 19th, comes along they do nothing.”
The comedian adds: “I do this so that everyone else can get on with celebrating International Women’s Day and using it to raise awareness of the issues that affect women. And trying to achieve equality… [so] I thought this year it would be nice if we raised some money along the way, to turn stupid or negative comments by people who don’t understand how to google into something that will be positive and helpful.”
Herring finishes by saying: “One woman in four will experience domestic violence at some point in her lifetime and two women are killed each week in England and Wales by a current or former partner.
“Refuge supports over 4,500 women & children on any given day, experiencing domestic and sexual violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, stalking, trafficking, prostitution & so-called ‘honour’ based violence.
“If you kindly sponsor me today, you will be helping to save and change the lives of thousands of women and children escaping domestic violence. Thank you.”
Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.