Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Do We Need a National Man Day?




Happy National Man Day!

Yes-- it's a thing.

Two years ago the Longanecker brothers dubbed June 15th "National Man Day" with the help of Facebook and even started a petition to get it on the calendar.

While campaigning the brothers told an Indianapolis reporter it was a day to chop wood, drink beer, eat steak, watch Rambo and scratch. One brother said this about his new favorite holiday;
The other 364 days a year are when you be a man, be a good dad, go to work on time. You take responsibility for everything," said Josh Longanecker. "Man day is that one day a year to give men that outlet they need.
Ohhh, I get it-- on National Man's Day you get to be a bad dad and come to work late. But then what about people who are already doing those things?

The official Facebook page confirms National Man Day is about violence, destruction and heteronormativity, insisting it's time to quit being a sissy and "take back the crown of masculinity."

Ahhh, patriarchy metaphors.

National Man Day has its own website complete with bad science encouraging men to reassert their God-given authority and defend their actions with nothing more than testosterone. A "doctor" specializing in essentialism assures readers masculinity is the opposite of shame and men should never have reservations when demanding exactly what they want from their bosses and women.

There's nothing wrong with celebrating the things that make you uniquely you. And there's nothing wrong with celebrating a shared experience with others. But dedicating an entire day to stereotypes and nonsense is counter-productive.

But what about all the stuff women get?

Women's History Month happens every March to make up for the fact that women have been all but erased from American History. Dedicating 31 days to learning about women's accomplishments teaches students that "Women's History" is more than Betsey Ross sewing a flag and Amelia Earhart flying a plane. It's valid and necessary.

International Women's Day, also happening in March, is a "global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future." Surely no one would begrudge the women of Egypt, China, Darfur, Brazil and every country around the world one day to come together and dream of equality.

These existing days prove there a time and a place to celebrate gender-- if your gender has been oppressed based on the notion that its somehow inferior.

National Man's Day is ridiculous and undeserved. According to the National Wildlife Federation its also Nature Photography Day-- and hopefully most people would rather celebrate that on June 15th.

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