All too often men are forgotten when it comes to ovarian cancer. They do a fantastic job of supporting the amazing women in their lives who are affected by ovarian cancer, and this International Men’s Day, Target Ovarian Cancer is highlighting that ‘Men Matter’ too by saying thank you to those husbands, fathers, brothers, partners and friends who have been affected by ovarian cancer.
Comedian Richard Herring is synonymous with International Women’s Day, where he takes to social media to point out to the thousands that ask “why isn’t there an International Men’s Day?” that, in fact, there is. Richard is again taking to social media today, on International Men’s Day, to help us recognise the impact that ovarian cancer has on men too.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. Twenty-four hours (of the 8,760 annually available) set aside to celebrate women and all of their achievements. And people are furious about it! Surely you could only be cross about that because that isn’t enough time to celebrate the achievements of 50 per cent of the population. But no.
On Twitter at least, every March 8 thousands of men (and the occasional woman) tweet something along the lines of: ‘International Women’s Day? So when’s International Men’s Day?’
International Women's Day
This churlish response is supposed to make us consider the massive inequality and sexism of there being a whole day dedicated to women, because there’d never be a day like that to venerate men. It wouldn’t be allowed. Because of political correctness gone mad. You’d be laughed off the planet if you dared to suggest such a thing in this day and age. So you can see why these anti-sexist warriors are up in arms and so furious…
Except there is an International Men’s Day. It’s on November 19. I hope that answers your question, guys.
I love the fact that the kind of people who feel the need to question the concept of International Women’s Day don’t even know there is already a day for men (an official one, rather than the regular days where they get more pay and power and privilege). I love it when people try to manufacture an injustice out of a position of clear superiority.
It’s all so transparently self-centred. It’s the impulse that drives your kids on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day to whine: ‘When will there be a Children’s Day?’ Though at least the children have the excuse of being children and thus naturally self-obsessed and unable to spot that the world pretty much revolves around them already.
But delightfully (and to keep this analogy spot on) there actually is an International Children’s Day. It’s on June 1. That won’t assuage your complaining spawn, of course. Because like the grown-up children questioning International Women’s Day they are actually asking: ‘When will I get someone to wait on me and bring me breakfast in bed and let me put my feet up and watch the telly? When will that happen? You know, apart from every single fucking day.’
These people must be furious every day that isn’t their own birthday. Why aren’t I getting any presents?
So for the last two International Women’s Days I have tried to highlight this stupidity. I have got up early, gone to Twitter and searched for the phrase “International Men’s Day”, found every single person who has tweeted the question and responded to them all individually, “It’s November 19”. There are thousands to get through, it goes on relentlessly for hours and hours, but I try to get to them all, because to see the same moronic question asked over and over again by people (who don’t even think just to check google to make sure they’re not making an arse of themselves), is very funny and shows exactly why an international women’s day is necessary.
And nobody tweets me back to say “Oh thanks for the information. I was wondering when it was.” Almost like they don’t want to know the answer to their own question.
My hope is that if I can spend a day a year dealing with this issue then that means that everyone else can get on with making International Women’s Day be about celebrating women and not complaining about the supposed raw deal men get. But I let men know that they do have a day if they want to celebrate themselves. Though none of them seem to when it comes along, weirdly.
Of course on November 19 my timeline is now full of people jokingly asking me when International Women’s Day is and it seems only fair for me to promote women on men’s day, so I let them know it’s March 8.
But this year I am going to celebrate men as well, by helping to promote Target Ovarian Cancer who for one day want to give a shout of gratitude to the men who support the women in their lives who are affected by this disease.
Saying thank you
Every year 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and 4,300 lose their lives. So this International Men’s Day, Target Ovarian Cancer are highlighting that ‘Men Matter’ too and saying thank you to those husbands, fathers, brothers, partners and friends who have also been affected by ovarian cancer.
And I am fully expecting to have to deal with a bunch of idiots asking when’s Ovarian Cancer Day? Because those blinkers really work well and block out all sense of irony or shame! Well don't worry, World Ovarian Cancer Day is May 8.
And people can find more information on the date of International Men’s Day by browsing through my Twitter feed on March 8.
This article was originally published on The Guardian Comment is Free.
Richard Herring is a comedian, writer, blogger and podcaster and the world's premier semi-professional self-playing snooker player.