More people tweet about and search for ‘International Men’s Day’ today than on November 19th. Here’s why that’s a problem


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More people tweet about and search for ‘International Men’s Day’ today than on November 19th. Here’s why that’s a problem

It comes from a place of bitterness and anger, not genuine concern

Today, March 8th, is the most popular day of the year for one particular topic on the internet – the only problem is that it’s not International Women’s Day.

If you’ve been online at all today it’s likely you haven’t escaped a deluge of chat about International Men’s Day. In fact, people tweet about it, post about it and search for information on it today more than any other day of the year. Google Trends shows that March 8th and the week surrounding it is the most popular time people talk about International Men’s Day. Almost twice as many people Google it today compared to November 19th – the actual date it’s celebrated.

And on both days, more people care about International Women’s Day – it’s searched for almost five times more on November 19th.

The same trend applies to Twitter as well as Google. The Mirror reported that while there have been 15,000 tweets sent about International Men’s Day in the past year, more than half of those – 10,000 in fact – were sent over March 8th and 9th. Basically, for men on the internet International Men’s Day, a day which is literally there to “focus on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models”, according to the official website.

It adds: “It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions – in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them.”

International Men’s Day might today seem like a bit of a joke, but it’s clearly there for good reason. And it’s not, however much meninists on Twitter would like to think so, not being taken seriously because of the existence of International Women’s Day.

It’s not being taken seriously because, on the internet at least, people who should take it seriously are only interested in it as a negative inflection of Women’s Day. Rather than coming from a place of education and openness, as it’s intended, it comes from a place of bitterness and misogyny.

That’s what hinders awareness of a day which focuses on men’s issues, and it’s nothing to do with March 8th helping women move towards gender equality.