Why would a men’s organization support International Women’s Day? Do you really have to ask?
Today is International Women’s Day, one of those vague awareness-raising events that helps keep important issues in people’s minds. Some would say it’s silly for the Good Men Project to celebrate it, focused as we are on men and men’s issues, but that just betrays limited thinking. Specifically, it betrays the all-too-common kind of thinking that imagines gender as a zero-sum game, the notion that men and women are in competition with each other for… what? Dominance? Victim status? Control of the pop charts?
The truth is, we are all in this together. International Women’s Day is not about raising women up or casting men down; it is about liberation, liberation toward the goal of equality. And the thing about liberation is that it’s unlimited, and it spreads. The more free women are to choose their own lives, the more free men are to do the same. The less restrictive female gender roles become, the less restrictive their Ozy’s Law male counterparts become. It’s an imperfect process, working slowly and unevenly, hitching forward in fits and starts, but it works, and it is helping all of us.
That’s why I have no patience for those who grouse “How come there’s no International Men’s Day?” or all the similar complaints one hears. Those who complain about that have shown that they don’t actually care about the historical reasons that liberation movements take the shapes they do; they’re just afraid that the Other Side will win.
The truth is, when it comes to gender liberation, there are no sides and there is no victory, because a winner implies a loser, and there is no loser when liberation spreads to all. No matter who you are or what you represent, if you’re trying to win at gender, to triumph over the Other Side, you have already failed.
So long as International Women’s Day is advancing that cause of equality, it deserves the support and pride of every one of us.
Photo—Alex E. Proimos/Flickr