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Editorial: International men’s day?

The celebration of International Women’s Day at UFV highlights the progress that women have made over the last hundred years. It is perhaps surprising to us now that women at one point were not even considered “persons” under the law, a detail which deprived them of the right to vote. Along with the various female-led movements such as suffrage, women’s liberation, and first and second wave feminism, one of the major catalysts for the advancement of women in the work place was the Second World War.

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By Jed Minor (Editor-in-Chief) – Email

The celebration of International Women’s Day at UFV highlights the progress that women have made over the last hundred years. It is perhaps surprising to us now that women at one point were not even considered “persons” under the law, a detail which deprived them of the right to vote. Along with the various female-led movements such as suffrage, women’s liberation, and first and second wave feminism, one of the major catalysts for the advancement of women in the work place was the Second World War.

With many of the men fighting in Europe and Asia, North American women had to take on the factory jobs that were previously thought of as “too tough” for them. By proving themselves in the workplace, women were able to shed the labels of being too delicate or weak for physical labour. This enabled them to take their place in the work force in ever greater numbers throughout the following decades.

Currently there is another workforce gender shift taking place. The amount of manufacturing and labour jobs typically done by men has been reduced by outsourcing and economic upheaval since the 1970’s. This trend – added to the fact that many of the white collar jobs lost during the most recent economic downturn were also done by men – has left many men scrambling for work.

While in the past it was claimed that women were too weak for the industrial economy, it has currently been argued that men are too competitive and aggressive for the collaborative and communication -based information economy.

It is up to men to shed these labels by proving themselves in the workplace, possibly even in jobs previously reserved for women. The playing field has changed dramatically since the days when an unskilled labour job would support an entire family. Why complain about men’s changing role in society? Women were able to prove themselves and adapt their roles to an ever changing world. As men, so can we.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Leanne

    March 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    International Men’s Day is on November 19. Here’s a link for the Global IMD Website: http://www.international-mens-day.com/

    And IMD on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/international.mens.day

  2. Leanne

    March 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    The Woman’s Day Magazine has for 50 years carried the slogan, “Because every Day Is A Woman’s Day”. If that is true then I’m sure just one day of the year could be devoted to celebrating positive male role models. Whats the problem with that?

    More to the point, I’m only joking. I’m imitating the oft’ proffered phrase ”International Men’s Day is 365 days of the year” which is usually spouted in place of genuine exploration of the facts about issues males face. Thats why I offered an equally vacuous slogan from the Woman’s Day Magazine- I hoped that would help women understand how it feels to be redused to an empty slogan.

    There is an International Men’s Day annually held around the world on November 19 in order to highlight positive male role models. Here is thier website: http://www.international-mens-day.com/

    Why not we start with the more realistic assumption that males and females both need support, that both can be “victims”; both males and females are among the homeless; both boys and girls are among the sexually abused; both boys and girls are discriminated against in education settings, depending on the country and the socio-economic status of the children. Both males and females fall mentally and physically ill, and both males and females die in war. Need i go on? And yes males and females are also subject to different forms of suffering exclusive to thier gender. Lets use IWD and IMD to highlight suffering experienced by BOTH sexes, and to offer support for BOTH sexes, rather than spouting vacuous slogans and spreading gender hatred…. a hatred which gains no support for the very real issues women face.

    Happy International Women’s Day.

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