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Thread: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

  1. #1
    Passerby's Avatar
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    International Woman's Day / International Men's Day

    While this article already appears on AM, it has been updated and permission has been given by the author to post the updated version. Note the new mention of the United Nations and the role it played in shaping (distorting) the original International Women's Day:

    "A decisive moment of the revision came from the United Nations which officially endorsed and promoted the event from the late 1970s. Along with this endorsement the UN worked very hard to get rid of IWDs socialist traits, a move which was not accepted by many socialist women's groups. For instance, in 1980 in Sweden socialist women's 'Grupp 8' rejected working with other women's organizations because it wanted to maintain the socialist origins and aims: "We have now conducted a number of discussions within our organization and come to the conclusion that, as representatives of the socialist women's movement, we cannot take part in a joint-party March 8 demonstration. After all, from the historical perspective, March 8 is the 'International Socialist Working Women's Day' and our organization feels that this should absolutely remain the case. Changing this would be like changing May 1. For this reason we are unable to endorse the UNs appeal." [Grupp 8, Stockholm, 1981]3 The revisioned event was seen by many as a betrayal of both it's history and fundamental goals."
    Revised article below:




    Origins and Evolution: Perspectives of Two International Days


    By Jason Thompson - 2010




    The observation of International Men’s and Women’s days involve numerous objectives, with both days highlighting issues considered unique to men or women. The following is not to be read as a comprehensive overview of both days but rather an attempt to highlight two central and rather different currents of IWD and IMD; women’s fight against oppression, and men’s attempts to promote positive male role models.

    There are several popular myths concerning the origins of International Women’s Day and after a survey of the current literature it seems the variety of accounts have created confusion for commentators. For example, a widely bruited falsehood about IWD which surfaced in French Communist circles claimed women from clothing and textile factories had staged a protest on 8 March 1857 in New York City. This story alleged that garment workers were protesting against very poor working conditions and low wages and were attacked and dispersed by police. It was claimed that this event led to a rally in commemoration of its fiftieth anniversary in 1907, with this gathering constituting the very first IWD. In response to these claims Temma Kaplan explains that “Neither event seems to have taken place, but many Europeans think March 8, 1907 inaugurated International Women's Day.” 1 Speculating about the origins of this 1857 legend Liliane Kandel and Françoise Picq suggested it was likely that (in recent times) some felt it opportune to detach International Women's Day from its basis in Soviet history and ascribe to it a more 'international' origin which could be painted as more ancient than Bolshevism and more spontaneous than a decision of Congress or the initiative of those women affiliated to the Party. 2

    Whilst numerous apocryphal stories of this nature exist, we can safely say that International Women’s Day was first initiated by German socialist Clara Zetkin in 1910 as a way to promote socialist political objectives and was always referred to by the political name ‘International Working Women’s Day’. Observation of the event was primarily restricted to the Soviet bloc. It wasn’t until the 1970s when women outside of the Soviet bloc looked to celebrating the event that the word ‘working’ was increasingly omitted along with much of it’s socialist meaning.

    Beginning in the 1970’s IWD became subject to a feminist revisioning. Whereas IWWD was previously used to highlight working women’s oppression by a bourgeois and powerful upper class of both men and women, 1970s feminists revisioned the basis of the day by stating that it was now men alone as a class of “chauvinists” who wielded all power over all women who had each become victims of men’s domination. It was men’s oppressive rule which IWD must now focus on overthrowing.

    A decisive moment of the revision came from the United Nations which officially endorsed and promoted the event from the late 1970s. Along with this endorsement the UN worked very hard to get rid of IWDs socialist traits, a move which was not accepted by many socialist women's groups. For instance, in 1980 in Sweden socialist women's 'Grupp 8' rejected working with other women's organizations because it wanted to maintain the socialist origins and aims: "We have now conducted a number of discussions within our organization and come to the conclusion that, as representatives of the socialist women's movement, we cannot take part in a joint-party March 8 demonstration. After all, from the historical perspective, March 8 is the 'International Socialist Working Women's Day' and our organization feels that this should absolutely remain the case. Changing this would be like changing May 1. For this reason we are unable to endorse the UNs appeal." [Grupp 8, Stockholm, 1981]3 The revisioned event was seen by many as a betrayal of both it's history and fundamental goals.



    A popular slogan circulated on International Women's Day on posters, pin-buttons, T-shirts, bumper stickers, and in print media.


    With this new ideological turn women were no longer viewed as part of the privileged upper class, and those former oppressors of women- i.e. capitalism; traditional gender schemas imposed by powerful men and women; various laws, language and so on- were reduced to one all-encompassing enemy: males and their patriarchal belief system. This new ideological basis for IWD was elaborated in the late 1970s-80s under the label “patriarchy theory”4 and it’s arrival correlated with a sharp increase in the numbers of women observing IWD,5 an interest no doubt generated by heightened concerns or fears over ‘patriarchal oppression’ of women. It is certainly true that women have been oppressed and are still oppressed by gender stereotypes and power structures (as are men), and the fight for liberation is a legitimate and necessary undertaking. Nevertheless in light of what appear to be oversimplified explanations proposed by ‘patriarchy theory’6 one hopes that the causes of oppression continue to be explored in more sophisticated and nuanced ways to give International Women’s and Men’s Day’s credible platforms for promoting gender equality and improving gender relations.

    International Men’s Day, as conceived by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh in 1999, has a completely different origin and ideological basis to both the early and later phases of International Women’s Day. Although the objectives of IMD occasionally intersect with those of IWD, such as advocating equality between the sexes, it is primarily concerned with celebrating positive male role models and other issues unique to men’s and boys experiences. This approach is deemed necessary in a social context which is often fascinated with images of males behaving badly, eg. media portrayals of males as stupid, emotionless, greedy, violent, dangerous, power-hungry, selfish, irresponsible and so on. Such negative male stereotypes are frequently promoted in an attempt to shame males into behaving more positively, ignoring the fact that the negative behaviours may not apply to the vast majority of men and boys, or that such negativity may detrimentally impact the self-image and self-esteem of boys, which in turn impacts their willingness to contribute to building better relationships and communities. In highlighting positive male role models IMD attempts to show that males of all ages respond much more energetically to positive role models than they do to negative stereotyping.

    In summary, International Women’s Day started as a day for women to promote socialist objectives, especially for proletarian women to fight against oppression by the powerful upper classes comprised of men and women both. In the 1970’s it became a new movement claiming that men alone oppressed women, and that IWD will be used as a vehicle to highlight, primarily, the results of an assumed gender war. Said differently the focus of IWD shifted from a class war, to a gender war.

    International Men’s Day is not based on the assumption of a gender war. IMD is primarily about celebrating positive male role models as an alternative to negative male stereotyping, the aim being to inspire a new generation of men and boys to develop self-worth and a desire to participate in the building of better relationships and societies.




    References

    [1] Temma Kaplan, On the Socialist Origins of International Women's Day, in: Feminist Studies, 11, 1985, S. 163-171.

    (PDF)

    [2] Liliane Kandel / Françoise Picq, Le Mythe des origines à propos de la journée internationale des femmes, in: La Revue d'en face, 12, 1982, S. 67-80.

    [3] Silke Neunsinger, Worlds Of Women; International Material in the Collections of ARAB,
    p23 -letter by Grupp 8, Stockholm, 1981

    [4] Lindsey German, Theories of Patriarchy in International Socialism second series no 12. 1981. (
    reprint)

    [5] 1900-2010: Increased interest in IWD correlates with the emergence of ‘patriarchy theory’.




    [6] Sandra Bloodworth, The Poverty of Patriarchy Theory Originally published in Socialist Review (Australian), Issue 2, Winter 1990, pp. 5-33. (DOC)


    .
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails International Woman's Day / international Men's Day-dual-image.jpg   International Woman's Day / international Men's Day-hammer_smash_patriarchy_iwd.jpg  
    Last edited by Passerby; 7th-October-2011 at 01:33 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    • celebrating one day as woman's day automatically means rest of the year belongs to men-Dr. Makarand fulzele I just read something with which I agree completely.I want to say something more.I want to state thatman woman difference is an illusion . its more dangerous and socially unhealthy. Woman's day should not be celebrated.




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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    Quote Quote from Jenefer Les View Post
    • celebrating one day as woman's day automatically means rest of the year belongs to men-Dr. Makarand fulzele I just read something with which I agree completely.I want to say something more.I want to state thatman woman difference is an illusion . its more dangerous and socially unhealthy. Woman's day should not be celebrated.
    I think it is entirely possible to celebrate one group on one day without any implication that those not of that group 'own' all other days. The modern existence of International Men's Day means that there would be as much reason - on that basis alone - to say that all days other than November 19 belong to women.

    Men and women are different and a thread you created on this site seems to support that view. So perhaps I'm just not understanding what you now mean when indicating that man-woman difference is an illusion.


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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    I hardly saw any evidence of IWD all day, just a couple of vox-pops on the TV news of women whining about the usual things. It seemed to me that most people, including most women, couldn't give a shit.
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    "People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed." – Friedrich Nietzsche
    Feminists, he means feminists.


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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    I was unhappily surprised to see people on my facebook friend's/family list talking about it... Talk about wanting to vomit.
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    Thumbs up Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    As a female, I say bring on International Steak and Blow-Job Day! Take that feminists! Why not honor that guy who most deserves it
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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    Black history month morphs into women month and watch for the misandric slander to fly just before Father’s day. Every year there is a predictable pattern all part of an ongoing political movement.
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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    In Russia we celebrate "Defenders of the Motherland day." It started after WWII as "Red Army Day" but then it sort of morphed into a day of men. Many go to visit the graves of veterans in their families. In workplaces women give small gifts to their male colleagues and a presentation is made usually outlining the achievements of the men of the country both historically and today. This year there was an emphasis on participants in the winter Olympics. Wives and girlfriends are also expected to show appreciation for their partners and even little girls give small gifts to their fathers and brothers. It is all a bit silly really but it makes a refreshing change from the constant stream of misandry we see in the west.
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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    Quote Quote from Lanavor22 View Post
    In Russia we celebrate "Defenders of the Motherland day." It started after WWII as "Red Army Day" but then it sort of morphed into a day of men. Many go to visit the graves of veterans in their families. In workplaces women give small gifts to their male colleagues and a presentation is made usually outlining the achievements of the men of the country both historically and today. This year there was an emphasis on participants in the winter Olympics. Wives and girlfriends are also expected to show appreciation for their partners and even little girls give small gifts to their fathers and brothers. It is all a bit silly really but it makes a refreshing change from the constant stream of misandry we see in the west.
    It's not silly Lana. Most men are little humble creatures that crave acceptance.
    Showing a little appreciation, now and then, keeps them serving and working for reasons that they are scarcely aware of.

    It also distracts them from thinking about the bigger picture.
    God Forbid that men will eventually come to realize how they are constantly 'used'. But that's not an immediate threat.
    Men have yet to join up the dots.......
    Whatever I say, write, think, do or even imagine.... some woman somewhere made me do it.
    It's her responsibility and not mine.

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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    Oh Yan you are such an incurable cynic))
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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    Quote Quote from BobV01 View Post
    Black history month morphs into women month and watch for the misandric slander to fly just before Father’s day. Every year there is a predictable pattern all part of an ongoing political movement.
    Recently someone posted a thing about the Equal Rights Amendment on LinkedIn, and it quickly turned into a discussion about ending white men's oppressions of black women. I got called an ignorant troll for posting the actual text of the ERA, and pointing out that there is no mention of color, and that "on account of sex" means men too...
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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    Quote Quote from Lanavor22 View Post
    In Russia we celebrate "Defenders of the Motherland day." It started after WWII as "Red Army Day" but then it sort of morphed into a day of men. Many go to visit the graves of veterans in their families. In workplaces women give small gifts to their male colleagues and a presentation is made usually outlining the achievements of the men of the country both historically and today. This year there was an emphasis on participants in the winter Olympics. Wives and girlfriends are also expected to show appreciation for their partners and even little girls give small gifts to their fathers and brothers. It is all a bit silly really but it makes a refreshing change from the constant stream of misandry we see in the west.
    Lana, I am frankly shocked that men are actually honored anywhere on planet Earth. Thanks for the good news!
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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    Quote Quote from michelle0001 View Post
    Lana, I am frankly shocked that men are actually honored anywhere on planet Earth. Thanks for the good news!
    Actually, Mich, I believe we would be shown more honor, if more men claimed​ that honor. Half (or a lot more) of the problem is men capitulating to gynocracy, far more than women as a total population demanding it. "Where have all the good men gone?" is a legitimate question for men to ask ourselves, frankly, and then go find them and/or help make them. Liam is the one who constantly points out that women are no match for us in terms of defining what being a man is, when a man bothers to take that upon himself instead of letting the feminism saturating our culture do it for him.
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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    Quote Quote from Rof L Mao Esq View Post
    Actually, Mich, I believe we would be shown more honor, if more men claimed​ that honor. Half (or a lot more) of the problem is men capitulating to gynocracy, far more than women as a total population demanding it. "Where have all the good men gone?" is a legitimate question for men to ask ourselves, frankly, and then go find them and/or help make them. Liam is the one who constantly points out that women are no match for us in terms of defining what being a man is, when a man bothers to take that upon himself instead of letting the feminism saturating our culture do it for him.
    Rof, I agree.

    I completely agree.

    You'll notice that I am the one person in my marriage who posts things about how fantastic and maligned men are. My husband just quietly goes about his work as a man, without complaint and without fanfare.

    It is a curiosity why men aren't taking up for themselves where their rights and their achievements are concerned.
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    A Feminist is a human being who has lost her way and turned vicious. If you meet one on the road as you Go your Own Way, offer kindness but keep your sword drawn. ~Percy~

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    Re: International Woman's Day / international Men's Day

    Quote Quote from michelle0001 View Post
    Rof, I agree.

    I completely agree.

    You'll notice that I am the one person in my marriage who posts things about how fantastic and maligned men are. My husband just quietly goes about his work as a man, without complaint and without fanfare.

    It is a curiosity why men aren't taking up for themselves where their rights and their achievements are concerned.
    I would just add "why more men aren't..."

    We few, we happy few...
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