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International Men's Day Cancelled at University After Complaints Surface


November 17, 2015
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
The University of York cancelled International Men's Day (IMD) on Thursday after outraged students, staff, and alumni protested comments made by a male faculty member and requested an apology for the manner in which it [the release] was framed. Dr. Aidan Lee of the University’s Equality and Diversity Committee stated that [although there's focus on] raising awareness about - and removing barriers for - women, there are some specific issues faced by men that must be addressed.

The University of York cancelled International Men's Day (IMD) on Thursday after outraged students, staff, and alumni protested comments made by a male faculty member and requested an apology for "the manner in which it [the release] was framed." Dr. Aidan Lee of the University’s Equality and Diversity Committee stated that "[although there's focus on] raising awareness about - and removing barriers for - women," there are "some specific issues faced by men" that must be addressed.

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Dr. Adrian Lee, of the University's Equality and Diversity Committee, claims that men are "significantly under-represented in a number of academic disciplines." In specific areas such as academic staff appointments or professional support series, "the support staff complement is often heavily weighted towards women, with some departments employing no men at all in these roles." The United States Department of Labor shows in 2014, 36% of women were employed in educational and health industries and only 10.9% of males were employed in the same field.

Despite statistics, students and staff were offended by Dr. Lee and wrote an open letter to the Chair of the Equality and Diversity Committee, expressing their discontent. 200 signatures from students, staff and alumni supported the letter, demanding "a 'full account' of how supporting/promoting men's issues 'in this way' was acceptable by the committee." The group called for an apology for "the use of dubious scholarship in the claim that women are advantaged in hiring processes." Dr. Duncan's apologetic email was posted on the university's webpage, and the IMD event was cancelled. According to the IMD website, International Men's Day is "optional" and "focuses on...improving gender relations and promoting gender equality," ironically the main issue highlighted by women's rights activists.

Students are currently campaigning to reinstate International Men's Day because "it is important that we recognize men's day just as much as women's day. True feminists should be fighting for gender equality for both men and women. To cancel men’s day is simply hypocritical. Equality is not just for women and should concern both genders." What should the university do? Whose side are you on? Share your thoughts and start a discussion below.

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K C  on  11/25/2015 10:39:56 AM commented:

"36% of women were employed in educational and health industries and only 10.9% of males were employed in the same field." So who's taking the other 53.1% of jobs? What's the point of using 'statistics' to back up your claims when you have to skew them to get the answer you want?

mikeisha m  on  11/24/2015 2:22:34 PM commented:

Being treated Equally is important to the young women and men and so that children can see it. Kids do as they see

Sherise H  on  11/23/2015 12:21:12 PM commented:

I'm am happy this sight was made it helps alot

Annie S  on  11/20/2015 7:33:43 AM commented:

i feel like men can have International Men's Day as long as women get a day specifically for them.

Ed C  on  11/19/2015 9:44:19 PM commented:

Keep them coming, These are hysterical. And be sure to include such advocacy (either side) on your resume.

Derris L.  on  11/19/2015 5:34:32 AM commented:

This situation is analogous to an ordinary mathematical equation in that there is no worth or value applied to one side that is not applied to the other. Otherwise, it wouldn't be an equation because it lacks equality. 2+3=5. No matter where the numbers are located on their side of the equation, (men and women in a field of work) both sides (genders) equal 5 according to addition. So I agree with the fact that no matter what position either gender obtains, if you recognize one, you must recognize the other simply because we are equal in regards of opportunity in the workplace.

Cheyenne B  on  11/18/2015 11:01:59 PM commented:

I agree with Dr. Lee, but also he was only looking at education and medicine. What about the so called "female" jobs such as; chefs, clothing designers, and doctors. Yes, celebrating equality is important but you can't just look at one item. You have to look at it as a whole

Mitchell McGuire  on  11/18/2015 9:14:56 PM commented:

Feminists like the ones represented above are giving a double standard. One thing this article failed to mention was that 80% of suicides are men, and the leading cause of death in men under 35 ...... Here is a list of stats from the CDC.. -Suicide among males is 4x’s higher than among females. - Male deaths represent 79% of all US suicides. (CDC) -Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males (51%). (CDC) -Females are more likely than males to have had suicidal thoughts. (CDC) -Females experience depression at roughly 2x’s the rate of men.(SMH) -Females attempt suicide 3x’s as often as males. (CDC) -Poisoning is the most common method of suicide for females. (CDC) ...so obviously both genders has its problems, but men actually die(attempt less) 4 times more than women from suicide. This was one of the focuses of the International men's day. How can one "fight gender equality", while at the same time repressing the other?

DollyB.  on  11/18/2015 4:50:18 PM commented:

its man day everyday, This is like saying lets have white history month.

Zcasavant  on  11/18/2015 4:38:20 PM commented:

Who's running the campaign to reinstate it? If someone makes everybody aware over social media, we can all help. This should go viral.

Not Sowise  on  11/18/2015 12:02:27 PM commented:

I have a great idea: Since we are offended by what other people independently rationally do, let's all use groupthink as a society to come up with the lowest common denominator. I've got it! NO special days for ANYONE! Then everyone will be able to indulge in their own false humility and aggrandized self-worth. Don't like my idea? Well, I'm offended, and you should be punished...

Liz S  on  11/18/2015 10:50:22 AM commented:

Men's Day would be OK if it actually sought to break down the societal barrier that men can't do "soft" things. If it's more about "celebrating the importance of men", which is really as bad as "celebrating the importance of white people", then it's not OK because men (like white people) are already seen as important. If we're looking at the more broad issue of "meninism", then my opinion is that it is unneccessary because feminism is already about making all genders equal. It's like if there were (and maybe there is) a White Lives Matter campaign in response to the Black Lives Matter campaign. They were also arguing that women are advantaged in the workplace and in being hired which is entirely false. How many female CEO's are there? Not a lot. What does a stereotypical intern or assistant look like? Female. Men get hired and promoted in most fields much easier than women do, because of, you know, sexism. Anyone who wants female supremacy isn't a feminist, though, and issues like the lack of men in fields like healthcare and teaching and the lack of stay-at-home dads do need to be fixed. Real feminists want them fixed. There are male feminists, also. It's simply called feminism because females are the ones who are oppressed.

Zack M  on  11/18/2015 8:52:57 AM commented:

Yesterday, a male student from York University committed suicide. Good job all 200+ faculty and students!

Claire M  on  11/18/2015 7:42:40 AM commented:

If Men's day got canceled, so should Women's day. Feminism is about creating gender equality, not about raising females about men in any manner.

Olivia Santavena Gonçalves Rangdi  on  11/18/2015 6:30:12 AM commented:

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Zach W  on  11/18/2015 5:09:45 AM commented:

The idea of an International Men's Day is to celebrate the importance of men. The same goes for women. If we were to take one away, the other would lose its significance. It is very unequal and hypocritical to only support one gender, whichever it may be. When Dr. Martin Luther King led large protests and gave speeches, he did not just focus on Black's rights, but rights as Americans and rights as humans; equally.

Ryan G  on  11/17/2015 11:44:46 PM commented:

The real issue with the rights movement is that activists can't get over the fact that their purposes in this country are obsolete. Women are not stuck in the kitchen as they would have us believe. We have a minority president. Equality is the norm in civilized nations around the world. The issue now is that they are stuck in the perceptions of a generation ago and anybody who challenges that are attacked. If they were truly interested in equal rights, they would not take on a gender-specific title. Women recognize this and are beginning to renounce feminism the same way that rational men are renouncing sexist attitudes and actions.

Kirill Neko  on  11/17/2015 10:54:20 PM commented:

"Equality"? More like supremacy. Men's Day should be mandatory, like it is in Japan, or Russia.

Dawson F  on  11/17/2015 8:47:15 PM commented:

I think that it ok to celebrate every once and a while for random things and people shouldnt think that its national discriminate women day, its not.

Gary D  on  11/17/2015 8:16:46 PM commented:

People become offended entirely to easy anymore.

Andy M.  on  11/17/2015 8:08:28 PM commented:

This is another example of how femenism has become deleterious to all of our people. They impose their way if thinking on the public and are consistantly helped by many entities. Whats the point of having free thinking when censorship occurs whenever someone doesn't agree with them. Lets get these femenist nazis out of our society.

Jessica C.  on  11/17/2015 7:24:22 PM commented:

To say that "everyday is Men's day" is absolutely absurd. In today's western world men are more oppressed than women. Men are less likely to hired for jobs simply because of their gender. Women are hired more because of quota spots that need to be filled- this is just the truth. Coming from a female, women are not oppressed in America. They do not face the struggles as other women in the Middle East do so therefore they don't know oppression. Personally, I think there should be a men's day because in 2015 every other day is women's day.

ZCasavant  on  11/17/2015 6:39:31 PM commented:

One nice thing about this article though is that there ARE men employed as part of diversity and equality committees. In the 4 schools I have worked so far, they've always been female, as have Title 9 Coordinators. So I am glad to see that we're at least getting a little gender diversity going on in positions like this. It's about time!! Equality is a slow process...

Carla K.  on  11/17/2015 6:30:53 PM commented:

Should not have been cancelled.

ZCasavant  on  11/17/2015 6:28:54 PM commented:

There's nothing to discuss. The first paragraph in this article makes it clear; men ARE underrepresented in MANY fields, and this apparently is not important to feminists. But we knew this; feminists are not looking after men. They are interested in womens' issues, quite by definition. OBVIOUSLY there needs to be a Men's Day and I am glad to see it exists at some places. YES, it needs to be reinstated. It is not even a question. If gender equality is an ACTUAL goal for people, and not just something to be said to feel better about current affairs, then there's not even a question. The university should be embarrassed that it allowed 200 signatures to even cancel such an important event. I suppose that 200 signatures from Mens' Rights Supported would not be sufficient to end a Woman's Day though huh? In the end, I worry that feminists are just like everyone else: worried only abut themselves, and to Hell with actual equality. It's very sad. And the sexism continues........

Alexis M  on  11/17/2015 6:17:53 PM commented:

As a woman I feel as though this article is completely ridiculous. Cancelling men's day was an unfair move. Feminist's just can't fight for women's rights, that not the meaning of the name. When someone is a feminist, they are supposed to be fighting for equal rights for EVERYONE not just women. Men have it hard just like women and they should be recognized for what they do too. International Men's day should be continued. If women have a day, then so can't men!

Adam u  on  11/17/2015 5:58:21 PM commented:

There should definitely be a men's day. There are some things that men suffer everyday. For example, the influence fathers have over children during their younger years, yet it practically takes an act of congress for fathers to gain custody of their children.

Kaylor Reiter  on  11/17/2015 5:51:33 PM commented:

Men's day should be cancelled.

Meenakshi A  on  11/17/2015 5:36:59 PM commented:

Men have the equal importance as women do. They work hard and never give up just like women. They both can be successful. Women get recognized more then men because women weren't equal from the beginning. Men should be appreciated and awarded for their hard work just like women are. Some men are behind some women's success. They have working hard since the beginning and have been leading the world more then women. If there is a Women's day there should be a Men's day.

John P.  on  11/17/2015 5:24:32 PM commented:

Keep it up, liberal universities and easily offended (baby) students. Keep biting the hand that feeds you (white men). See how long that lasts until we've had enough of your BS.

KBrinkley  on  11/17/2015 5:20:14 PM commented:

Men should have their day too! It would be wrong to say that women can have their day, but men can't!

Jonny B  on  11/17/2015 4:48:47 PM commented:

Men's Day should have been cancelled, and it should not exist. The purpose of Women's Day is to highlight the importance and need for fairness. I do not think Men's Day does that. If anything, there is one Women's Day a year and all the other 364 days are Men's Days.

Jon D  on  11/17/2015 4:22:03 PM commented:

This a perfect example of how discrimination is a one way street.

Clare H.  on  11/17/2015 4:13:24 PM commented:

True feminism is fighting for justice and equality among all genders. If one is belittling the issues of another gender, the person has no right to be called a feminist. In order to achieve the goal of gender equality, ALL genders must know that their issues and emotions are completely valid. It is unfortunate that this men's day was cancelled. However, it cannot be denied that there have often been complaints and negative comments about women's days. The topic of feminism is so commonly misinterpreted, and I feel that it causes a magnitude of unwarranted upset.

Taye F  on  11/17/2015 4:04:06 PM commented:

I am a woman and this is just stupid! And I agree absolutely with the article, supporting women's rights yet not men's is absolutely hypocritical. I don't understand why in the world women are becoming hypocritical!?!?! Men's day shouldn't be cancelled and rights should not be taken away. It is beyond stupid to cancel Men's day and for feminist to be so hypocritical. I am a feminist but I don't support the actions that are stated in the above. I apologize for the actions that were taken and I really wish that everyone could just get together.

Alex K.  on  11/17/2015 4:00:27 PM commented:

I think that this may have been taken too far, but I can see where they're coming from being somewhat displeased with what he said. Just because there aren't a lot of men there, doesn't mean that men are subjugated in that field, or that they struggle to find jobs in those areas. The truth is men in female dominated fields actually tend to do better, get paid more, be moved to higher positions, or just generally be treated better. He's complaining about a problem that doesn't come from men being forced out, but from men not even trying to get in. If he wants to see more men there, then he should encourage men who are interested in those fields to go into them. But even if he did want to be upset about lack of men in certain fields, he can do that without trying to take away from women's movements. You can support women's issues without stomping on men, and you can support men's issues without stomping on women. On another note, does anyone else notice that these blogs tend to be a little biased in how they're written?

Brian H  on  11/17/2015 2:14:35 PM commented:

This is exactly the sort of stuff that feminists do and is especially endemic on university campuses. They belittle men's issues and push a narrative that men have all the advantages, and women have none. They shut down the conversation whenever something that goes against the narrative comes up and prevent free speech through name calling, threats, and complaints. The university has every right to host this event to remind people that men face many problems in today's society and it is unfair to men everywhere that this right has been infringed and that there is an "International Women's Day" with no "International Men's Day" to complement it.

Zack M.  on  11/17/2015 2:06:41 PM commented:

I think it's stupid to cancel a Men's day for awareness just because you feel women are more "oppressed". Stats don't lie, men are drastically more likely to commit suicide and we need to bring attention to these issues. That is what true equality is, and we should promote free speech and allow college students to hear opposing arguments to what they believe. It is the only way you can grow as a person. That is what college is supposed to be, a place where you can listen to all sides of any argument and then decide for yourself after you listen to what is said.

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