It might be International Women’s Day soon, but men matter too

Stop putting all the focus on girls


Tuesday 8th March celebrates International Women’s Day and across the world institutions including Brookes celebrate the achievements of women.

To mark the day, the University’s Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment is hosting a special event designed to support the advancement of women. The (invite-only) event will be held on 8 March 11.30pm-1.00pm in the John Henry Brookes Building on the Headington Campus.

The Faculty will also be launching a new booklet at the event entitled Advancing Women in Technology, Design and Environment. It features inspiring role models and stories of women in the Faculty.

Examples include fourth year BSc Construction Project Management student Jessica Dowdy who was awarded the Design, Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award by TargetJobs last year; and Igea Toiani, Senior Lecturer in Architecture who has practiced in Australia, Germany and the UK and initiated the internationally award-winning journal Architecture and Culture.

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This is a brilliant example of trying to make people equal, but by only celebrating women are we actually doing that?

Take Marie Curie for instance, her work with radiation was crucial in developing x-rays but she didn’t do it alone. Her husband Pierre also worked with her. Marie Curie now has a charity named after her and is renowned as one of the greatest scientists in history, but what about Pierre Curie?

If we only celebrate women’s achievements and specifically take women and raise them up, we’re just going to destroy every young boy’s self esteem, every young male’s belief in himself who has never had the same chance because his sister’s achievements are considered to be better.

what about the boys?

what about the boys?

There’s the argument that men have always been put on a pedestal so we have to raise women up to the same pedestal, sure we could do that. But too much of raising women up and celebrating them has become about tearing men down. That doesn’t make us equal. That just changes who’s in control.

Take mental health issues, for years with issues such as anorexia and bulimia we have focused on how these problems affect young girls, but only now are we starting to talk about guys too. This hasn’t stopped us talking about how girls are affected either. And that’s how it should be, it might be hard to talk about, but it’s not something that only affects one gender. Instead of teaching children that we should be celebrating woman’s achievements, let’s teach children to celebrate everyone. It doesn’t have to be International Women’s Day, how about the International Day for Everyone’s Achievements?

Let’s teach the world that the only true difference between men and women is having a period.