Uni will NOT be celebrating International Men’s Day
Is anyone surprised?
The Uni have backtracked on their plans to mark an “International Men’s Day”.
The University of York had last week announced it intended to mark International Men’s Day on Thursday 19th November.
However an announcement has now been made that the day will not be marked after uproar from students.
The original statement about the day acknowledged that the “focus has rightly been on” women, but that “specific issues facing men” such as the under-representation of “men in the student body and certain faculty positions would be addressed on the day.
However an open letter with almost 200 signatures from students and staff at the university has stopped the plans in their tracks.
The open letter argued that the statements made “undermine” the Equality and Diversity Committee’s “self-proclaimed commitment to gender equality”.
The letter also challenges the notion of International Men’s Day as a whole, saying it “does not combat inequality, but merely amplifies existing, structurally imposed, inequalities”.
On Sunday, the chair of the Equality and Diversity Committee, David Duncan, responded to the Open Letter in an email which was also published on the university website.
In the email, he apologised for any offense that the original statement may have caused, and promised he would “reflect on the views expressed in the open letter” and “consider whether it would be helpful to revise the statement in order to make its purpose clearer, or perhaps withdraw it altogether”.
Jamie O’Neill, a PPE first year, said: “Why relegate a particular gender’s, whether male or female, triumphs and concerns to one day?
“In a movement to make genders equal to one another, this only serves to further socially segregate men and women and indoctrinate society into thinking of them differently.”
Micah McKay, another first year, argued in favour of International Men’s Day: “In order to achieve true gender equality we should work towards highlighting both the issues of women and men equally.
“Over two thirds of suicide victims in the UK are male and suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45. IMD provides us with an opportunity to address this issue.
“This doesn’t need to come at the expense of women’s issues and can, in fact, introduce people who wouldn’t normally be reached by feminism to issues surrounding gender inequality.”
Although the email itself did not commit to cancelling the marking of the day, a day later the university released a further statement announcing it will no longer be going ahead with its International Men’s Day plans.