Should the university be celebrating International Men’s Day?

We asked students what they thought

Today is International Men’s Day, a day dedicated to highlighting the serious issues that men face on a daily basis. It’s purpose is also to raise awareness for male health concerns and to celebrate men’s contribution to society by putting the spotlight on male role models. This year’s event puts particular emphasis on male suicide rates, which are rapidly increasing.

The University of York came under scrutiny last year for cancelling an International Men’s Day event because they claim that a day celebrating men and putting male issues at the forefront “does not combat inequality” and instead actually amplifies inequality by having the event.

Kieran, Bioarchaeology

“I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be celebrating a day which raises awareness for so many really important issues. If we spent as much time actually celebrating it each year, as we did debating whether or not to call it off, who knows what we’d be able to achieve.”

Hannah, Psychology

“The university should celebrate International Men’s Day if they celebrate International Women’s Day, but I don’t think many people really know their purpose. If there is a key problem that people should be made aware of, such as men’s mental health, then it should be highlighted!”

Emily, Linguistics

“Holding this event for mental health is important because it highlights a key issue: men suffer too. Mental health does not discriminate between genders, cultures or ages groups. If this event acknowledges a group of people that are often overlooked, then this event should be taking place.”

Matt, Chemistry

“I don’t think that the day should have been cancelled. Men’s suicide rates are higher than women’s and cancelling days meant to highlight these facts means means that men’s mental health issues are continuing to be overlooked.”

Hatti, Linguistics

“I’m all for celebrating International Men’s Day, but if you’re going to have an International Men’s Day then you need to have an International Women’s Day too. Do you want me to organise it?”

Matt, Maths

“I don’t really understand why the International Men’s Day event was cancelled and then replaced by women’s issues. It seems to me that in the effort to bring equality to women, the university has instead put men below them.”

Alex, English Language and Linguistics

“The ideas of both International Men’s Day and International Women’s Day are stupid. These issues are so important and making issues such as suicide only apply to gender just trivialises their importance in order to further such misogynistic values.”

Owain, Economics

“It’s a poor name choice because the name suggests a celebration of masculinity when it should, in fact, be more explicitly related to the issues of which they’re trying to address.”

Elliot, Philosophy and Maths

“The uni should definitely be supporting it since there are so many issues that men face which don’t get enough publicity. But it’s important that they handle it correctly and that it doesn’t promote outdated ideas of what masculinity is.”


Alyce, English Language & Linguistics

“I don’t think a large-scale event called ‘International Men’s Day’ is going to combat all of the smaller issues entailed; there should be specific events which pinpoint mental health, a father’s rights and equality, held in their own right – not as one big umbrella event. These issues are all independent of each other and can’t be solved as one. If the university isn’t partaking in International Men’s Day then what will they be doing to do their part?”

Lucy, Economics

“In principal, a day highlighting the health and mentality of men should be celebrated, but the politics surrounding the day have become murky in the last few years and so the focus is distorted and it takes away from the issues that actually need focusing on.”

Jaff, Electronic Engineering with Avionics

“By having an International Men’s Day it is creating more inequality than solving it.”

International Men’s Day is today, November 19th, and male suicide rates are rapidly increasing, which we shouldn’t ignore. Men and women of all ages, cultures and backgrounds can face mental health issues, which means raising awareness has never been so important. The university might not be hosting an event, but this doesn’t mean that each individual can’t do something to help to raise awareness and put a stop to these ever-growing societal issues.