International Men's Day happened yesterday. Yep, seriously.






So you may not have noticed that yesterday was the very official, International Men’s Day.

Yep, just like every other day right? ZING!

Jokes aside though, the day is actually meant to be an opportunity to discuss the very serious issue of men’s health. Meant to be.

But then somebody thought it would be a good idea to engage an advertising agency to promote the day, and they decided to make a mockery of male stereotypes instead of focusing on more important issues. You know, actual challenges facing men like the current rates of bowl cancer or the fact that men tend to struggle more with mental health.

A press release entitled “The Modern (Aussie) Male” claims to draw attention to the plight of men in Australian society, but the most important thing you need to know is that Not-All-Men-Are-Bastards! Um… Okay, thanks.

Pretty sure nobody ever said they were. It seems obvious to us that most men are delightful, but apparently the world needed a press release, a white paper and a roundtable to convince us otherwise. Perhaps most worryingly, the report was discussed at an event in Australian Parliament House, where politicians from both major parties attended.

This line from the press release kind of sums up the gist of the report:


“MAN has become a dirty word in our society. It’s time to understand whether the reality of Australian masculinity differs from the offensive stereotypes that have become the new norm for defining men.”

Yeah. For the record, there interviews with 140 men, aged 27 – 55 years, from a broad cross-section of Australian demographics, workforce and geography.

Here are the seven most ridiculous/absurd/we can’t decide if this is a joke parts from the paper:

1. This quote:

“Men have never lacked rights or privilege through history, but does this mean that 21st century men no longer have the right to opinions, support and mutual respect?”

Um… No. That does not mean that. And when has anyone ever said that, ever?

2. This picture:

3. Referring to feminism as the ‘feminist minefield’

4. This point:

“Men want to laugh more at home but don’t to avoid perpetuating the perceived female logic that male humour is immature or signifies that men don’t want to grow up. This makes time spent with other men even more essential.”

So… Women are humourless shrews? Ladies don’t get man jokes? Men need to hang with their masculine pals to thaw out after being in their icy-cold lady-dens? WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE YOU HAPPYYYYY?

5. All men can apparently be described as one of the following seven characters:


6. Under the heading “About Women” is this point:

“Women have the freedom of self-diary management for their personal time and pursuits.”

Um, what?

7. Last, but certainly not least:

“Men are disappointed that women lose their sense of humour as they get older.”

It hurts his feelings when you don’t laugh at his fart jokes, ladies. Thank god they’ve now submitted an important paper to the government about it.

Now, we don’t for one minute suggest that men aren’t suffering from serious mental health issues. Yes, they are over represented in suicide statistics and recent youth surveys found that teenage boys are developing eating disorders in increasing numbers which is a cause for concern.

But, that’s a bit different to suggesting that men need a new government policy to make sure they get their fair share or that the rise of feminism means that men don’t feel can be funny at home.

Surely we have reached the point where we can discuss these matters in a mature way. The sad fact is that approaching men’s health in this way ignores the important role these campaigns have in providing information to men about the best way to take care of themselves now and in the future.