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International Men’s Day

Filed under: Events,General — Julie @ 9:49 am Tue 7th April 2009

International Men’s Day was conceived and coordinated by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh, history lecturer from the University of West Indies and the first event was held at the Families in Action Headquarters in Newtown, Port of Spain on 19th November, 1999. In following years the event was jointly coordinated by Dr. Teelucksingh and Harrack Balramsingh, Chairman of Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT).

Dr. Teelucksingh chose the date partly to coincide with his father’s birthday, whom he felt was an excellent male role model, and also because it was the day in which the football team in his country created a level of unity which crossed gender, religious and ethnic divisions. He added, “I realised there was no day for men… some have said that there is Father’s Day, but what about young boys, teenagers and men who are not fathers?”

Early objectives of IMD proposed by Dr. Teelucksingh were

1. Improving gender relations between men and women,
2. Addressing problems and challenges of men,
3. Promoting gender equality,
4. Highlighting positive role models, and
5. Creating a safer, better world.

Of these he emphasised the importance of positive male role models, “not just movie stars and sports men but everyday, working class men who are living decent, honest lives”. He also suggested there had developed an unfair practice of ‘stereotyping’ and ‘unfairly branding’ males as perpetrators of violence in homes and in society, and said that this was one of the issues he hoped to start addressing.

The idea of celebrating an International Men’s Day received written support from U.N. officials in UNESCO and the event has continued to be celebrated annually in Trinidad and Tobago and other countries since it’s beginning.

We too in New Zealand need a day to recognise the gender imbalance and to propose implementation of moves towards a more equal society. Most nationally recognised domestic violence organisations view the issue of domestic violence from a feminist ideological [people who place women’s rights before victim’s rights] perspective. These organisations argue that contemporary men’s rights groups are guilty of singling out and then presenting data that supports their belief that men and women are equally guilty of domestic violence. It is time for New Zealand to follow the same path with the rest of world in recognising our laws are for equality and not for feminist domination.

But that’s just one area in need of focus for single men, fathers, married men who are not fathers, boys and teenagers. All 5 objectives proposed by Dr. Teelucksingh make this day a worthwhile event.

This event and the date has also been recognised and will be celebrated within other countries around the world such as Jamaica, Australia, India, United States, Pakistan, Haiti, Singapore, Malta, South Africa, China, and the United Kingdom.

This post will receive updates as each local area and groups of NZ give their commitment. This day is a National Day for NZ so let’s make this first one something to remember.


  1. Go Julie !!!!

    Thanks for leading the way with this. It might just be the first global men’s initiative to ever achieve a yearly celebration in each country. The press will be all over it and, naturally that gives us a massive platform on which to highlight our most pressing issues and our most worthy contributions to society. I’m with you all the way.

    Lets spread the word and tell others in NZ about this, see who can contribute. How about we start with some ideas like how we can mark the event ie. what activities?



    Comment by Bill — Thu 9th April 2009 @ 10:58 pm

  2. Superb set of 6 videos here from well renowned MRA speaker Warren Farrel.
    This man taught me a lot and offered huge insights on the condition of men internationally.
    Well worth a look and downloading.
    If you’d like advice on how to easily download and be able to play these flash videos at a later date for study / seminars / groupwork etc just sing out.

    Comment by Skeptik — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 12:42 am

  3. Maybe they could be played at an IMD event? Can’t think of a more appropriate speaker than Dr. Farrell.

    Anyone care to host a video day for IMD?


    Comment by Bill — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 1:13 am

  4. Bill, I was thinking “The sky is the limit on this” and wondered whether the UN wanted to be a part, Human Rights and other groups at the top and including politicians as well as commissions. .

    I figured through other correspondence, that everyone is wanting something to happen and if we dot the ‘i’s’ and crossed the ‘t’s’ well from the beginning, councils would pick it up.

    I then thought we could start correspondence at the top levels of the scouts and the education department working from politicians down.

    Plus I also thought the larger the group of groups (all men’s groups) supporting the event would give it further credibility and push.

    I have spoken with a couple of Universities and there is a board of students that sort out this sort of thing. The more heads on this the better, I figured. Plus the more hands the less work.

    Then I suppose we need to find speakers for areas and keep a database of who is who around the country.

    There are 2 MRA’s I am aware of who are involved in a Wellington men’s night.

    Maybe, (just a thought) we could think of a project in our areas or take charge of something for the whole country using our gifts (also known as talents).

    The bigger we aim and the better hard working the people we contact, the greater chance we have to get this off the ground well.

    So what do you think abut this and what do you think you would like to do? There are no leaders as such in this .. just men and women and we are at the beginning.

    BTW, these are thoughts. I am no professional in making all this work. lol

    Comment by julie — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 8:00 am

  5. Great ideas Julie. I will work towards publicizing and presenting a lecture or two locally. Perhaps one or more educational institutions here will support this.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 10:01 am

  6. @4
    “women leaders could come and listen to men’s advocates”

    I wonder how many women leaders could do that? Who do you have in mind Julie?
    and how can you be certain they’ll effectively listen, rather than filter?

    “I have the right minds and leaders for this”……..really?
    Care to expand on that and back up that hefty claim?

    Comment by Skeptik — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 11:45 am

  7. Fantastico Hans.

    Comment by julie — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 12:27 pm

  8. I deleted the part about a meeting in Auckland from my comment as it may not be appropriate for the day.

    Comment by julie — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 4:25 pm

  9. There’s some big plans! Approaching the UN for recognition and help usually requires a frew years of highly organized lobbying to get thier attention. They are also very pro-feminism in the current era. But its a noble idea and still worth doing, will just take a long committment and a lot of hard work. In the shorter term local government can be apprached and asked to submit a motion to fund IMD functions (such as a men’s breakfast) on a small budget of say $1000 of council money. Most local governments have recently spent money funding International Women’s Day functions at taxpayer’s expense, so there is a powerful equality argument which will persuade local politicians to put a motion to fund men’s day. All that would require is a letter or email to any local representative/s.

    Obviously you’ve got a bigger centralized function in mind and you sound like you’ve got the will to organize it. So paint the function and events for us as it crystallizes and we can each (or me at least) do some footwork or phone calls or whatever is required.

    Perhaps we should talk first about a venue?


    Comment by Bill — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 4:30 pm

  10. @4
    “Most local governments have recently spent money funding International Women’s Day functions at taxpayer’s expense, so there is a powerful equality argument which will persuade local politicians to put a motion to fund men’s day”

    As soon as I read that statement I thought “since when does the fact that International Women’s day functions got funded by local councils mean that they’ll do likewise for an International Men’s Day?”

    I’m open to being proved wrong about this but seriously doubt that the many feminists and thier sympathisers embedded within local councils will roll over and play for anything like International Men’s Day.
    Indeed I’l bet a dollar to a penny that there are feminists right now beavering away at how to turn what shoild soley be a celebration of menfolk and an awareness raising of the need for more Men’s Rights to establish parity with women’s rights into a demonising spin which further denigrates and marginalises men’s issues.

    What’s the bet they drag out the outrageous feminist shibolith of 1 in 4 women have been ……radaradradra….?
    What’s the bet they find a few ignorant mugs to spout the nonesense that men don’t need an international day or that men are guilty of me-too-ism by copying women’s initiative?

    One thing I’ve come to realize and urge you to hold onto is this –

    feminists and feminism is an industry, and they will fight hard and dirty to contain market share.

    Having said all that I’ll add – Good on you for having the drive to pump this Men’s International Day along.
    But please bear in mind my concerns and doubts as stated above.
    I’ve been around the blocks long enough to see how these sorts of good initiatives can get hi-jacked by fems and fear you may end up seeing such eventuate again and getting disappointed.

    One more thing – a thank-you for the link to a superb set of 6 videos by Warren Farrel would have been civil and welcome.

    Comment by Skeptik — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 7:52 pm

  11. Skeptic. Yeah, I understand your scepticism. Nevertheless I don’t think its a closed door. AI read of a local council in Maitland Australia, for instance, who recently put this very motion to council for vote, and it did pass. See here The comments below the article are interesting.

    Local council members are obliged to put these things to a vote by reason of non-discrimination laws. If they refuse they can be prosecuted. At least in principal.

    If the boys across the Tasman can do it, there is no reason why we cant.


    Comment by Bill — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 8:33 pm

  12. One more thing – a thank-you for the link to a superb set of 6 videos by Warren Farrel would have been civil and welcome.

    Thank-you very much. I do appreciate what you contribute even though I hold back saying so. (sometimes)

    Comment by julie — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 8:34 pm

  13. Heres another about the maitland vote

    Apparently they did a whole radio program on it here (scroll down the page)


    Comment by Bill — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 8:42 pm

  14. Thanks for the links Bill.

    Comment by julie — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 9:08 pm

  15. Yes, thanks for the links Bill.
    How awefully familiar it is to see the two Oz women on the council voted AGAINST supporting International Men’s Day.

    We haven’t come along way baby.

    I notice you’ve failed thus far to respond and back up your assertions that at some event in NZ –
    “women leaders could come and listen to men’s advocates”
    “I have the right minds and leaders for this”

    Good luck with that.

    Comment by Skeptik — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 9:47 pm

  16. Skeptic,

    Thats right two women against and I think it was twelve men for it. Fortunately most politicians are men, so if the vote ends up being split along gender lines then the Men’s day will get funded if motions are put for it.

    Women are sometimes our best supporters, but unfortunately the real feminazis are attracted to positions of power where they can push gender idiology.

    The short of it all is theres good reason to write to local councils requesting an IMD motion. Nothing to lose and lots to gain by a short email or phone request.


    Comment by Bill — Fri 10th April 2009 @ 10:15 pm

  17. Just noticed this online. Good picture!


    Comment by Bill — Sat 11th April 2009 @ 8:51 pm

  18. Fantastic trio of pictures showing a firefighter, a ‘manny’ and a budhist monk.

    Comment by Skeptik — Sun 12th April 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  19. Whoops!

    Comment by Skeptik — Sun 12th April 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  20. Bill, I thought the pictures were also a good choice.

    I have come to the conclusion you can’t come into this day as masculinist, anti feminist or feminist. You have to come in this from a humanitarian place. And I think that is what the good DR. was on about.

    Comment by julie — Mon 13th April 2009 @ 11:15 am

  21. Julie,

    I agree. Making it a hate day wouldn’t work. There is a group on the antimisandry website advocating a ‘men’s strike day’ as a way to get angry on an annual day. Not something I’m interested in, though I can understand there are lots of very valid reasons to be angry. That said, it would still be easy to highlight special themes on a humanitarian focussed day, such as men’s inequality before the legal system, inequality in men’s health funding, the need to recognize men’s beneficial role in families, the plight of young men, suicide, and similar humanitarian issues.


    Comment by Bill — Mon 13th April 2009 @ 3:04 pm

  22. Actually it strikes me as a perfect and consice theme word- humanitarian. Men as humans.

    Well done!

    It is easily sold.

    Comment by Bill — Mon 13th April 2009 @ 3:11 pm

  23. For me, it has to be this way.

    But good on guys wanting to strike, too. There is big movement there they can latch on to.

    PS. I know you understand men’s reasons for getting angry.

    Comment by julie — Mon 13th April 2009 @ 3:45 pm

  24. I prefer to see it being sold squarely and fairly using the word men.
    I think humanitarian approach to men instead of feminist misandry
    is needed, but to label it a humanitarian event leaves it wide
    open to being used as a springboard for every other group in society
    to hop onboard and even subsume it beneath their vocalism.
    Indeed as misguided as they often are feminists will claim that they
    have their own humanitarian issues, then there’s unionists,
    socialist, gay rights activists,environmentalist etc, and on and on
    until what started out as something in support of men gets hijacked.
    No, keep it simple, focussed and push!!!!
    I also have NO PROBLEM with some being angry.
    In fact I’d be concerned if men weren’t getting angry at often being
    individually and collectively treated as shit.
    There is room in my house for all valid emotions.
    Indeed to exclude some men (and women supporters) because they’re rightfully angry at males being subjected to horrific injustice is to weaken the voice rising up in defiance of that injustice.
    Better to harness that anger in activism for long overdue change.
    Controlled and well targetted anger is a thing of beauty and power –
    think of Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Jesus smashing false icons in
    the temple of fools.
    You get the picture?

    Comment by Skeptik — Mon 13th April 2009 @ 11:35 pm

  25. Yep thats the stuff, harnessed anger. Re the concern about others coopting IMD for thier own purposes is valid. I’ve already read commentary by some feminists who want to turn IMD into a day to promote ‘women freindly’ men, as if all men are violent and we need to make IMD into a day where we highlight men who champion feminism.

    So it does need to remain strictly a day about men. The humanitarian theme is excellent -men as humans- as long as it remains strictly about men. Ie. hu-man-itarian.


    Comment by Bill — Tue 14th April 2009 @ 9:24 am

  26. Just read the following definition of humanitarian:

    “Humanitarianism is an active belief in the value of human life”.

    As Skeptic usefully points out we need to be cautious about losing the man-centeredness of this particulat humanitarian event. It needs to be a humanitarian effort specifically toward men, not humanitarianism for all. How to do that?

    If we use the word humanitarian we should break it up with hyphens to draw attention to man- hu-man-itarian, or we need to use the word in a longer phrase like; a humanitarian response to men’s experiences/lives.

    If we don’t qualify the specificity then as skeptic suggests we will end up with IMD showcasing humanitarian men, ie. promoting men who give to the poor, help stop violence against women, feed the starving, champion gay rights, and promote the mother-child bond.

    Comment by Bill — Tue 14th April 2009 @ 9:37 am

  27. Found this word- Philandry: ‘Love of men in general. The opposite to misandry. Philandry is not the same as philanthrophy. Philanthrophy has the connotation of giving away money or otherwise being charitable. Philandry is not defined in the in the same way as philanthrophy. The male often stands in for people general, but in this case firstly there is a need for a word for the love of men as opposed to people.’

    I Suppose it would be too difficult to employ this word, but it’s got the right flavour.


    Comment by Bill — Tue 14th April 2009 @ 9:58 am

  28. The problem Bill is that Philander is a derogatory term used against men. It is a term for those who have busy sexual lives but never commit or who lead women on. The term philanderer is not one that would be useful to Men.
    Don Juan and Cassanova managed to keep up the philandry but I doubt that is the public image we seek.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Tue 14th April 2009 @ 12:54 pm

  29. Philandry and Philander although coming from the same root are completely different.
    As Allan put two and two together in error, the general public without doctorates for the English language also will.

    A better choice of wording would be suggested.

    Comment by Paul Catton — Tue 14th April 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  30. Skeptic has it right. IMO

    We have lots of humanist movements like feminists, environmentalists, unionists, animal rights activists and much more all under the umbrella of building a better world for the whole world.

    Men have not had a movement of their own. And they need it.

    It is all right for women to consider men wanting to care for women because men do care for women. That is part of being a humanitarian. They care about violence of men on men, they care about children and they care about their environment and they care about animals too.

    Seriously, It wouldn’t hurt for feminists to learn a bit more about their movement in the big picture rather than thinking it is all about women’s experiences.

    We are all fighting super powers. We all want equality in a common sense term. We can’t make a lion and a woman and a man and a mouse totally equal but we can all respect each other and make our world a great place for us and generations to come.

    Comment by julie — Tue 14th April 2009 @ 4:44 pm

  31. Anyhow, Bill meet Allan and Paul. These are 2 of the main leaders in the NZ men’s movement.

    Comment by julie — Tue 14th April 2009 @ 6:08 pm

  32. Philandry and Philander although coming from the same root are completely different.
    As Allan put two and two together in error, the general public without doctorates for the English language also will. A better choice of wording would be suggested.

    Hi Alan and Paul. Yep point taken. I suspected it would be confused with philandering though thought the definition in the technical sense carries the meaning of IMD. Anyways, if someone can come up with a better or different wording please have a try. I suppose International Men’s Day is adequate in itself, but any descriptive words or phrases which capture the spirit of the occasion may be useful.

    Any suggestions on a good NZ venue for observing IMD?


    Comment by Bill — Tue 14th April 2009 @ 7:34 pm

  33. Here are my suggestions for venues for observing International Men’s Day in NZ.
    In no special order –
    * On the steps of parliament
    * Outside the offices of major media outlets e.g. TVNZ
    * Outside family courts
    * Outside Ministry of Education Offices
    * Outside WINZ and CYFS offices
    * Anywhere else where power brokers need to get the message that they’re ignoring Men’s Rights.

    Peaceful picnic lunches/barbeques with a bit of street theatre can be used to get the message accross in a good natured yet provocative way.

    Comment by Skeptik — Wed 15th April 2009 @ 8:46 am

  34. Skeptic. All good ideas and will get the attention of those who are ignoring us.

    I have a somewhat different angle on IMD- that it can be a day for men to focus on themselves rather than trying to get the attention of others. If men get together in sufficient numbers to celebrate thier lives and acheivements, then the media will probably start sniffing around, asking what it is we are celebrating and wanting.

    The barbeque idea is a popular one, and it can be organized blindfolded. I’m interested also in what Julie is dreaming up, a bigger event of some kind.

    Perhaps all of the above?


    Comment by Bill — Wed 15th April 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  35. I am chair of the Men’s Committee of the QPSU (Queensland Public Sector Union) and as a union we will be holding a full day conference on 19th Nove to celebrate and recognise IMD. Our theme is “Proud To Be Male” and on other postings I have asked for other groups celebrating the day use the same theme. Red roses will also be included in our colour theme. I think we are the first industrial union to have a Men’s Committee as a standing committee. 2009 will certainly be a wtershed year in celebrating IMD as more organisations come on board. The Queensland Department of Education and Training will also be celebrating the day. MRA (Brisbane) is playing an important role as well.

    Lets get on board and take the initiative.


    Comment by Mark McCosker — Wed 6th May 2009 @ 5:12 pm

  36. Mark,

    I’m writing a book about IMD and would like to get in touch with you. Your efforts are a first worldwide in terms of union endersement. Id like to find out what else you are doing for IMD and record your efforts. Please contact me here: [email protected]

    If someone knows Mark’s phone number or email address please pass it on to me at the address above, or send him my email.



    Comment by Jason — Sat 9th May 2009 @ 7:09 pm

  37. Mark McCosker of Queensland has suggested the theme ‘PROUD TO BE MALE’ which has now been adopted by many of the participating countries for the 2009 event.

    All things male can be celebrated with pride. Warwick Marsh of the Fatherhood Foundation has suggested that one of those ‘male’ things can be to open doors for others- car doors, house doors, and doors in public places. Just to show what a caring bunch of gents we are!

    Comment by Jason — Thu 11th June 2009 @ 12:26 am

  38. Julie says and others have caught it **I have come to the conclusion you can’t come into this day as masculinist, anti feminist or feminist. You have to come in this from a humanitarian place.**

    I have come to a very different conclusion.

    The way forward is to undermine **masculinist, anti feminist or feminist**.

    That will only be acheived by Enshining simple unarguable Preferencial **Equal Shared Parenting** deep within World-Wide FAMILY Law and Social Policy.

    Then we must monitor and drive **masculinist, anti feminist or feminist** from any influence over society.

    International MENS day will mearly provoke the oposition

    The way forward is to return to the BALANCE that STATE and Society supported **Equal Parenting** will bring.

    Onward – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Thu 11th June 2009 @ 10:34 am

  39. proud to be male? I thought we were pround to be men.

    Comment by timpo — Thu 11th June 2009 @ 2:16 pm

  40. In celebrating IMD, we need to look outside the square and when you read the original and ongoing thoughts, some of us are dads, some uncles, some sons and the list goes on. We as males are part of a family institution and that is the message that we are trying to get out there. From my perspective, I haven’t suggested anything that is singular in male. We want to celebrate how and where we fit into society and where we bring strength to society and where we fit into the holistic role of family. Our aim is bring family together and encourage an understanding whether we are male or female, we all have a supportive role in the continuation and strengthening of the family unit. International Womens Day missed this opportunity with a singular focus. Look back in history and it will show mens sacrifice for the family, let us all celebrate rather than politicize.

    Comment by Mark — Thu 11th June 2009 @ 2:31 pm

  41. Male encompasses men and boys and that is what we celebrate and our strength in the family

    Comment by Mark — Thu 11th June 2009 @ 2:32 pm

  42. The founder of IMD Jerome teelucksingh made the same point, that a father’s day was inadequate because many males were neither fathers nor necessarily mature men. IMD is for fathers, childless men, young adolescent males, and boys.

    Comment by Jason — Thu 11th June 2009 @ 11:03 pm

  43. Pretty quiet on the IMD front in NZ? Are there any events planned?

    Comment by Jason Thompson — Mon 9th November 2009 @ 4:13 pm

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