International Boys’ Day, 16 May 2021

International what?

To ‘fess up, last year (2020) was the first time I’d heard of International Boys’ Day, for which I wrote this piece.

A bit of history. The campaign for recognition of a designated International Day of the Boy Child was initiated by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, a history professor from Trinidad and Tabago, in 2018.

Teelucksingh was also instrumental, in 1999, in reviving interest in International Men’s Day following its earlier beginnings in 1991/2 in the USA by Thomas Oastler. It was Teelucksingh who designated 19th November as International Men’s Day after his father’s birthday, so this date for IMD has been in place since 1999. The same day, 19th November, was named international toilet day by the World Toilet Organisation in 2001, and later recognised on that same date by the UN in 2013.

The history of international “women’s days”, in various incarnations, goes back over a century and was very early associated with 8th March. It was officially recognised by the UN in 1977. The UN also recognises officially an International Day of the Girl Child, on 11th October, this being inaugurated in 2012.

The UN does not recognise International Men’s Day. Nor does the UN recognise the International Day of the Boy Child, 16th May. This is called ‘equality’ as we must now understand that term.

From the feminist perspective this is justified because males are (apparently irrespective of age) powerful and privileged. Here’s a quick demonstration of how lucky boys are. I don’t pretend it’s science.

If a boy, a girl, a cat and a dog were abandoned in a park who would be rescued first?

Easy, I thought. In the UK it would go (i) dog, (ii) girl, (iii) cat, (iv) boy.

I was close. In one social experiment in a New York City park it went like this,

  1. Girl – rescue after 3 minutes
  2. Dog – rescue after 4 minutes
  3. Cat – rescue after 10 minutes
  4. Boy – cameras stopped rolling after 45 minutes when the crew gave up.

The girl and boy were both six years old and both white.

Male disposability, eh? It’s just MRA conspiracy theory bullshit.

Whilst you can find ideas of what you might do to celebrate International Boys’ Day with the boy(s) in your life, I could find nothing organised in the UK. As far as I could see from their web site, the UK-based Men and Boys Coalition is not doing anything explicitly to recognise International Boys’ Day this year either.

3 thoughts on “International Boys’ Day, 16 May 2021

  1. AJ

    Minor typo: “ides of what you might do”

    As an observation following this link the photo illustrating “playing board games” as a picture of two adults a boy and a girl playing which is I think very positive as exemplifying what we scoiety should be seeking to encourage – Men and women together bringing up children in a positive way independantly of gender ratherthan focusing on a false narrative of victims and victimisation.

  2. Groan

    Thank you for this. I was ignorant of this “day”. The DM “experiment” was interesting indeed and brought to mind a series of experiments with infants dressed as the opposite sex (or gender ). Many of course focus on choices of toys or colours. However of more interest to me are older ones, possibly not reproduced due to our more careful ethics today, in which the response to crying or obviously distressed infants was observed. And this showed the similar pattern, “girl” babies were far more likely to be picked up and comforted than the “boy” ones. The other thing that was interesting was the “understanding” of the adults. “Boys” were likely to be described as “angry”, “attention seeking”, or being too soft. While “girls” were described as upset, frightened or wanting support. Of course the descriptions were about the same infants in fact. It strikes me that something that starts so young, and as we know continues throughout boys lives into adulthood, in effect is a long term “training” to be self reliant and simply not expect a sympathetic response. At it’s most extreme I’m sure its behind the fact that men attempting suicide, usually succeed, whereas the majority of female attempts are “failures”. There is no “cry for help” from men for the simple reason that all their experiences from infancy have taught them not to bother. Whereas it is a realistic strategy for females, from their earliest period. 

    However we do know mothers often care for their sons receiving unfair treatment, in a way they are less likely to do for adult men, so maybe a focus on “International Boys Day” may have more traction than IMD, in terms of campaigning? 


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