The Calendar as a List of Action-Alerts

(Mother’s and Father’s Days especially, to start)

by Davd, December 2011

When W.F. Price wrote “We should have our own demonstration alerts, and get involved in the protests with our own messages. The feminists have been doing what they can to insert themselves into these protests, and they’ve had some success …”

… i thought of a list of action opportunities available to us all—the calendar. Each year several action alerts, or more precisely, petition, lobbying and demonstration opportunities, repeat themselves. They are the “major holidays” that get attention from the commercial world, that are celebrated by more than a tenth of the population, that involve days-off for school children, government and some private-business workers. We can hardly avoid noticing New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day—even Father’s Day gets some respect still—the Fourth of July and Canada Day, Labour Day and the start of school, Hallowe’en, Remembrance Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas.

Every major holiday, something is more-or-less forced on our attention. In the cases of Christmas and Easter, secular commercial sideshows, from Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to office parties and women’s spring fashions, have more media exposure than the Christian origins of these holy feast days. These are also the two major holidays where i see the least basis for men’s interest actions. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are where i see outright need for public statements; and several other holidays could be opportunities for men’s groups that have lots of energy or a local story to tell.

Mother’s Day is painful for men who were denied custody of their children when they had good cause to receive it—and for some men, more than are generally acknowledged, who had and may still have abusive mothers. In my humble opinion, it is a particularly obvious occasion for confronting misandry and the denial of women’s faults. I’ve posted a working paper below, on some qualifications a mother should have, and why many women shouldn’t have children, and there’s a much longer working paper on family reform here.  Readers can send suggestions for improving them, and for more Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day) initiatives to me at author01 [at] everyman {dot} ca

Father’s Day, for several years at least and perhaps several decades, will be remembered with the day Sgt. Tom Ball died by setting himself on fire, as Jan Palach did some two generations earlier. His story contains several of the forms of oppression fathers suffer and mothers don’t. We should think about how, in our various localities, we might address the condition of fatherhood and the ill effects of fatherlessness. There is an abundance of evidence—who’s done what to assemble and summarize it? What are the different demands we might consider, about custody? about the “tender years” and balancing breastfeeding vs. father’s rights? about abortion? about when a man is considered a father and when a “sire”? January is not too soon to start considering these things.

Those two spring days are the biggest “Action Alerts” in the calendar.

Between now and Mother’s Day there are Valentine’s Day, Mardi-Gras, and Easter.

New Year’s Day is only two days away. Its traditional activity is “making resolutions”. Those readers who know one or more other men who aren’t going out dancing, could even get together and spend New Year’s Eve, safe from false rape accusations and STDs, choosing a few resolutions to read out at the nearest local equivalent of Hyde Park Corner. (In London, if anyone from there is reading this, you have the real thing.) Maybe some of you have thought of this already—if so, good on you!

Sitting up with some buddies and making resolutions, while enjoying food, friendship, maybe even some extra-good beer or spiced wine, is not such a bad use of New Year’s Eve, now is it? (And planning to go out around noon on New Year’s Day to publish those resolutions, is one of the best incentives for moderation in the drink that i can readily name.)

Next comes Valentine’s Day, named for a saint who was executed—put to death—by archers, and wound up looking rather like the lead graphic for Jack Donovan’s free book. Perhaps the old meaning of the Day is now more appropriate to gender relations, than the erotic-romantic silliness so beloved of restaurants and candy merchants.

One thing that could be done as an “action”, might be an early-February, “If you want to be my Valentine” announcement in the local press or on a local social website, signed by at least a dozen men (and preferably hundreds in large metropolitan areas). Valentine’s Day can be an occasion for men to make some demands of women “for a change”.

(If you have a real friend who’s a florist, warn him in January, not to over-order .)

MardiGras comes one week after Valentine’s Day in 2012. It is a major holiday in New Orleans and Rio; and in Finland, where they definitely have winter, it’s a minor holiday they call “Laskiainen”: Its traditional activities are sledding and a sauna. I’d like to have a men-and-boys, food-and-fun get-together somehow. Whenever it makes sense, i believe we should include boys, especially the sons of men in the group, and boys who don’t have fathers at home.

After MardiGras comes Lent, a season “rather less erotic than most.” Apart from formally thanking Feminism for making erotic temptation less tempting, i suggest we who are Christians simply observe the six weeks of austerity. I don’t spoof Ramadan and i don’t see reason to spoof Lent.

Easter (April 8th in 2012) is a feast of the Christian churches, in which neither eros nor fear is appropriate—but it has been commercialized with pagan Fertility-Goddess baggage. The comical notion of spoofing the baggage via a “Playboy bunny” costume with the words “How Many STDs does the Easter Bunny have?” or “Does the Easter Bunny make false rape accusations?”, did occur to me—and if there is an Easter Bunny occasion where you live, you might spoof it that way—but the Resurrection itself is too solemn, too far from issues around Feminism, and too important to the Christian faith, to “go after”. Apart from some light-hearted joking on the Easter Bunny, maybe, me-thinks it better to be preparing for the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day confrontations.

There could be some action-opportunities in the second half of the year—Labour Day and the start of school, Remembrance Day, imaginably the Fourth of July and Canada Day—but for now, the first half is enough to write about now. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are the two most important holidays to use for addressing misandry, with Valentine’s Day, Mardi-Gras—and New Year’s Day for those who are quick—as potential opportunities coming sooner, where groups of men are active already.


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About Davd

Davd Martin (Ph.D., 1966, Sociology) has been a professor, a single parent on a low income from a small commercial herb garden, and editor of _Ecoforestry_. His men's-interest essays and blogs have appeared on "The Spearhead" "A Voice for Men", and "False Rape Society", as well as this site.
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