International Men’s Day – November 19, 2019

Tue Nov 19

What is International Men’s Day

International Men’s Day observed on November 19 focuses on men’s health, improving gender relations, highlighting male role models, and promoting positive expressions of masculinity. It’s also an opportunity to recognize men who don’t fall into traditional manifestations of masculinity, such as gay and bisexual men, transgender, or masculine non-binary people. 

History of International Men’s Day

In 1968, an American journalist named John P. Harris wrote an editorial highlighting a lack of balance in the Soviet system, which promoted an International Women’s Day for female workers but failed to deliver a male counterpart. Harris stated that though he agreed there should be a day to celebrate women, the day served as flaw within the communist system. 
 
In the early 1990s Thomas Oaster, the director of the Missouri Center for Men’s Studies, invited organizations in the U.S., Australia, and Malta to hold small International Men’s Day events during the month of February. Oaster successfully hosted these events for two years, but his 1995 attempt was poorly attended. Discouraged, he ceased plans to continue the function. Australia followed suit, making Malta the sole country to continue celebrating.
 
In 1999 Trinidad and Tobago, the day was revived by Jerome Teelucksingh from the University of the West Indies. He realized that even though there was a day for fathers, there was no day to celebrate men who didn’t have kids, or who were young boys and teenagers. Teelucksingh understood the importance of positive male role models, as his father had been an excellent example for him, and chose to celebrate International Men’s Day on November 19 the day of his father’s birthday as well as the day a local soccer team had united his country with their endeavors to qualify for the world cup. 
 
Since Teelucksingh’s revival, International Men’s Day has served to promote positive aspects of male identity based on the premise that men respond more constructively to positive role models than to negative gender stereotyping. The day is not intended to compete with International Women’s Day, but to highlight the importance of men’s physical and mental health and positive masculinity. 

International Men’s Day timeline

2009

Malta makes the change

Malta, who had still been celebrating International Men's Day in February, officially switched the day to be observed in November in order to be synchronized with the rest of the world.

1999

International Men's Day revival

Jerome Teelucksingh from Trinidad and Tobago revived International Men's Day in order to highlight positive male role models and the importance of men's health.

1993

Men's events

Thomas Oaster invited organizations to host small Men's Day events in the U.S., Australia, and Malta.

1968

Unequal communism 

American journalist John P. Harris wrote an editorial about how the Soviet Union celebrating International Women's Day and not having an International Men's Day went against the basic concepts of communism.

International Men’s Day FAQs

Is there an International Men's Day?

There is! International Men’s Day is celebrated annually on November 19. Its counterpart, International Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8.
 

How is International Men's Day celebrated?

Every year, world coordinators suggest a new theme to be focused on during International Men’s Day, such as “Working to Expand Reproductive Options for Men” in 2015 or “Keeping Men and Boys Safe” in 2013.
 

What does International Men's Day mean?

The purpose of International Men’s Day is to raise awareness to men’s mental and physical health, promote positive masculinity, and support ethical male role models.
 

International Men’s Day Activities

  1. Donate to a men’s charity

    There are lots of charities dedicated to helping men live better lives. The Gay Men’s Health Crisis helps to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and to help those who are afflicted with HIV improve their health and independence. (Despite the name, it also provides assistance to straight men). The Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation helps to raise awareness of testicular cancer and highlight the importance of self-examination. And the ManKind Initiative is dedicated to helping men escape and recover from domestic violence and abuse.

  2. Learn more about lesser known influential men

    Consider picking up a book or watching a movie about an exceptional man whose life and work is still making an impact on the world today. The Black American Experience tells the story of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, the second man in history (and the first black man) to perform a successful open-heart surgery. The Imitation Game is a moving and dramatic portrait of Alan Turing, the man who invented modern computing and helped end World War Two. Which influential men would you like to learn more about?

  3. Check in with the men in your life

    Building positive relationships with men is a lofty goal, but it does have humble beginnings. Check in with your male family members and friends, and see how they’re doing. If we’re happy at home, that’s half the battle.

Why We Love International Men’s Day

  1. It’s a day to celebrate all men

    The common line that “every day is International Men’s Day” may bear some truth, but the fact is, that not all men are celebrated to the same degree. International Men’s Day reminds us that there are lots of different kinds of men in the world, and they all deserve a voice.

  2. It’s a day for helping people

    Men face a lot of pressure in society—for example, they're expected to be providers, and to refrain from asking for help or sharing their feelings. International Men’s Day is all about addressing these problems and redefining masculinity.

  3. It’s All About Gender Equality

    Gender equality is always a worthy goal, and International Men’s Day reminds us to make a special effort to strive for positive relations across the entire gender spectrum.

International Men’s Day dates
YearDateDay
2019November 19Tuesday
2020November 19Thursday
2021November 19Friday
2022November 19Saturday
2023November 19Sunday