There is one time of the year when searches for International Men’s Day peak, according to Google Trends: March.
It’s when we celebrate International Women’s Day — March 8 — and Women’s History Month. While some of us are thinking about our centuries-long struggle to gain equal treatment in society, others are wondering, “When is it our turn?” And the number of searches has been rising every year.
I first came across the trend when a friend shared the Google Trends results in a Facebook post. Intrigued, I messaged him.
“Every year, during Mother’s Day and Women’s Day, there’s this debate that starts to roll into our newsfeed and chats,” Rayhan Mahmud, a social community manager at Microsoft Bangladesh, says of why he decided to check the search algorithm for International Men’s Day. The searches shown on Google Trends are particularly high in states that voted for President Trump in the 2016 elections, such as South Dakota, Montana and Idaho.
“[This] really goes to show how little people care about having a men’s day to celebrate the work of men,” one person commented on Mahmud’s post. “They only look for it when they see women being celebrated and decide to be a Facebook comment warrior of, ‘What about men?’ ”
International Women’s Day is also when Twitter sees the highest number of tweets about the male version of the holiday.
The only other time of the year when the search peaks is in November, the month International Men’s Day is celebrated. The holiday takes place on Nov. 19 during "Movemeber," a movement that promotes beards in order to raise awareness about men’s health. But even the November searches for International Men’s Day are not as high as they are in March.
The fact that the searches for this day peaks in March — more than it peaks during the time of the actual event — shows a much graver difference between the actual mission of the event and those demanding space for it.
Disgruntled males likely want International Men’s Day to be celebratory, the same way we pay tribute to historical female figures for International Women’s Day.
But the actual event is more geared toward raising awareness among men about health and social issues. The agenda for International Men’s Day for 2018 focuses on “improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models.”