1. International Men’s Day (IMD) takes place every November 19th, so a heavy jacket is best if you plan to celebrate outdoors or—like me—solemnly walk into the ocean.
2. International Men’s Day links to anti-feminist literature that calls laws to protect women from domestic violence “anti-family.” You can read more about this by wading into the “about” section of their website, much like I wade into the salty brine of the Pacific.
3. IMD’s Facebook group reposts misogynist articles, sending a chill down my spine. Or maybe it’s the 60ºF seawater numbing my feet and ankles?
4. IMD was founded in 1999. Speaking of dates, Virginia Woolf drowned herself in 1941.
5. The 2021 theme for International Men’s Day is “Better Relations Between Men and Women.” This gives me pause, knee-deep in the foam-crested waves. Perhaps the organization has had a feminist epiphany?
6. Ah, never mind. There is no elaboration on “Better Relations.” It remains vague and ominous like the cavernous depths that lie ahead of me.
7. IMD quotes Camille Paglia as saying, “Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman.” I would send you articles about who Camille Paglia is, but my cellphone is non-functional, having revolted from all the water in my pockets.
8. As I dunk my head, my eyes burn and I feel as if my brain is exploding—not because of the water but because I remembered that International Men’s Day is googled most often not in November but in March, on International Women’s Day.
9. Warwick Marsh, the coordinator of IMD, was fired as the men’s health ambassador of Australia when he called homosexuality a “gender disorientation pathology.” If you visit the web page, you’ll be greeted by a video of Marsh on the beach. Not the beach from which I walked myself into the tide, the kelp tangling itself in my hair. Same ocean, though.
10. November 19 is also recognized by the UN as Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. WED’s organizers have helped thousands of women get education, scholarships, and microloans to increase equity around the world. … I gently float in the water. … It was officially made a holiday in New York in 2014. … I gaze up at the sun glittering through the surface. … It was declared by Andrew Cuomo. … As I sink to the sea’s floor, I am comforted by the sight of a seahorse on paternity leave caring for his young.