It didn’t exceed my wildest dreams (in which I was made king of the Universe and raised more money than currently exists on the planet Earth whilst my cock became five miles long and made of chocolate that I could break off and eat and it would then grow back again) but my realistic dreams for my ridiculous When’s International Mens Day parade were smashed.
Last year I had perhaps added 10 to 15 thousand pounds to the Refuge coffers and was hoping that maybe I could make the same again or possibly double it. But it became clear very early on as I took on the task of finding everyone asking when international men’s day was and informing them, that we were going to get a bit more than that. We quickly passed the £25,000 mark and my email was pinging and crashing as a donation came in at least every 10 seconds. The page was taking in about £10,000 an hour and so after resetting the target to £50,000, I then had to push it on to £100,000. And I was making plans to go professional, give up the comedy lark and do a paid service every day of the year. Shit, at £10,000 an hour I could make a fine living just by working half an hour a month. It was nice to be doing if for charity today, but once established this service could make me a billionaire. I’d always do March 8th for charity of course. But every other day would be for me. I can see no way this scheme wouldn’t work.
And just for the comedically challenged (who I tend to come across a bit this week) that last bit was a kind of a joke.
My ultimate aim with this twitter marathon (that has gone on for several years now) is to inform everyone that there is an international men’s day, to prevent the question/lame joke ever being asked/cracked again. I want to get to tell everyone in the world. But there is no sign of the flood abating. If anything there was a new post-Trump nastiness to some of the tweets, as real misogynists (rather than just the usual misguided attempted-humorists and idiots) crawled out the holes they’ve been hiding in and weighed in. My own personal job is much harder as now there are more people tweeting their opposition to these original tweets, so just putting “international men” into the search engine is not enough. You have to wade through all the ones who are challenging the genuine tweets or parodying them or tweeting the question just so I will answer them.
Aside from last year I have just been doing all this for shits and giggles and to maybe attempt to make people think about their weird attitude to this day/masculinity. I have been aware that in doing this I am, ironically, making the day a little bit about myself, but I am really trying to deal with this bushfire (when will there be a male pubic hair fire?) so that everyone else can get on with celebrating the day in the right way/ using it to promote more important issues. I turn down all interviews and media appearances to do with this, because partly - I am busy - and mainly I am not trying to get PR for myself in spite of what some people seem to think. I try to encourage journalists to talk to women about the day and not me about this silliness
Supporting women’s issues does not mean you don’t support men’s ones. It’s not a competition. In an ideal world men and women would work through this together because equality works both ways and solves the things that men are unequal in too. This problem of men only caring about international men’s day on international women’s day is one that does need to be addressed, especially if you genuinely care about those issues (like suicide) that predominantly affect men. Personally I feel that international men’s day is so tainted by this international women’s day stupidity/support from foolish meninists (and I am by no means saying that they are the majority or that the genuine causes are not worth fighting for) that men are better off getting behind Mental Health charities etc. Personally I am a supporter of CALM who do some fabulous work and have supported campaigns to make men aware of testicular cancer.
But whatever. My initial impetus was to laugh at the very basic stupidity of people (men and women) who make a huge assumption and don’t even bother to check it before making a very poor joke. I love taking the piss out of stupidity, primarily my own and the kicker for this stunt was always that by the end of the day the main victim of the gag was me, driven to distraction by the impossibility of the repetitive task.
And gratifyingly most people get it, most men aren’t dicks about this day and thousands of people turned this negativity and pedantry into something genuinely beautiful. we hit £100,000 just as my wife and I were about to head out for dinner. And by bedtime we had got to a £100,000 more than we’d started the day on. Which is so insane that I can’t really process it. Maybe I was distracted by trying to confuse strangers by talking about dick pics or noticing how many people were using the itchy chin emoji.
The response is overwhelmingly positive and the result surely so spectacular that anyone with reservations might forgive the slightly distracting nature of the stunt.
It was a lot less arduous than it’s been in the past, but only because of this surreal sight of the total for Refuge ticking ever upwards.
Dinner with my own international woman was a welcome relief. I was overwhelmed by the fact that this stupid bit of reverse trolling or polite trolling or whatever it was had become a force for good. And I was quite pleased, comedically speaking, that I managed to find new jokes in the limited format. Though ultimately disappointed that none of the men who love International Men’s Day so much wanted to share dick pics with me. The hypocrites.
To see if the total can get to £150,000 and 10,000 backers keep an eye on the website .
And if you haven’t donated yet, then do feel free.