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The Problem with Men: When is International Men’s Day? (And Why it Matters)

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For the past five years, Richard Herring has been answering sexist trolls on International Women's Day when they ask 'when is International Men's Day?' in the mistaken belief there isn't one. There is, it's on November 19th. Three years ago, Richard started raising money for his enormous Twitter efforts each IWD, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for Refuge and Calm. For the past five years, Richard Herring has been answering sexist trolls on International Women's Day when they ask 'when is International Men's Day?' in the mistaken belief there isn't one. There is, it's on November 19th. Three years ago, Richard started raising money for his enormous Twitter efforts each IWD, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for Refuge and Calm. In The Problem with Men Richard expands on those discussions and tackles some of the big questions surrounding the problems of toxic masculinity - for women, but also for men - including: - Should men fear feminism? - Is society sexist against men? - Could you win a point against Serena Williams? *spoiler* The answer to all of these is no. With Richard's signature humour and insight, The Problem with Men is a book for anyone striving for an equal society, all year round.


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For the past five years, Richard Herring has been answering sexist trolls on International Women's Day when they ask 'when is International Men's Day?' in the mistaken belief there isn't one. There is, it's on November 19th. Three years ago, Richard started raising money for his enormous Twitter efforts each IWD, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for Refuge and Calm. For the past five years, Richard Herring has been answering sexist trolls on International Women's Day when they ask 'when is International Men's Day?' in the mistaken belief there isn't one. There is, it's on November 19th. Three years ago, Richard started raising money for his enormous Twitter efforts each IWD, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for Refuge and Calm. In The Problem with Men Richard expands on those discussions and tackles some of the big questions surrounding the problems of toxic masculinity - for women, but also for men - including: - Should men fear feminism? - Is society sexist against men? - Could you win a point against Serena Williams? *spoiler* The answer to all of these is no. With Richard's signature humour and insight, The Problem with Men is a book for anyone striving for an equal society, all year round.

30 review for The Problem with Men: When is International Men’s Day? (And Why it Matters)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Legge

    Shame he dies in the end.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

    3.5 stars, rounded up because of the interview with Deborah Frances-White from The Guilty Feminist podcast, which is sadly only available on the audiobook version. Deborah's section addressed a lot of the comments I had on other sections of the book and it would be great if a transcript of the interview could be added to the physical version too. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the rest of the book - I found it really funny, although of course humour is subjective and not everyone will enjoy Herri 3.5 stars, rounded up because of the interview with Deborah Frances-White from The Guilty Feminist podcast, which is sadly only available on the audiobook version. Deborah's section addressed a lot of the comments I had on other sections of the book and it would be great if a transcript of the interview could be added to the physical version too. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the rest of the book - I found it really funny, although of course humour is subjective and not everyone will enjoy Herring's style - it's just that he was hampered by the short chapter format imposed by wanting to have 19 chapters in a book with a low word count (Nov 19th is International Men's Day - if you didn't know that already you definitely will be the time you finish the book!) It meant that there were quite a few topics I wish he'd covered in a bit more detail, but I guess there are other books already dealing with them and maybe this one is only meant to be a broad introduction.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Another day, another book by a comedian is read. This is a funny tour through Richard Herring's experience dealing with men tweeting 'When is International Men's Day'* on International Women's Day. He uses that seed to take a wander through the motivations of the people that tweet that question, the problems of masculinity and why we should take International Men's Day [on November 19th] seriously. This isn't just a comedic rant. He backs up a lot of his thinking with that thing that causes terr Another day, another book by a comedian is read. This is a funny tour through Richard Herring's experience dealing with men tweeting 'When is International Men's Day'* on International Women's Day. He uses that seed to take a wander through the motivations of the people that tweet that question, the problems of masculinity and why we should take International Men's Day [on November 19th] seriously. This isn't just a comedic rant. He backs up a lot of his thinking with that thing that causes terror in the modern world - FACTS! And he makes important points, about how equality is a benefit to men as well as women and how, perhaps, if we have an International Men's Day** we should take it seriously and use it to help deal with issues that men do face. It's short, sharp, and well-argued. Give it a read. *It's on November 19th ** We do. It's on November 19th.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Bungard

    Important and funny. The audiobook has some good extras, and you get to hear Herring absolutely lose it every time he's mad about something. The only downside was the interview with Deborah F-W. As a former listener to the Guilty Feminist podcast and a member of the Facebook group she shut down after a row over a trans joke (and never addressed it), I don't feel like she represents feminists and I don't want her as a spokesperson for us. That's an extra on the audiobook though and I don't want i Important and funny. The audiobook has some good extras, and you get to hear Herring absolutely lose it every time he's mad about something. The only downside was the interview with Deborah F-W. As a former listener to the Guilty Feminist podcast and a member of the Facebook group she shut down after a row over a trans joke (and never addressed it), I don't feel like she represents feminists and I don't want her as a spokesperson for us. That's an extra on the audiobook though and I don't want it to tar the good work that Herring has done in making this book. I've watched him do his crusade year after year and I'm grateful. And I wish more men would take a stand against the patriarchy, for the sake of women, men and everyone else who is harmed by it (i.e. everyone).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jack Stark

    An interesting and humorous look at the problems of masculinity (toxic and generally). A little repetitive at times, and little more than one guy giving his opinion on the issue. But, generally, a fun quick read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kimberley Anne

    Good enough read. While I do appreciate the sentiment of defending International Women's Day and showing us that so many men are bothered that they don't have their own celebratory day, I do find this book a bit lacking. The retort of explaining that there is an actual international men's day has been repetitive. But this book really showed the problem with men whose egos are so big they can't even give a day to recognise women. It is so frustrating and I wish this book tackles more about the act Good enough read. While I do appreciate the sentiment of defending International Women's Day and showing us that so many men are bothered that they don't have their own celebratory day, I do find this book a bit lacking. The retort of explaining that there is an actual international men's day has been repetitive. But this book really showed the problem with men whose egos are so big they can't even give a day to recognise women. It is so frustrating and I wish this book tackles more about the actual problem with men and what ways can men make a difference in contributing to equality. I am expecting more from a man's perspective since it is written by a man and most feminist books are obviously written by women.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Deb Lancaster

    Grand. Very Herring, but with lots of actually important stuff in too. My only complaint is it's dead short, but that's a good problem to have because it means I would have liked to have read more. So you know. Grand. Very Herring, but with lots of actually important stuff in too. My only complaint is it's dead short, but that's a good problem to have because it means I would have liked to have read more. So you know.

  8. 5 out of 5

    TomBurgess

    Being generous, since there's nothing profound to it and I sort of wish I spent a few hours reading something more informative. Not much beyond what I expected either, and his interview with John Robins covers a lot of it. Still some witty and insightful moments that doesn't make out it's anything more than a documentation of Richard's frustration (of spending every International Women's Day replying to men asking when their day is (November 19th)); probably a great passive-aggressive present to Being generous, since there's nothing profound to it and I sort of wish I spent a few hours reading something more informative. Not much beyond what I expected either, and his interview with John Robins covers a lot of it. Still some witty and insightful moments that doesn't make out it's anything more than a documentation of Richard's frustration (of spending every International Women's Day replying to men asking when their day is (November 19th)); probably a great passive-aggressive present to people who ask similar provocative/contrarian questions. Really glad this exists too, although it's a pretty small group of people it will properly inform, i.e. those open enough to reading about feminism that haven't ventured into anything before beyond social media, but only if a once-controversial male comedian is speaking his mind about it. Nevertheless, it's short and sweet, and there's some surprising stats you won't have come across.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    3.5 stars rounded up. This is a really funny introduction to some of the basic issues surrounding feminism and toxic masculinity. I laughed out loud several times and enjoyed the light-hearted nature of the book whilst discussing serious topics. The chapter about men believing they could hold their own against Serena Williams in a tennis match is hilarious. I marked it down for the lack of depth and the repetitiveness but this is a great little read and the audiobook has some really good extras.

  10. 4 out of 5

    🌶 peppersocks 🧦

    Reflections and lessons learned: He is Nostradamus! An interesting take on the old “well how’s that equality if it doesn’t represent me?” argument. After many years experience of tackling sneering comments on social media, this covers a wide balance of related elements, with his usual comedy approach. I will never listen to a book that mentions November 19th more. I shall also now be celebrating CAPS LOCK DAY

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amar Singh-Jangi

    4.5 stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Zoe Whitelock

    Would read again purely for it's silliness. Buy a copy for any man (or woman!) you might know who has asked that bloody question! Would read again purely for it's silliness. Buy a copy for any man (or woman!) you might know who has asked that bloody question!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rose Stanley

    Thoughtful, articulate and funny - I snortlaughed many times (there can be no higher accolade). Look forward to reading this again on International Men's Day...whenever that is : P Thoughtful, articulate and funny - I snortlaughed many times (there can be no higher accolade). Look forward to reading this again on International Men's Day...whenever that is : P

  14. 5 out of 5

    Don Jimmy Reviews

    A short book, so I’ll keep this short. The book is part reminder of when International Men’s Day is – part look at why men have nothing to fear from the feminist movement. It all started with people asking an easily “google-able” question (if that isn’t a word I don’t care) “When is International Men’s Day?” while people were celebrating International Women’s Day. Filled with good info, and some great humour I thought this was a great read. At times it got a bit repetitive, but that IS the main j A short book, so I’ll keep this short. The book is part reminder of when International Men’s Day is – part look at why men have nothing to fear from the feminist movement. It all started with people asking an easily “google-able” question (if that isn’t a word I don’t care) “When is International Men’s Day?” while people were celebrating International Women’s Day. Filled with good info, and some great humour I thought this was a great read. At times it got a bit repetitive, but that IS the main joke in this book – to tell people when the date is. It’s November 19th by the way – which, is the day I actually read it. Highly recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Unitt

    A wonderful book. I have been following Richard Herrings Twitter Feed on International Womens Day for a few years now and always thought it was a noble cause, with good humour sprinkled in. The book is simply more of that, in just over 150 pages, Herring puts together a simple to understand and funny article on feminism, men, bruised masculinity and so much more. It's laugh out loud funny and genuinely informative. I loved it. It's November 19th. A wonderful book. I have been following Richard Herrings Twitter Feed on International Womens Day for a few years now and always thought it was a noble cause, with good humour sprinkled in. The book is simply more of that, in just over 150 pages, Herring puts together a simple to understand and funny article on feminism, men, bruised masculinity and so much more. It's laugh out loud funny and genuinely informative. I loved it. It's November 19th.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Theaker

    A funny little book about how he tried for a decade to reply to the hundreds of men who ask the same daft question every International Women's Day: when is it International Men's Day? I might have to buy the audiobook too, just to hear those pathetic, whiny tweets read out loud. It's not perfect: the title's a bit grand for a book with such a narrow focus; the ebook footnotes are confusing; it uses the word gender in some places where sex would make more sense; and it's slightly misleading to say A funny little book about how he tried for a decade to reply to the hundreds of men who ask the same daft question every International Women's Day: when is it International Men's Day? I might have to buy the audiobook too, just to hear those pathetic, whiny tweets read out loud. It's not perfect: the title's a bit grand for a book with such a narrow focus; the ebook footnotes are confusing; it uses the word gender in some places where sex would make more sense; and it's slightly misleading to say no one gets mad about International Men's Day. Also, I don't think Bill Burr was at all wrong to be suspicious of the inauthenticity of many self-described male feminists. They frequently turn out to be actively sexist and anti-feminist, enthusiastic proponents (and consumers) of prostitution, pornography and paid surrogacy. But it's good. Its biggest strengths are (a) being funny and (b) setting out a vision for what International Men's Day could be about: praising positive male role models, checking in with friends, helping those who need it. A day where we put our energy into being the best men we can be.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    After something of a lull following huge success with his comedy partner Stewart Lee in the 1990s, Richard Herring has gradually clawed his way back into the mainstream consciousness by (in a somewhat punk rock, DIY way), ploughing his own furrow with a never-ending stream of podcasts, blogs and stand-up comedy, funding his work via small-scale subscriptions to to what is, in essence, a fan club. Over time, the comedy world has been drawn back into his orbit, to the point where Herring is once a After something of a lull following huge success with his comedy partner Stewart Lee in the 1990s, Richard Herring has gradually clawed his way back into the mainstream consciousness by (in a somewhat punk rock, DIY way), ploughing his own furrow with a never-ending stream of podcasts, blogs and stand-up comedy, funding his work via small-scale subscriptions to to what is, in essence, a fan club. Over time, the comedy world has been drawn back into his orbit, to the point where Herring is once again making frequent appearances on prime-time TV, and in a huge blow to his brand, even starting to win quiz shows. A not insignificant component of his gradual comeback of sorts, has been Herring's annual sentry duty on Twitter, answering the endless tedious questions from men on International Women's Day, mostly presuming that of course, there couldn't possibly be an International Men's Day in the woke, PC world that we all now inhabit. IT'S NOVEMBER 19TH! Using his years of amusing comebacks to these inane Twitter questions as a starting point, The Problem With Men firstly looks at why there is an International Women's Day in the first place and why it is important, before going on to (lightly) examine why men are so determined to oppose it, or alternatively find 'reverse sexism' where it doesn't exist, and then, most interestingly, offers a surprisingly considered take on the need for and lack of success of International Men's Day. The answers are hopefully obvious to anyone with any significant capacity for critical thinking, but Herring has a frequently-used gift for cloaking a serious and thought-provoking point in intentionally offensive and often laugh out loud humour, which makes his book supremely easy to read. One of the most amusing chapters concerns the results of a survey in which a large number of men embarrassingly overestimate their own ability to take on Serena Williams at tennis, and the reader can sense an incipient stand-up routine fighting its way out of the structure of the book, and hopefully on to the stage in future. I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it's well-intentioned, well-argued and mostly hilarious. If I have any criticism, it is that (understandably, this is not an academic tome) it occasionally resembles a series of extended tweets, or even blog posts drawn together into a compendium that doesn't always hang together into a single narrative thread, but this is a mild problem, and ultimately it is a funny, breezy read, that makes you think that little bit more than you might expect it to.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susannah

    From the title alone this sounds like an anti-man book. However, it is not against men, it is against men asking when International Men's Day is (November 19th) on International Women's Day (March 8th) in order to point out some kind of gender inequality. Richard Herring is a male English comedian who has made it his personal mission for the past 9 years to reply to tweets on Twitter that ask when International Men's Day is on March 8th. He includes extracts of tweets before each chapter. The ch From the title alone this sounds like an anti-man book. However, it is not against men, it is against men asking when International Men's Day is (November 19th) on International Women's Day (March 8th) in order to point out some kind of gender inequality. Richard Herring is a male English comedian who has made it his personal mission for the past 9 years to reply to tweets on Twitter that ask when International Men's Day is on March 8th. He includes extracts of tweets before each chapter. The chapters are also short, sharp and easy to read. Since he is a comedian, the book is very humorous in tone, however he makes some very salient points about gender equality and toxic masculinity. So this book is not an attack on men, but rather a plea for them to understand why it is necessary to have an International Women's Day, and to not undermine it by making it about men.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Richard Herring's The Problem with Men: When is International Men’s Day?* (And Why it Matters) is a puerile, repetitive and hilarious bit of nonsense that inexplicably transcends its ranty absurdity to reveal a concise, poignant and powerful meditative essay on toxic masculinity. A perfect read for International Men’s Day**. *It's on November 19th ** November 19th Richard Herring's The Problem with Men: When is International Men’s Day?* (And Why it Matters) is a puerile, repetitive and hilarious bit of nonsense that inexplicably transcends its ranty absurdity to reveal a concise, poignant and powerful meditative essay on toxic masculinity. A perfect read for International Men’s Day**. *It's on November 19th ** November 19th

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jack Bates

    A silly book about a serious subject For nine years Richard Keith performed an apparently endless task, telling the people (mostly men) asking ' but when is International Men's Day?' on International Women's Day when International Men's Day is. (November 19th.) In the process he's raised a lot of money for Refuge and sent himself to the edge of reason. Here's a book about why he did it, what he's learned, and why International Men's Day could be a useful thing. Just don't expect women, internatio A silly book about a serious subject For nine years Richard Keith performed an apparently endless task, telling the people (mostly men) asking ' but when is International Men's Day?' on International Women's Day when International Men's Day is. (November 19th.) In the process he's raised a lot of money for Refuge and sent himself to the edge of reason. Here's a book about why he did it, what he's learned, and why International Men's Day could be a useful thing. Just don't expect women, international or otherwise, to organise it for you, fellas.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy Carver

    Herring is a British comedian, writer, and podcaster who for the last ten years has been answering “When is International Men’s Day” on International Women’s Day on Twitter. (It’s November 19th.) This short book contains his thoughts and reflections on that process. He talks about International Men’s Day (which is on November 19th) and its origins. Also there’s some other stuff in there. I really like Herring’s other work but this was a little meh to me. I think it’s great if he’s reaching an au Herring is a British comedian, writer, and podcaster who for the last ten years has been answering “When is International Men’s Day” on International Women’s Day on Twitter. (It’s November 19th.) This short book contains his thoughts and reflections on that process. He talks about International Men’s Day (which is on November 19th) and its origins. Also there’s some other stuff in there. I really like Herring’s other work but this was a little meh to me. I think it’s great if he’s reaching an audience who has never heard/thought about this stuff before. I’m just not that audience.

  22. 4 out of 5

    David

    There's certainly nothing here to disappoint fans of Richard Herring but this short book just seems a bit... lacking. It feels like (and probably has been) a collection of Herring's 'Warming Up' blog posts, and perhaps could have been developed into a stand-up routine, but in this format (19 NOVel questions and answers) none of Herring's rants and arguments really go anywhere, other than to labour the point about when it is International Men's Day¹. ¹ It's November 19th. There's certainly nothing here to disappoint fans of Richard Herring but this short book just seems a bit... lacking. It feels like (and probably has been) a collection of Herring's 'Warming Up' blog posts, and perhaps could have been developed into a stand-up routine, but in this format (19 NOVel questions and answers) none of Herring's rants and arguments really go anywhere, other than to labour the point about when it is International Men's Day¹. ¹ It's November 19th.

  23. 4 out of 5

    BurritoChris

    A big lot of fun. I love that Richard has not only used his position of privilege and moderate fame to spread several positive messages when he could have just made something dumb and pointless. He also cites all his sources and shows that he has actually thought about and put real research into his points. His constant anger at people who ask 'when is International Men's Day' never stops being funny, and his writing style is really easy to read. I hence recommend it to you. A big lot of fun. I love that Richard has not only used his position of privilege and moderate fame to spread several positive messages when he could have just made something dumb and pointless. He also cites all his sources and shows that he has actually thought about and put real research into his points. His constant anger at people who ask 'when is International Men's Day' never stops being funny, and his writing style is really easy to read. I hence recommend it to you.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Snoakes

    Every March 8th, aka International Women's Day, Richard Herring sets himself an unenviable task. He trawls Twitter looking for people asking when International Men's Day is. Some of these are disgruntled, thinking they are being discriminated against, others just think they are being funny. They all get variations of the same answer - November 19th. This book has evolved out of Richard's attempts to educate people. It's a witty and well explained argument as to how true equality would benefit eve Every March 8th, aka International Women's Day, Richard Herring sets himself an unenviable task. He trawls Twitter looking for people asking when International Men's Day is. Some of these are disgruntled, thinking they are being discriminated against, others just think they are being funny. They all get variations of the same answer - November 19th. This book has evolved out of Richard's attempts to educate people. It's a witty and well explained argument as to how true equality would benefit everyone.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Dunstan

    I think I only got this because it was heavily discounted as an ebook, but after International Womens Day I dug it out of my Kindle library and enjoyed it a lot. Yes it's repetitive deliberately, and yes it's the kind of book where people who need to read it never will but it's well written, funny and reflects Richard's dedication to calling people out on this matter which is ultimately a valuable (and amusing) public service. I think I only got this because it was heavily discounted as an ebook, but after International Womens Day I dug it out of my Kindle library and enjoyed it a lot. Yes it's repetitive deliberately, and yes it's the kind of book where people who need to read it never will but it's well written, funny and reflects Richard's dedication to calling people out on this matter which is ultimately a valuable (and amusing) public service.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andy Parkes

    A short but entertaining read about Richard's exploits around International Men's Day and his thoughts about why he does it I've been a fan since his Fist of Fun days so this was right up my street. He does a great job making his specific type of humour work in the written form, I'd imagine this is even better as an audiobook though. Will check that out next A short but entertaining read about Richard's exploits around International Men's Day and his thoughts about why he does it I've been a fan since his Fist of Fun days so this was right up my street. He does a great job making his specific type of humour work in the written form, I'd imagine this is even better as an audiobook though. Will check that out next

  27. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    An essay that clearly articulates why some people (mainly men) get all het up when the privilege they have experienced are challenged in the name of equality, through the simple Twitter question 'When is International Men's Day*,' in response to it being International Women's Day. *It's Nov 19th. An essay that clearly articulates why some people (mainly men) get all het up when the privilege they have experienced are challenged in the name of equality, through the simple Twitter question 'When is International Men's Day*,' in response to it being International Women's Day. *It's Nov 19th.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    November the 19th Very funny and equally very important book on the utter stupidity of some men and the occasional woman to spoil International Women's Day by asking why isn't there an International Men's Day. This is one man's nine year quest to end this ignorance. BTW there is, it's November 19th. November the 19th Very funny and equally very important book on the utter stupidity of some men and the occasional woman to spoil International Women's Day by asking why isn't there an International Men's Day. This is one man's nine year quest to end this ignorance. BTW there is, it's November 19th.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    I get what Herring is trying to do with this, and it's quite funny in parts. But like he said himself - the joke of replying to every idiot on International Women's Day is wearing thin for him. Unfortunately, some of his points here are stretched thin too. I agree with everything he says, it's just a bit lightweight. As you'd expect from a comedian. It's worth a read. I get what Herring is trying to do with this, and it's quite funny in parts. But like he said himself - the joke of replying to every idiot on International Women's Day is wearing thin for him. Unfortunately, some of his points here are stretched thin too. I agree with everything he says, it's just a bit lightweight. As you'd expect from a comedian. It's worth a read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    Read this book. Seriously. Funny. Well researched. Snarky. Feminist. Sensitive. Intelligent. If you don’t like feminism, you’ll still like this. If you do like feminism, you’ll love this. Let’s make 19th November International Richard Herring day! (Wait... is the 19th already ear marked for something else?)

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