What do Persist the Game, Feminism & International Men’s Day have in common?

Today is International Men’s Day, which is a day to promote awareness of male health, discrimination and gender relations. So, to answer the title of this post, let’s cover gender relations. We say it is a game built from the “female perspective”, and that yes, we are *gasp* “feminists.”

YIKES! Men, if this game makes its way into your house, the girls night attendees at your kitchen table playing Persist the Game are “manhaters”, and you should retreat to your “man cave” for safety immediately.  Wait, STOP… let’s all take a moment to dispel this misconception. As Emma Watson so elegantly said to the UN in her 2014 #heforshe speech, “For the record, feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”

With that said, while Persist the Game is built from the female perspective, it is open to the male point of view too! Persist uses humor as an accessible, fresh, and engaging way to break down the stigma that often comes with the word “feminism.” We beta tested with people on opposite ends of the spectrum and have found that humor works to provide a space for meaningful conversations (Truth: we had an adult male learn what a pap smear was as a result of playing this game). Turns out, everyone enjoys laughing! We believe laughter and entertainment have repeatedly proven to be successful mediums for change. We recommend playing Persist the Game co-ed OR at a girls night. In closing, let’s revisit Emma Watson’s powerful finish of the her UN “HeForShe” speech…

“Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.

Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.

I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less “macho”—in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49 years of age; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.  

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.

If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be free and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom. 

I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too—reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.”

Cheers! Happy International Men's Day!