June 04, 2011

Männertag? Just No

Last Thursday it was Männertag here in the non-Catholic bit of Germany. That’s ‘Men’s Day’ to you and me. It is a secular booze up in lieu of a religious holiday, and it actually spills over into the weekend. The form is to wander around getting drunk all day, lugging crates of beer from place to place, and generally being obscene. According to the Federal Statistics Office, so I’m told, there are more than three times as many alcohol related traffic accidents on this day, compared to the daily average. It’s also a good day to get into a fight.

It’s pretty sad to see masculinity reduced to a personified belch, and I really wonder what the men of this land have done to deserve their weekend of over indulgence. I went to the Tiergarten with three ladies and had a civilised evening, trying to avoid the male natives. Looking into the zoo next door, all the animals seemed very well behaved. An American would call that ‘ironic’. On Friday morning I was awakened by a ‘man’ rolling home just before seven o’clock, doing his best tribute to a cat in heat singing Angels by Robbie Williams. Think that’s funny? You had to be there.

I hereby consign Männertag to the cultural dustbin. Men don’t need a special day to be at their worst. We’re capable of that whenever. It might be an idea, on the other hand, to encourage an alternative Männertag next year, at which time we shall be on our best behaviour, and spend the day looking dapper and generally being civil to one and all. It may serve as a reminder that we can do that anytime too.


  1. Like all things, there is a balance.

  2. Doctor,

    I am pleased to let you know that men chafe under conventions. If they did not, they could not be who they are, including who the conventions tell them they should be - or what they should be. They may have no other way to escape conventions than this kind of animal manliness - but you should think twice before you urge that even this become conventional.

  3. I'll join the counter-protest if you organize it for next year.

  4. Hello:
    Positively ghastly! And all for what?

  5. I would imagine this has more to do with one's class than one's sex. I suspect that this holiday attracts the male citizens of Germany that in this country would mostly be found attending NASCAR events.

  6. That's a tricky one, Reggie, since if you ask you'll likely be told that there isn't a class system in Germany. That is patently false in many respects, but it does make it difficult to neatly pack analyses into class boxes. The same difficulty applies to the US, I think.


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