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Comedian’s responses to ‘When is International Men’s Day?’ raise funds for Refuge

Comedian’s responses to ‘When is International Men’s Day?’ raise funds for Refuge

Comedian Richard Herring’s annual response on International ’s Day to the question “when is International Men’s Day?” is this year raising funds for domestic violence charity Refuge.

Followers on have pledged to donate to the charity for each tweet he posts in reply to the question. Refuge is “the country’s largest provider of specialist services for women and children escaping domestic violence”.

Since March 2014 Herring has been seeking out those who post this question on Twitter on International Women’s Day and responding with the answer, usually with an acerbic put-down.

He recognises that the question is usually asked in a point-scoring vein, to question or undermine the need for a day which recognises and celebrates the lives and work of women. This approach has been termed sea-lioning, or “a specific, pervasive form of aggressive cluelessness, that masquerades as a sincere desire to understand”.

He calmly points that, yes, there is indeed an International Men’s Day, and it is on 19 November.

Writing in The Guardian on International Men’s Day in 2015, Herring said:

“I love it when people try to manufacture an injustice out of a position of clear superiority.

“It’s all so transparently self-centred. It’s the impulse that drives your kids on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day to whine: “When will there be a Children’s Day?”

Incidentally, he took that opportunity of International Men’s Day to promote Target Ovarian Cancer because the charity was “highlighting that men matter too and saying thank you to those husbands, fathers, brothers, partners and friends who have also been affected by ovarian cancer.”

He manages to keep a calm tone throughout as he hunts through Twitter for more people asking the question.

Refuge

Herring has suggested that his followers might want to make a donation to Refuge, and some have confirmed that they have done so.

Refuge spotted his support and thanked him:

And did so again:

 

Herring has done his homework and answers related questions seriously:

His solo Twitter campaign is now looked forward to by some of his Twitter followers, with some tweets starting yesterday:

 

Fundraising from the trolls

There are other examples of raising funds from trolls online.

 

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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