In July of 2021, the hashtag #IfAllMenDisappearedForADay was trending in the United States and Canada. Fortunately, much of that was due to well-deserved backlash against the blatant misandry the hashtag started with. Still, a number of people seemed intent on sharing the utopian paradise they envision if they suddenly had 24 hours without men.
Of course, the reality is that even the most brazen man-hater would not actually find they enjoy the many ramifications of a world without men, so we’ve decided to set the record straight. What would really happen if all men disappeared for a day?
First, Some Important Statistics
- Men represent 50.4% of the global population.
- Men are responsible for 63% of global gross domestic product (GDP).
- In the US, 96% of firefighters are men.
- In the US, 65% of paramedics are men.
- In the US, 62% of emergency room doctors are men.
- In the US, 92% of power plant operators are men.
- In the US, 74% of sanitation workers are men.
- In the US, 80% of truck drivers are men.
- In the US, 75% of delivery drivers are men.
It’s also worth noting that:
- In the US, 87% of miners are men.
- In the US, 85% of oil and gas workers are men.
- In the US, 63% of agricultural workers are men.
- In the US, 53% of factory workers are men.
As for women:
- In the US, women control 73% of consumer spending.
- In the US, women make up 55% of emergency room visits.
- Women make 57% of online purchases.
For the purposes of this thought experiment, we will extrapolate any US-specific data to the world at large.
A Day Without Men
The Crises Pile Up
If you look at the statistics, the most obvious problem that stands out is emergency care. Women are the majority of ER visits but a minority of paramedics and ER doctors. According to the CDC there are roughly 350,000 ER visits per day in the US with some 95,000 of those being for injuries. Many of these would go inadequately treated, leading to permanent injury and even death.
Similarly, there are nearly 1,000 home fires and 8 resulting deaths in the US each day. Since nearly all firefighters are men, these emergencies would mostly go uncontrolled, and the deaths and property damage would skyrocket.
Who’s Doing the Dirty Work?
More subtly, there would be serious economic consequences. The disappearance of men for one day would mean a loss of over $146 billion in global GDP. Assuming they went right back to work the next day, this would be a total contraction of around 0.2% for the year, a noticeable amount considering the global economy has only contracted over a whole year twice since 1961.
More importantly, consider where that production would drop. It would almost certainly be a day without power and running water and sewage due to men’s essentially running those industries. Even if the women left over wanted to go about their lives in the dark, they’d have trouble conducting business, shopping or running most errands because supply chains would be destroyed for lack of truck drivers to bring them their products. This is especially unfortunate since women do the most purchasing overall.
Even the drop in production that’s not immediately noticeable, for example in food or oil and gas, commodities for which there are reserves enough to last a day without production, the ramifications would be negative. The drop in supply and kink in the supply chain would mean increased prices for energy, groceries, prepared food, and especially manufactured goods, for which women dominate consumption.
It’s safe to say that a day without men wouldn’t be fun for anyone at all. But frankly, it shouldn’t be necessary to point out their contributions to society to realize that. Rather, we should rue the idea of a day without men because men are our fathers, brothers, sons and friends. Men are valuable as human beings for who they are, and we shouldn’t want to spend even a day without them.