Did you know? That there is such a thing as International Men’s Day? I didn’t know till I saw a post on my friends FB page this morning.
Their website says this about what its all about.
The 6 Pillars of International Men’s Day
1. To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but everyday, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
2. To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
3. To focus on men’s health and well being; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
4. To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law
5. To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
6. To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential..
Seems noble enough. I guess I have no problem celebrating men once a year outside Father’s Day. I have nothing against men, I like them very much as a matter of fact and I would like to see more positive male role models and a safer better world etc etc etc.
I gave birth to and raised two men myself and I would like to encourage them and reinforce all the good stuff I taught them about being good, caring, responsible and loving men. One of them is even a father himself now, of two daughters no less. I had to raise two modern men and I expect him to raise two modern women (with help of course, we all have lots of help).
While I ‘get it’ and I almost shared the good news blindly without a caveat or a critique, further consideration made me pause and look into it some more.
Apparently we need to feel sorry for men because, you know what, they are committing suicide in record high numbers according to a UK report that came out to coincide with IMD. Four thousand five hundred suicides were recorded in England and Wales last year, 78% of them were men. In India the National Crime Records Bureau report for 2013, said 64,098 married men committed suicide as against 29,491 married women. The underlying assumption is that they are suffering a crisis of masculinity.
While men remain the major perpetrators and victims of violence especially male on male violence , women are predominantly victims of male violence. And most of the violence against women is perpetrated in the home while most of the violence against men is perpetrated outside the home. So whats the conclusion? Men are inherently violent? Or just misunderstood?
I’m not man bashing. I raised two sensitive and caring men and I know a lot of other men that are great role models of strength, purpose and compassion. These are the men that I can and will celebrate. The awesome men that aren’t in a ‘crisis of masculinity’, the wonderful men that aren’t wingeing about the gains women have made and are doing something about being better men.