By Amber Swali
In light of International Men’s day, on the 19th of November, it is vital to consider the heritage surrounding the day and why, despite the historical advantage that males have over women in all aspects of life, it should not undermine the dialogue surrounding issues faced by men, and undercut the positive attributions to society made by males.
International Men’s day calls for the celebration of masculinity, manhood and inclusivity, as well as addressing discrimination and disadvantage, acknowledging the contribution of males, and raising awareness and actively improving the mental health and wellbeing of males.
While many may question the necessity in celebrating with a day exclusive to men, we should take the opportunity to recognise the obstacles and struggles exclusive to each individual and consider the wider consequences these obstacles have on men. A rife issue that men consistently face is the confidence to address the state of their mental health. This fact can be verified by data which stated that, in 2020 3 out of 4 suicides were male. Furthermore, 2 out of 3 violent deaths are men. These horrifying statistics are all the more reason for promoting the objectives of International Men’s Day. We must take accountability for the world we live in and begin to make it a safer place for everyone, as promoted on International Men’s day.
Furthermore, the broad range of laws, values, social structures and expectations faced by different men in different countries play another hand in the necessity in educating society on International Men’s Day. The abundant role that individuality plays within society should motivate us to be mindful of the singular experience that each male faces, resultant from their social, racial, fitcal, ethnic and sexuality identification. With consideration of this, International Men’s day endorses that society needs to take the opportunity to celebrate individuality, and oppress discrimination.
As a form of proactive celebration and gratitude for the positive contribution of men, people are encouraged to organise events, create posters, and send certificates of appreciation within your local community. In addition, the use of hashtags, including #mensday #internationalmensday #TalkingAboutMen will produce further engagement on the cause and allow for this day to receive the awareness necessary to provide greater equality, inclusivity and positivity around discussions on masculinity. The sooner we appreciate the necessity for celebrating International Men’s Day, the sooner we can enjoy a safer, diverse and inclusive world, commemorating each other’s achievements.