Some people may have doubts about the idea of International Men's Day in a society where conversations about diversity and gender equality are becoming more and more common. Why do we need a special day for males in light of past gender inequalities? Every year, on November 19th, International Men's Day provides a forum for discussing the particular difficulties that men encounter. It also helps to start important discussions about mental health, societal expectations, masculinity and the goal of creating a more equal society. This article explores the meaning of International Men's Day and explains why it is important in the changing social environment of today.
Going Through The History
An annual celebration of International Men's Day (IMD) is held on November 19 in a number of nations worldwide. The origin of International Men's Day can be traced to the early 1990s. Thomas Oaster officially launched International Men's Day on February 7, 1992, but the idea for the day originated on February 8, 1991.
Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh, a Trinidadian history professor, again revived the idea for IMD. He suggested that a day be set aside to honour and commemorate the achievements that men have made to society, their families and the local community. Trinidad & Tobago celebrated the first International Men's Day on November 19, 1999.
International Men's Day has grown in popularity and recognition since its founding. Numerous nations observe the day in a variety of ways, including public gatherings, awareness campaigns, conferences, seminars and panel debates. The day intends to address significant issues that impact boys and men, including toxic masculinity, parenting, mental health and male-specific health difficulties.
The Controversy And Reality
Isn't it International Men's Day every day? Why is International Men's Day necessary? Some find it bittersweet to celebrate the idea of "man," which has dominated society in both terms, economically and politically, for years. They argue that concentrating on issues pertaining to men takes attention away from the continuous struggles that women confront all around the world. Concerns have also been raised over the day's possible misuse, which could serve to uphold rather than challenge existing gender norms. However, there are some important goals behind having a day dedicated to men's issues and International Men's Day (IMD) is not meant to compete with the notions of International Women's Day.
International Men's Day is observed annually, with a focus on particular themes related to the struggles that boys and men confront. These themes can take many different forms, ranging from advocating for gender equality to strengthening men's mental health, fostering positive masculinity and opposing prejudice and stereotypes based on gender.
Increasing public awareness of men's health issues is one of International Men's Day's main goals. IMD provides a forum for talking about common health issues that affect men, such as mental health issues, high suicide rates, and testicular, and prostate cancer. The day inspires men to give their health and well-being first priority by raising awareness and educating people.
On International Men's Day, positive masculinity is promoted by highlighting traits like empathy, respect and compassion. It dispels negative stereotypes and exhorts men to accept their feelings, ask for assistance when necessary and cultivate wholesome relationships. By endorsing virtuous male role models, IMD helps to transform how society views masculinity.
Arguments For Celebrating International Men's Day
Similar to the reality we discussed above, how International Men's Day is different from the notions of the people who are against this day, the arguments for celebrating are also alike.
Acknowledging Men's Mental Health
Men's mental health is an important topic that International Men's Day brings attention to. Men have historically been expected by society to be powerful, emotionless and stoic. But this misconception might cause serious problems with mental health. Men's mental health can be openly discussed on this day, which encourages men to get help without worrying about being judged. In addition to helping men individually, addressing mental health issues promotes better communities.
Fostering Gender Equality
Regardless of gender, achieving gender equality is a common aim that benefits everyone. On International Men's Day, we highlight the value of equality and inclusivity. By recognizing the problems faced by men and promoting gender parity, we build a more equitable and harmonious community. Men's efforts are acknowledged without lessening the significance of women's rights; rather, it emphasises the necessity of gender equality and solidarity.
Celebrating Male Role Models
On International Men's Day, we have the chance to honour the beneficial contributions that men have made to a variety of industries, including social services, healthcare, science and education. By honouring men who exemplify these positive traits, we motivate and empower the next generation. Honouring these accomplishments encourages the male community to feel proud and motivated, which encourages further greatness and beneficial effects.
Fostering Support Networks
It gives men a chance to interact, exchange stories and offer support to one another, forming meaningful networks that can enhance mental health and general well-being. Furthermore, the awareness raised by these occasions promotes the creation of after-observance community projects and support organisations. These networks provide males with a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences that facilitate problem-solving and foster a sense of community and mutual support.
Along with achieving these goals, IMD also focuses on breaking the narratives set up by us over various years. One of the most important things is, "Men don't cry". Many men still live in fear of stereotypes and conform to the ideal of what it means to be a male in society. It contributes to the fact that male confinement rates are high, boys are having difficulty in school, and suicide is the leading cause of mortality for men under 45, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Men may find it more difficult to show vulnerability since it goes against their expected gender roles. If the goal of International Women's Day is to honour women's achievements, then IMD may honour men who are confronting the danger of stereotypes.
A cursory glance at social media reveals waves of people recognizing and supporting those who are motivated to make man a more inclusive category and who "fight against toxic gender norms." IMD is a chance to embrace diversity rather than demonise them. It is a chance to encourage alternate, kinder, more independent forms of manhood that can serve as real examples for boys of all ages to aspire to, while also celebrating the diversity of men.
The goal of International Men's Day is to promote inclusivity and understanding rather than to downplay the value of other gender-specific holidays. By designating a day specifically for men, society recognizes their struggles, encourages positive masculinity, tackles health inequalities and advances gender parity. In the end, celebrating International Men's Day helps to make the world a more sympathetic, equitable and peaceful place for everybody.
Written By: Ayush Maurya
Edited By: Chirajita Gupta