Happy International Men’s Day! This year’s theme is “making a difference for men and boys.”
There is an International Men’s Day website, but it’s down at the moment, presumably because of too much traffic. However, based on Google’s cached version:
“International Men’s Day encourages men to teach the boys in their lives the values, character and responsibilities of being a man. Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must become the change we seek.” It is only when we all, both men and women, lead by example that we will create a fair and safe society which allows everyone the opportunity to prosper.”
As a feminist, I could argue that every day is men’s day. However, I believe that feminism makes all of us better, and we need men on board for that. To get men on board, we need them to recognize the problems they experience as a result of traditional patriarchal power structures and beliefs around gender roles.
So on International Men’s Day, I hope that men and boys will feel empowered to be themselves and express their health and other needs, without being constrained by toxic masculinity.
We need to teach our boys that there is a better way. Certainly when it comes to mental health, we need to teach our boys that it’s okay to express emotion and seek out help. We need our boys to grow up to respect themselves and to respect women as equals. That will help us all prosper.