Why Men Should Be Celebrated as Enshrined in the 6 Pillars of International Men’s Day.
Should men be celebrated? Is it that men love the low profile, and that society has accepted it that way maybe in a bid to maintain the status quo? Or maybe society has epitomized women as the centre of attention with the argument that in yesterday’s years, they had been oppressed while men enjoyed the spoils and that now it is their time?
Whatever the case, men continue to slide deep into oblivion as the rallying call for gender equality becomes louder. Even more profound is the silence on equity and the rising activism for women and girl-child rights. Which is right. But perhaps it is high time for the boy-child to be remembered because according to my assessment, he is slowly becoming forgotten.
For some time, it has been believed that only women experience brutality and abuse in society. Unfortunately, that is not the case because there have been rising cases of men being abused as well. And I hope we understand that abuse is not necessarily physical only.
Well, some years back I wrote an article encouraging men to speak up. The reception was positive, but I don’t know if men kept the fire burning or at some point, it died out. The purpose of challenging men to speak out was that men had been perceived as a strong species which only gives out and should never exhibit any signs of weakness.
This was confirmed by a certain discussion I eavesdropped on some time back ago, now that it was unavoidable, of some young ladies discussing what type of a man they desired. All of them set out their metrics and it pointed to the expectation of receiving with nothing to give out. Not even moral and emotional support.
Luckily, men are a good species. I don’t mean women are bad, nay. I contextualised this discussion on International Men’s Day. In fact, in my writings, I have celebrated women more than I did men. So, men are a good species because they continue to live and meet their expectations irrespective of whether society believes that perhaps they are overrated or irrelevant. And that is even more reason why we should celebrate men by all means.
And the 6 pillars of International Men’s Day present the reasons why men need to be celebrated. By living the objectives in place of merely knowing them, the whole point discussion of a forgotten and irrelevant man/boychild will evaporate like the morning dew in the face of the sun.
The objectives of the International Men’s Day are as follows:
- To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sportsmen but everyday, working-class men who are living decent, honest lives.
To safeguard the future of the young boys and men who are growing, there is every need to have positive role models for them in society. This needs to go beyond the sensational promotions on TV about what real success means and the perception of the wide society about what a ‘real’ man is and looks like.
The day, as originally envisioned was meant to celebrate all men in their entirety including our fathers who may not be the richest folks in the world but have lived decently and honestly and have, in their rights, succeeded. Yet still, movie stars and sportsmen need to be used as an example to challenge young men to explore and exploit their talents for the good of humanity.
- To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, childcare, and the environment.
Men have had great positive contributions to society that often go unnoticed largely because they become clouded in the narrative of gender roles. By providing for the family, protecting them and meeting those societal needs much as they may be termed obligations, men need a clapping.
Our communities are full of men who are fighting to ensure safer spaces for both young and old, men and women, girls and boys and animals. These men who may range from security guards, delivery men, emergency response persons, caregivers, husbands, boyfriends et cetera need a huge celebration for sure.
- To focus on men’s health and well-being: social, emotional, physical, and spiritual.
I should be a little brutally honest here. International Men’s Day is meant to remind us all that even men have ‘issues.’ That is a reminder to the women that men too need all the support towards promoting their social, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.
More importantly, it is a reminder to the men that they need to speak out when under duress and in need of support. The whole thing of ‘dying manly’ with problems is old-fashioned. The belief that a man should not cry is perhaps outdated. Men need safe spaces to ‘cry out’ as well. And when cry, we should not victimize them.
- To highlight discrimination against men in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law.
Men have been made to look like condemned criminals in certain situations sometimes because of the laws of the land that don’t favour men. International Men’s Day however reminds us that before we throw stones and castigate a man, we ought to take a step back and seek facts for example when domestic violence comes up and the man states that he is the victim.
Also, this calls for reduced discrimination against men in social services roles. I am reminded of a case in time when a woman went delivering a baby and found out that the doctor to deliver her was a male. It became a whole issue. Let us remember that there is no honour in ignorance and that men are humans first and foremost and need to be treated with dignity everywhere.
- To improve gender relations and promote gender equality.
When you celebrate International Men’s Day, as we also celebrate International Women’s Day, we should be reminded that gender relations are very important and that equality and equity are important to both genders. There shouldn’t be biases based on contexts.
Men have emotions as well and get hurt. They also need to be cared for and supported. We should also remember that they, too, get discriminated against and get abused. The thought of men as beasts of the jungle and unfit for certain feminine roles should be done away with just as a lot of masculine roles have been taken up by women and society has become better courtesy of that.
- To create a safer, better world, where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.
Lastly, let us be reminded by these international gender celebrations days that we need a safer and better world for all people. That all people, including men, need to be supported and enabled to reach their highest potential possible. It is prudent to envision a safer world in mind for all people appreciating the fact that men too, become vulnerable.
When there is no peace, a large percentage of the men in front-line battle often become men and that lack of safety becomes a threat to the whole male fraternity. These threats against men have become more profound ranging from drug abuse, physical violence, emotional violence, and psychological abuse among others. It is high time we strived to fight for men. Let us remember to celebrate them.
I wasn’t celebrated that much during International Men’s Day 2023, but I chose to celebrate myself. To all the men who let the day silently slide by, I remembered you folks and I celebrated you big time. As the 2023 theme states, LET’S SAY NO TO MALE SUICIDES.