Today, November 19th is international men’s day. And quite frankly, I’m so grateful that there is a day dedicated to men and the contributions they make to society. A day to celebrate masculinity at times when it is demonized as toxic. Many times we as a society take for granted the little things that men do in our lives. The acts of selflessness performed by fathers, sons, brothers, uncles and nephews to ensure that the family and the people in their relationships are happy.
Men have been quietly getting the job done
Men are the protectors and the providers in our lives. Many fathers live simply so that we can live large. They keep moving forward with tasks that are often unacknowledged. Think of the construction worker, for example, mostly a team of guys working their asses off building magnificent structures that we in society simply use. How often do we think of those men who are simply “men at work”. How about our sanitation workers who collect the garbage at the wee hours of the morning so we can have our clean streets to wake up to. To those unsung heroes, I see you and I salute you! I often marvel at those guys strapped the telephone and electric poles, performing their work under the radar.
Just men getting the job done. The list, of course, can go on but I urge you; walk out side and think about the contributions of all the men who have been involved in the things that you see. And let it sink in for a while.
For all their value and service to our society, men face unsettling rates of suicide, mental health problems, problems with their physical health. And yet, there seems to be far less concern for the health and well being of males than we see for females. And that’s one of the reasons I think International Men’s day is so vital. It is a tremendous opportunity to not only salute the contributions of males throughout the world but also to raise awareness in one powerful voice that the mental and physical well being of men and boys needs attention and resources from a policy level all the way down to the grass-roots level. It’s also a day to raise awareness about breaking barriers that men face including in education, domestic abuse, child custody, etc.
Every day is NOT international men’s day
The celebration is picking up steam as people from different countries are becoming more aware of the day dedicated for men. And it is true that there is a lot of blow-back about daring to have a day dedicated to men. Some may say that “every day is international men’s day” due to the “patriarchy”. These sentiments are rubbish, of course. Every issue affecting men is important and deserves recognition.
Let’s aspire to be our brother’s keeper and push past any negativity we face. Encouraging each other in the face of the anti-male agenda. A lot of shade is thrown at people for celebrating international men’s day but lets remove that darkness with light.