Today is International Men’s Day (IMD), a day where we can celebrate the contributions and value that men bring to the world, their families and communities. So, let’s all first embrace the nearest bloke we see (I’m sure they’ll understand), and then read on to learn about the six pillars on which IMD is founded:1
To promote positive male role models
This doesn’t need to be anyone famous – think of everyday people you know who live honest lives. It could be your own parent/guardian, a close friend, or perhaps the bin-men that keep the streets clean and sparkling for us all!
To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society
When I think of two inspirational male role models in recent years, two people spring to mind. The first, is the late and great Captain Sir Tom Moore, the former British Army Officer who raised almost £33m for NHS Charities Together, by doing laps in his garden during the darkest days of the pandemic.2 The second is Marcus Rashford, for his campaigning last year to secure free school meal vouchers for 1.3 million hungry children across the country.3
To focus on men’s health and wellbeing
This is an important one, given that on average, men tend to live shorter lives than women.4 Whether it be physical, mental or social, men’s health matters. November is a great month for men’s health awareness too, as men across the world grow their mo’ to take part in Movember. If you didn’t already know, Movember is an annual charitable event which encourages guys to grow moustaches during the month of November, to raise awareness of a variety of men’s health issues, including prostate cancer.
To highlight discrimination against men
Any type of discrimination is wrong. As such, it’s important to call it out, regardless of who is on the receiving end.
Researchers from University College London have reported that 39% of men experienced some form of discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic.5 Although this is lower than the 48% reported by women, it is still worryingly high.
Male discrimination could arise in the form of being afforded less parental leave, or it could be connected to other forms of discrimination, such as homophobia. In the “manly” world of top-flight professional football, only Australian Josh Cavallo has publicly come out as gay.6 This makes him the only openly gay current footballer in the world. Out of a pool of thousands of men, why do you think there aren’t more men who are “out” in the LGBTQ+ community?
To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
Everyone deserves to be treated equally, and there is no better time than today to reinforce that notion. Empathy and an open dialogue are powerful tools that we can all use to improve relations and equality for everyone. Whether you’re Joe Biden or Joe Bloggs, it’s good to remember that at the end of the day, we’re all just human.
To create a safer, better world
Last, but not least, we all want a planet where people are safe and can grow to realise their full potential. IMD serves as an important reminder that in a world where you can be anything, be kind.
- https://internationalmensday.com [Accessed 3rd Nov]
- https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalk [Accessed 8th Nov]
- https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/53061952 [Accessed 8th Nov]
- https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy [Accessed 3rd Nov]
- https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2021/sep/nearly-half-adults-have-experienced-discrimination-during-covid-19-pandemic [Accessed 3rd Nov]
- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-59060323 [Accessed 3rd Nov]