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Nov 19 is International Men’s Day & I'm planning to pamper the men in my life. This year's theme is “Better Relations Between Men & Women.'' This is indeed a step in the right direction!
I had an announcement for my husband and son. I said that I would honour the two men who drive me nuts by preparing a grand dinner for them on International Men’s Day! The “drive me nuts” part was obviously to pull their leg!
Talks about gender equality fill the air all the time. So if we have a day designated to women, it makes absolute sense that we do the same by dedicating a day to all of the wonderful men around.
The theme for this year’s International Men’s Day is “Better Relations Between Men and Women”. This is indeed an intelligent choice and a step in the right direction. The ultimate aim of International Men’s Day is to promote basic humanitarian values. This calls for men to teach the boys in their lives the values, character, and responsibilities of being a man. How often have we heard the phrase “Oh, men will be men”? That absolves them of many misdemeanours they commit. Well, the chains of patriarchy need to be broken, and the offenses need to be corrected.
A recent ad by pharmaceutical company ‘Mankind’ made on the occasion of International Men’s Day has a powerful message. Hash-tagged #NahinChaltaHai (It’s not ok), the video emphasizes that men’s actions cannot be justified just because they have been going on for a very long time. They need to stop!
A man stalking a woman amounts to behaviour that is morally reprehensible. It is just not fine for a groom’s side to be expecting gifts from the bride’s family simply because the tradition has continued for ages. A husband venting his anger on his wife simply because he did not have a good day at work crosses all norms of decency.
The advertisement sends a message that such wrong actions need to be nipped in the bud. This is to ensure that any conscientious boy who is educated with the right values will turn out to be a responsible man in the future.
Men and women need to work in harmony and nurture mutual respect for one another. It is not a battle of the sexes to assert the superiority of one gender over another.
While honouring positive role models and the value they bring to the world, their families, and their communities, International Men’s Day seeks to raise awareness for men’s physical and mental wellbeing.
The culmination of men’s mental health issues into suicides has created a global concern. Part of this problem is related to the thinking process of men. They have been conditioned to believe that they are the superheroes who can solve all issues on their own. They need to understand that asking for help is not considered a sign of weakness.
By harnessing the power of empathy and kindness while dealing with one another, men and women can go a long way in abetting the mental health crisis. It is important that they be allies in solving each other’s problems because they both have strengths that complement each other.
We will witness a lot of progress in society once we view situations with reason. Take the case of feminism. It has got to do with equality and giving women the rights they deserve. It needs to be understood that feminism is not about pitting women against men. So no man needs to feel insecure at the mention of the word “feminist”. Nor should he be ashamed to endorse this fair ideology.
Conversely, while seeking their rights in the name of feminism, women are not at liberty to bash men and play the victim card at every possible opportunity. It is true that injustices have been wrought upon women. But the very essence of feminism is lost if they intend to portray men in a poor light without any redeeming qualities.
Also, the stereotyping needs to come to an end. There is ample truth in what American film writer and director Marti Noxon said: “The problem with generalizations and judgments, the words we hurl as insults, is that they deny our humanity and our stories.”
Just as it is disrespectful to type-cast women as sharp tongued, manipulative, and conniving, it is equally unfair to always present a negative image of men. Not all men are sexual predators, sexists, or dominating.
A balanced judgment is what we all need to have. Both men and women need to act mature and refrain from throwing filth at one another. The violations are the same. If misogyny is considered a crime, so is misandry!
Complying with the brilliant theme of 2021, men and women need to work in close coordination for the upliftment of both genders.
Here’s to appreciating all of the invaluable contributions made by men in every walk of life, and wishing them a Happy International Men’s Day!
Rashmi Bora Das is a freelance writer settled in the suburbs of Atlanta. She has a master’s degree in English from India, and a second master’s in Public Administration from the University of read more...
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