There are many men in my life who I constantly admire, appreciate, and, most importantly, support.
InternationalMensDay is not just a hashtag on Twitter, but a time to show your support for issues that are face by men. I 100% fully support this every year. Last year, I showed my support for Movember by not shaving for the whole month… I was at least warm during the cold months.
I, also, know plenty of feminists who go out of their way to show their support for such an important day. Obviously, because let’s not forget that feminism includes everyone. Equality is inclusive for everyone; no matter who you are, your background or your gender.
Last year, I took part in an open mic night to promote the importance of men discussing their mental health. It has always been an important cause to me, and always will be. You can read what I wrote here.
International Men’s Day is special to me for many reasons.
However, my main inspiration is my younger brother. He’ll probably absolutely despise me writing this about him. I want my brother to become a man in a world where he can speak out about domestic violence, mental health issues, assault and his emotional well being. I want him to not feel shame if he feels sad, or he is really struggling. I want my brother to grow up to be a man who is not overshadowed by toxic masculinity. I want him to be happy to discuss anything with his male friends and not feel excluded because of it. I want him to become a man in a world that celebrates being different, rather than exclude you because you don’t fit into the societal norm of a man.
Sometimes, I see how damaging societal pressures can be on men. I cannot fathom how much this guy means in my life. I believe he is the male version of me. Though, I’ve seen him have a few struggles and International Men’s Day is a time for me to appreciate him. Now, I don’t want to sound all emotional, Callum, but you are honestly so inspirational. As someone who constantly makes me laugh when I’m down, you should be able to discuss when you’re feeling down and feel okay with it. I’m not going to get too soppy because I know that Callum would tell me to get a grip, and ask what had happened to me. Constantly inspiring me to love myself, and ‘slay’, I hope International Men’s Day brings awareness for the need to discuss mens mental health.
In general, International Men’s Day is a time for us to remember the many things that men have done for us in our lives. Or how supportive they have been. I wouldn’t have kept going towards my dreams if I didn’t have a past supportive boyfriend who helped me to understand I could achieve anything I wanted.
On a less personal note, International Men’s Day is needed to raise awareness of how damaging childhood stereotypes are. The constantly used phrase of ‘man up’ needs to be eradicated. Suicide rate for men is three times that of women. It is the biggest killer among men under 35. There are so many issues that both genders need to impress, and sometimes the men are left behind.
International Men’s Day should be about raising the men up and showing them that they can lean on us when need be. They always have a shoulder to lean on and someone who will always listen to them.
IMD is a day where we tell men that it is okay to cry, it is okay to show emotion, it is okay to speak out. It is 100% okay to not be everything that society expects of a man.
No need to ‘man up’.
Thanks for reading. Have a lovely weekend! xx