"If there's a Women's Day, there should also be a Men's Day," we often hear people who argue about gender equality say. And in all fairness, they are right. But here's what they don't know: There is a Men's Day and it is celebrated worldwide on November 19th every year. The day is observed to appreciate and celebrate how men add value to our lives. This year, the theme is 'Positive Male Role Models.' In recent times, pressing women's issues have taken centre stage in the country, the #MeToo Movement, Sabarimala women's entry, etc. Traditionally, women have been more forthcoming about their problems with patriarchy, keeping the dialogues surrounding pertinent issues alive until they are resolved. But when it comes to men's problems, there's an eerie silence from all quarters, especially men's own. International Men’s Day 2018 Date & Theme: Objectives, Significance & Why Do We Celebrate This Day.
In almost all parts of the world, men are scoffed at for "going soft" and talking about their problems. While little boys are shamed for crying, grown men are held up to lofty standards of strength and stoicism. Men traditionally adhere to these ideals without complaints for the fear of ridicule and ostracism. In the bargain, men lose out on opportunities to talk about and resolve problems that plague them. That's why, we need a Men's Day to make the world realise that the strong can be vulnerable too. Let Us Break These Male Gender Stereotypes That Exist in Society.
1 Men's Suicides
Suicides have become a public health crisis in India. Although more Indian women than men commit suicides, the latter are more likely to go through with it, which means men are at a greater risk of being "successful" at suicides than women. As opposed to females, males are also more likely to mask their suicidal signs. 5 Shocking Facts About Men and Depression.
2 Child Custody Rights
Another area where men lose out on is Child Custody Rights. The law is more in favour of women than men when it comes to custody rights of their children, because its commonly assumed that women are primary caretakers It's a topic of constant heartache for divorced men who have to make peace with visitation to see their children. Movember Foundation Wants to Focus on Health of 50 Million Men This Year.
3 False Dowry Cases
Dowry is a social evil India has still not been able to completely shake off even 57 years after the Dowry Prohibition Act. But there is another rising trend of false dowry cases, where men and their families are falsely accused of dowry-related harassment. Men's rights activists say that the section 498A of IPC has been abused by certain vindictive parties to extort money from men and to abuse their families. Gender equality activists like Deepika Bharadwaj has been actively fighting such cases.
4 Toxic Masculinity
Gender stereotypes that prescribe sexual chastity to women also repress men by expecting them to be "masculine." This stereotype can be just as damaging since it prohibits men from being anything except stoic and strong, shaming them for showing any emotions except anger.
5 Gay Rights
Toxic masculinity also leaves men vulnerable to homophobia. They also become victims of familial rejection, workplace discrimination, violence and social stigma. According to the data by Centers for Diseases Prevention and Control, gay men who experienced social rejection were eight times more likely to have attempted suicide, six times more likely to experience severe depression, three times more likely to use illegal drugs and three times more likely to have indulged in risky sex. When is International Men's Day?
6 Domestic Violence
It's commonly assumed that only women can be victims of domestic abuse. But the truth is that men can be vulnerable too and the trauma is the same. But the embarrassment of admitting violence at the hands of women stops men from confessing about being victims of domestic violence. But today, there is a spurt in the number of reported cases. Changing gender roles and power dynamics between couples will see more such cases in the future.
7 Rape and sexual harassment
Male victims of rape and sexual harassment aren't taken seriously and are often ridiculed for confessing, which discourages many men from speaking about their experience. But the truth is that instances of sexual harassment against men are on the rise but aren't treated with seriousness, also because sexual crimes committed by women against men are seen as less threatening.