Every November 19 is celebrated as International Men's Day. But how many of us knew about it well in advance? Probably very few, as it doesn't really have a buzz as much as Women's Day which is celebrated on March 8 every year. In a battle of the sexes that goes on since years, people would even debate if there is a need for marking an International Men's Day. The rest of 364 days of the year are said to favour the men. The male sex is said to be a stronger one and in that strength, we have certain stereotypes associated with them. But as we see growing importance and discussions about feminist movements, maybe it is time we need to break the stereotypes that have stuck to the males. International Men’s Day 2018 Date: Theme, Significance, Objectives & Why Do We Celebrate This Day.
Gender inequality may somehow favour the men at all times, but there are legitimate issues that men face which do not really come up. The interpretations about males are somehow biased, due to these stereotypes they are raised with. But as we gear up for International Men's Day 2018, let us look at some assumptions about men that should just be done and dusted.
Men don't cry: It is still very unclear who initiated this assumption about males that men are not "allowed" to be emotionally expressive. "Big Boys Don't Cry," is a saying that is used many times to baby boys. It thus raises them with an idea that they are not supposed to cry. But why? Who entrenched this idea of men not crying as a trait of masculinity. It is time we embrace the idea of men being expressive with their emotions and shedding tears does not make them any weaker. Why Sexual Abuse of Boys Should be Treated with Seriousness.
All men are privileged: Being a male is said to be a privilege in society. While it may look like, being a male, most definitely does not make it them winners over females. A sex of a person may act as an advantage in some places but branding men to be privileged in all fields is just plain wrong.
Men are bad parents: A mother may be extra caring, good at being a parent or better at handling a crying baby but that does not make men bad parents. As biology goes, a woman will be more attached to the baby since she has carried it for 9 months and the lactation that follows for months later. But one being better than the other does not make the later bad. A dad will take time to bond with his child, also given the nature of his job. But once that is developed, a father can be as involved as the mother. The societal pressure of men not supposed to look after the baby and concentrate on work, thus making them bad parents needs to definitely end.
Men do not face issues: Since it is very easily assumed that men are low on emotions, they are also not the ones to face any problems. Have females taken the supremacy of being emotional and bearing the brunt of all problems? Men may not talk about it, but there have legitimate issues. Men too undergo violence, emotional trauma, in serious cases even rape. But since we overlook and brandish them as the "culprits," the issues don't come forward. In fact, worldwide male suicides are 2-3 times more than female ones. Understanding 5 Shocking Facts About Depression and Suicides in Men.
Boys will be boys/ Men will be Men: The most redundant phrase that has been used with regards to males is boys will be boys and men will be men. The phrase emphasizes on male stereotypes, all-inclusive. It is not used in a positive context and gets reinforced every time a man does some negative action. All men are same also comes up along with this idea of men being a particular way and supposed to act according to the set frame of ideas. We need to have accepting ideas of behaviour without restricting them to a gender identity.
These are some of the stereotypes about males that have been in the society from so many years. As much as we stay woke about women's rights and women's issues, we need to counter these basic assumptions that are withheld about the male gender, not locally but globally. Instead of recognising people through stereotypes, let us create a mindset that allows no preassumptions with regards to gender, a male, female or other. We may be still far away from achieving gender equality, but at least let's do our best to not judge a man for being a man!