INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY FALLS ON THE SAME DAY EVERY YEAR!
November 19th is a day that few people know about; a day that usually comes and goes without any fuss or fanfare, yet it should be an occasion that is globally acknowledged and celebrated. It should be a day where we cease talking about men as a common noun and start showing support towards the increasingly common issues they face like mental health and male suicide. Did you know, International Men’s Day falls on the same day every year? It also coincides with Movember, the period when men stop shaving and grow their moustaches to raise money for men’s health. On International Men’s Day, let us celebrate and show some love for all the positive male role models in our lives.
WHAT DOES TOXIC MASCULINITY MEAN?
So what does “toxic masculinity” actually mean? It is a term often used to describe the negative aspects of exaggerated masculine traits like being violent, emotionally detached and sexually aggressive. Some people view men who show their emotions as weak and not manly enough. We often hear phrases like “man up” or “only girls cry” if men express sensitivity, a consequence of this inaccurate perception. A YouGov.co.uk report showed that 61% of young men in Britain feel pressured to “man up” because of these gender stereotypes. These views can be damaging to men, leading to higher rates of depression, violence and even suicide. We live in the 21st century, this should not be an issue in modern day society, and yet, it remains prevalent.
THE STIGMA THAT COMES WITH BEING A MAN
Of course, being a man in itself is not toxic. It is not a biological trait. Rather, it is the behaviour that some men display that may be deemed toxic. Whilst this is by no means a reflection of all men, there are some out there who can be physically violent, who objectify women and who are bullies in the workplace, actions which should never be condoned. We need to treat men as individuals rather than tarnishing all men with the same brush based on narrow-minded stereotypes. Let us set positive examples and actively work on dissolving this prejudice.