Yes, there’s an International Men’s Day

International Men's Day IMD Logo While many may question its existence, the objectives behind celebrating the annual event are very serious indeed
Nishadh Mohammed, International Men’s day, a day to celebrate manhood, is observed on November 19 worldwide. The avowed objectives include focusing on men’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting male role models. Apparently, it is also an occasion to highlight discrimination against men and boys and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and childcare. However, in the run up to the 16th International Men’s Day globally and eighth in India, it is baffling that many are not even aware of November 19th being IMD, even in the digital era. Lesser known than its female equivalent, International Men’s Day is celebrated in more than 70 countries across the world and apparently has a history dating to 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago where it was first celebrated. However, unlike certain other countries where the mainstream media and government bodies promote the need to address men’s issues and organise events to debate and discuss manhood, the scene isn’t the same in India. Rahul Kumar, a Kochi-based software engineer says, “I didn’t know that there was an International Men’s Day till recently. But I think that it is a great idea. Because, either intentionally or otherwise, we as a society tend to underplay issues faced by men. We have preconceived notions and unwritten rules that make it more difficult for men to talk about depression or violence against them. A day to address such issues could indeed make a major difference.” The common refrain by critics is, ‘Every day is a man’s day, why do you need a special day for men’. But many think this approach only helps push men’s issues under the carpet. Krishnaprasad, who is a member of a group that celebrates International Men’s Day through discussions and activities, says, “We address issues that affect men and boys all over the world such as men’s shorter life expectancy, the high male suicide rate, our collective tolerance of violence against men and boys, and the struggles that boys face in getting good education and the unique challenges of father-child relationships.” While opinions remain divided about the need for a day to celebrate manhood, a large section of the feminists, says the core of feminism in its true sense is equality and hence it’s only fair to have an IMD. Radhika Vashisht, a motivation tutor and self-confessed feminist, says, “As a feminist and advocate of the idea that men and women should be treated equally, why shouldn’t men have their own day? There are really important issues when it comes to men’s rights. Celebrating IMD could be instrumental towards making men and women more equal in all spheres of our daily lives. This doesn’t belittle the deep injustice many women are subjected to or the ‘casual’ day-to-day sexism that defeats them at every hurdle. If anything, debating the discrimination against men simply underlines how much worse it is for women.”Source: The Asian AgeImage:

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