The objectives of celebrating an International Men’s Day set out in “The Six Pillars of International Men’s Day”, include focusing on men’s and boys’ health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting male role models. It is 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 child care.
With the ongoing #MeToo movement, it must be acknowledged that men are harassed too and this movement has been just as accommodating. Stories of men facing sexual assault and harassment isn’t something that should be made light of, and worst, it shouldn’t be considered unmanly if a man opens up about the same. Men have been conditioned to believe that being manly and rough is what gives them character but such fallacy can have adverse effects on their mental well-being.
According to Tribune India, the latest health statistics shows that in India one person commits suicide every four minutes. The National Health Profile 2018 points to the increasing numbers of suicide deaths–a whopping 1,33,623 in a year. This translates into 366 suicide deaths every day and 15 an hour. This points to an even worse picture – nearly 70 per cent of all suicide deaths in India involve males. Of the 1,33,623 people who killed themselves, 68.49 per cent (91,528) were men as against 42,088 women!
Finding it difficult to express their emotions, more than anything, men seek acceptance and it isn’t too much to assume that they, too, can become victims of patriarchy. So this Men’s Day, one must celebrate the fact that men should express their emotions without feeling the need to have his virility questioned or dress in pink, blue or whatever colour he chooses because it’s not “manly” enough. We ought to make it about the day when men know that women are just as equal to them so that there’s no gap between them in terms of pay, occupation, education etc.