International Men’s Day and its Significance

When you see the words “International Men’s Day” trending on Twitter, you may become confused about what this may mean. You could see it as possibly ignorant and offensive to women, or you could be genuinely curious about what it entails. International Men’s Day is a global event on November 19th, and it raises awareness of men’s mental health, discrimination, and gender relations. Every year International Women’s Day falls on March 8th and shares a lot of the same ideals.

International Men’s Day is currently celebrated in over 70 countries. It was founded in 1998 in Trinidad and Tobago. The focuses of this event are to encourage men to be positive role models and focus on the achievements men have made, such as for their community, family, and children. Since the event takes place in November, many men participate in Movember, growing out their mustaches to raise money for men’s health charities.

This year’s theme is “Celebrate Men and Boys.” Recent data from the World Health Organization shows that globally, male life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 69 years; it was 74 years for females. Women on a worldwide basis live 5 years longer than men. Over 95% of workplace fatalities are men, and that 99% of combat deaths are men. When talking about suicide, the suicide rate is worse for men than women and averaged out; the rate of suicide for men is up to three times that of women. In Russia, it is 6 men for every 1 woman. Most people know that men suffer unfair discrimination in family law in most countries of the world, and in western nations, men and boys are dropping behind in school and university.

With this statistic in mind, it is clear that men are mistreated regarding mental health. The topic of mental health already has an existing stigma to it. Men are usually on top when it comes to most things, but when they show traits like mental health issues, others can see them as “not manly.” This year’s celebration of “International Men’s Day” encouraged the viewing of award-winning director Cassie Jaye’s movie “Red Pill.” This documentary is about a brave young woman who takes on the establishment herself and tells the truth about the discrimination men face.

Men truly do make a lot of sacrifices in everyday life. Men work, can be a husband and a father, and take part in their communities. International Men’s Day is a nice tribute to those who contribute to this extent and allows people to celebrate the men in their lives to let them know they are valued. Although International Men’s Day has already happened this year, take this as an opportunity to tell the men in your life you appreciate them.

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