Celebrating the Men in our Lives: International Men’s Day

I didn’t know about Men’s Day until a couple of years ago, and I was incredibly pleased when I found out there actually is one.  I know my next comment is going to annoy a lot of my female friends and readers out there, but … I always felt it was wrong to have a Women’s International Day, when as a gender we are always going on about equality.

It always seemed slightly in-equal, having a day just about us.  I understand totally why women need to fight for things, and sadly there are many places in the world where women are by no means equal in their rights or considered by the governments of the countries in which they live.

My personal thought is that we do need a Men’s’ Day too, because again, not all men are treated equally, and they also face discrimination, violence and sexual attack.

The focus of this year’s celebrations:

The organisers of UKMensday.org, have three core themes:

  • Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys
  • Raising awareness and/or funds for charitiessupportingmen and boys’ wellbeing
  • Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity

Men’s place in society has hugely changed over the last decades, and there are very many reasons why. This has impacted on their view of themselves, their confidence, and sometimes their ability to cope.  Not helped by the fact that men don’t like to talk about their feelings!  

Within this, I’m also referring to boys – they will be men soon enough.

A poem about my thoughts on societal changes and men’s lives.

The importance of men in our lives

Men are important in all of our lives. We all have a biological father, at this point in history.

My dad was incredibly important to me, and I lost him far too young, when he was 56, and a week before my 19thbirthday.  He was always there for me as a child, he played with me, he taught me to draw, he made me laugh – a lot, and we used to sing together.

Men face many challenges, and no more so than during the recent months of Covid. 

Dads have been home schooling, cooking, maybe even the full-time carers while their wives continued to work.  Sadly, many have lost their jobs during this time too.

Covid 19 has caused 18, 671 men from 30, 742 deaths overall in England to have lost their lives up until Oct 14th2020.  This accounts for 61% of all deaths.

There is a lot of worry of men committing suicide too. In 2018,  4, 903 men took their own lives,  which is 13 per day in the UK.  And we all recognise how much these last few months have negatively affected many peoples’ mental health, particularly when, in the majority, they still see themselves  as the main breadwinner and employment is under threat.

12,031 men died from Prostate cancer in 2017, which is  33 per day; over one per hour. I know that many people are worried about getting to see doctors or even get hospital appointments while the beds are filling with people ill from Covid.

I have three male friends who are undergoing treatment for this invasive disease at the moment.

(To read more statistics about male issues: UKmensday.org.uk)

We need to take care of our men. Remind them to take care of their own health, and help them to maintain their mental health too.

Who are the important men in your life?  Celebrate them, and remember to tell them how special they are and how important within your family.

“Being a role model is the most powerful form of education. Too often fathers neglect it because they get so caught up in making a living they forget to make a life.” 

John Wooden, “A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court”.