It is International Men’s Day today. Why is this necessary and what can you do to be part of the Good crowd?
I asked these very questions to Ingeborg Breines, a leader of the creation of International Men’s Day, former UNESCO director and current co-president of the International Peace Bureau (among her dozens of accomplishments in gender and peace studies).
“Since the great majority of the world’s leaders are men, it is vital that they look into how they exercise their roles as leaders,” said Breines. “Research shows that societies with a high level of gender equality have lower levels of violence, and the other way around. Research also shows that workplaces with both women and men have better work atmospheres than mono-workplaces. So the hope is to allow boys and girls, women and men to develop according to their capacities and potential and not restrict anybody by stereotyped expectations.”
It might strike you as odd (it did to me, at first) that we have a day to celebrate men. It’s like saying that it’s international oxygen day, or international water day… right? Well, the organization behind IMD (that’s what the cool kids call it) present a compelling argument on their site for celebrating and concentrating on men today.
“Men make sacrifices everyday in their place of work, in their roles as husbands and fathers, for their families, for their friends, for their communities and for their nation. International Men’s Day is an opportunity for people everywhere of goodwill to appreciate and celebrate the men in their lives and the contribution they make to society for the greater good of all. People all over the world are used to relating to men as protectors and providers, but how often do we consider the actions we can all take to protect Men and Boys from harm and provide them with a safe world where they can thrive and prosper?”
I dug a little deeper into the foundation of this day and I found the bottom line.
International Men’s Day is a chance to promote positive aspects of male identity based on the premise that ‘males of all ages respond more energetically to positive role models than they do to negative gender stereotyping.’ In other words, the more we celebrate Good Men, the more we create Good Men. Honk (Tweet) if you know or want to help create Good Men!
Since it’s a holiday for Good Men, I’m going to be here at the helm of Twitter (@NextGent) to talk about #InternationalMensDay, let me know about the good role models of men you have seen in your life, or how you’re planning to celebrate Good Men today.
Oh, and here are those 6 reasons you clicked on the headline, brought to you by InternationalMensDay.com:
- To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sportsmen but everyday, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
- To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
- To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
- To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law.
- To improve gender relations and promote gender equality.
- To create a safer, better world; where people can live free from harm and grow to reach their full potential
Photo credit InternationalMensDay.com