International Men’s Day Is, and Absolutely Should Be, A Thing

Fatherhood on Friday: Rather than celebrate men’s accomplishments, IMD pursues the more important task of teaching boys that men’s problems are worth solving.

Dad 2.0 Summit
Nov 22 · 4 min read

The image above is a still from this video, where several people read and react to information about International Men’s Day (November 19). Early on, a woman asks the question that many are probably thinking: “Isn’t every day International Men’s Day?”

It’s understandable to think that if you draw parallels with International Women’s Day, which “celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.” But as the video progresses, and the participants start reading out some alarming statistics about life expectancy, education, suicide, rates of incarceration, etc., that imperil men disproportionately, we see that IMD serves an entirely different purpose.

As we work for gender equity in professional and caregiving roles, we need to confront the cultural factors that are creating the fearful, disaffected men who act tragically when their despair is directed inward, and antisocially when their anger is directed outward. To suggest that these problems aren’t worth our consideration tells our boys that manhood — and by extension, fatherhood — isn’t much to look forward to. And the cycle is doomed to perpetuate.

IMD and IWD are all about achieving balance. (Their shared hashtag is #BalanceForBetter.) If there’s one thing that unites the lives of all people, it’s that we’re all struggling to overcome one thing or another. That both days exist establishes the point that not every day is International Men’s Day, nor should it be.

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IN THE NEWS

Over 70% of South Korea’s population thinks stay-at-home dads are “losers,” and President Moon Jae-in’s government wants to end this “shameful reality.”

These rankings of the best places for working parents feel more useful, since they rely on the results of 4.6 million respondents who answered 60 questions each.

Warning: This beautiful time-lapse video from artist Frans Hofmeester of his daughter’s first 20 years of life will make you hyper-aware of the passage of time.

Ole Miss senior lineman Austrian Robinson’s son, A.J., is about the same age as Robinson was when his father died, so he’s vowed to be the father he never had.

Joel Simpson watches Maryland’s Javon Leake (his son in every way but biologically) play football every weekend from prison, and calls their bond the “best relationship I’ve ever had with another human being.

Every time Tyrell Williams takes the field for the Oakland Raiders, his dad gets goosebumps.

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In Detroit , the Family Assistance for Renaissance Men (FARM) program reunites fathers with their children by teaching them how to leave behind a legacy that can be passed on for generations.

“I wasn’t even sure I wanted kids before we started going out. Then I saw him interacting with children, and suddenly I wanted a lot of them.”

PORCHLIGHT POSTS

“My wife and I insist on teaching these manners whenever applicable. It tells them to be respectful, and if that is the only trait they learn from us, we have done our job … mostly.” — Adam Cherepski, Push In Your Damn Chair

“The year was 2006, I was a student at a bible college who had a policy about unmarried students having sex… and my fiancée just told me she thought she was pregnant.” — Justin Connors, My Biggest Regret As A Father

“Maybe this isn’t about spiders at all. Maybe it’s about me comparing my own life to the beautiful innocence of my son.” — Darragh Gerraghty, Why Dads Cannot Be Afraid of Spiders

“Apologizing when you are wrong doesn’t make you weak or soft. It makes you human.” — Vernon Gibbs II, Apology Holds Power to be Greatest Gift to Our Children, Society

“Don’t ask questions when you have something to prove. A father can always see that coming. There’s honor in revealing yourself through genuine curiosity.” — Tom Chiarella, How To Talk To Your Dad

‘GRAM OF THE WEEK

Do you receive the Dad 2.0 Summit Newsletter? You should! In it we share all kinds of information and news about the Dad 2.0 Summit. Add it to your inbox! It’s the perfect way to start planning for our ninth summit, coming to Washington D.C. in 2020.

Share your fatherhood news and/or stories with us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Medium using the #FoF hashtag!

We’re off next week for Thanksgiving, but we’ll see you back here on Friday, December 6.


Originally published at https://www.dad2summit.com on November 22, 2019.

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