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.
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
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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.“
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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.”
“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
“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
‘GRAM OF THE WEEK
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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.