International Men’s Day: For the men in our lives!

While browsing through a few websites on the internet and squandering my daily share of time on Facebook, I discovered that 19th November is celebrated as the International Men’s Day each year. The day was standardized globally in 1999 when it kicked off in Trinidad and Tobago. All right, so they do have a special day dedicated to the men who might otherwise escape with comments that the 364 days of the year (apart from the women’s day) are theirs.

For a large number of people, the rationale behind marking a day separately for the men is to promote gender equality. Of course, we can’t let men claim that the world is biased towards women. Also, we have to let them know that the entire year, excluding March 8, doesn’t belong to them. A fight of the sexes.

I have asserted being a feminist several times and that in no way means that I loathe men or that I do not value their significance in my life. The people who know me even slightly also recognize that for every single female-friend, I have a count of 5 male friends. Okay, so I love men and sometimes I even wish I was one of them. Perhaps this confession would have made you a little judgmental towards me. However, may be that’s what makes me a feminist; the blatant identification of the differences in the lives of men and women, the manner in which they are treated by the society or the set of rules that bind a woman and set loose a man. Therefore, a huge proportion of girls all over do wish they were males. That would make them less vulnerable to the deeply emotional and miserable facets of life, would allow them to take their own decisions, and would bestow them with a greater number of societal rights in terms of employment, domestic chores, sexual assaults, pregnancy and the like. And certainly, they’d escape the monthly agony of their periods.

Yet, to think of all the male friends I have, I sympathize with them for feeling a little discarded at times. After all, it’s the International Men’s Day and we’re still discussing about women rights. That’s not equality. Or is it?

Most of the gender-bias issues arise in specific countries where many women are restricted within the confines of a male-chauvinist society even today. But, that doesn’t take away the trouble faced by countless men throughout the world. So, if the social order of a place requires all women to stay at home, cook and take care of children, keeping aside their dreams and aspirations; then, even the men are entailed to earn well enough to support a family, keeping aside their preferences that might comprise creating art, writing, cooking or becoming stay-at-home fathers. Now, isn’t that the limitation of being a man?

Moreover, just because of the silly adage: ‘Boys don’t cry’, we don’t give them the liberty to break down when they are miserable or to exhibit their pain openly.  I have seen men cry, I have understood their helplessness and sorrow and yet I have also seen people who find the whole situation a little ‘atypical’. Men also have the right to bare their agony and not feel guilty about it. That’s also an element of fairness.

I value that it’s the need of the hour to deliberate on women issues and let them find their voice particularly in some evident backward sections of the society; however, this prejudiced focus shouldn’t make us disregard the sexual and physical assaults that men endure on a daily basis, the health issues pertinent to males or the unjust expectations we have of them. Recognizing this won’t entitle us as male-chauvinists or anti-feminists; it would just make us humans.

Happy International Men’s Day.

Our lives are incomplete without the men in them.

P.S: And tomorrow we can get back to talking about women. The rest of the 364 days are ours! 😉

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