Only 9 more sleeps to International Men’s Day on Tuesday 19 November 2019. International Men’s Day is now celebrated in more than 80 countries worldwide. International Men’s Day is going from strength to strength. The theme for IMD 2019 is “Making a Difference for Men and Boys.”
The mission of International Men’s Day this year is to help individuals, families, churches, communities, small business and corporates, including NGOs and Government organisations make a difference for men and boys.
We want to promote the need to value men and boys and help people make practical improvements in men and boy’s health and well-being.
International Men’s Day encourages men to lead by example. Boys need positive male role models. Our broader community also needs positive male role models. This is the best way to create a fair and safe society which allows everyone the opportunity to flourish.
On the IMD website we provide suggestions on how you can celebrate International Men’s Day, and how to get your local community involved, to create a community event and/or special award ceremony.
I could say many things about the inequalities that men suffer but I believe our first priority is to encourage men to be the men they need to be.
Everywhere today men are belittled, mocked and ostracised simple because of their masculinity. Worse still the phrase “Toxic masculinity” is parroted endlessly by people who have drunk the red Kool-Aid and have lost their ability to think for themselves. I detest this mindless talk for four reasons.
- Such accusations are barefaced lies. Yes, some men are bad but that does not mean ALL men are bad.
- Masculinity is not toxic any more than femininity is toxic. As Bettina Arndt said, “No gender has a monopoly on vice.”
- True manhood needs to be encouraged and championed at every opportunity just the same as true womanhood.
- The best way to bring positive change is by encouragement, not by denigration. That’s what International Men’s day is all about – so let’s make a difference for men and boys!
For starters let’s celebrate Men and Boys!
Sometimes other people have a way of saying things better. The article below, 10 Habits That Change Boys Into Men by Dr Benjamin Hardy, tells the story very well and puts the priority in the right place. We have to put our boys first.
Male suicide rates have increased to three to four times higher than the female suicide rate. Men are twice as likely as women to become alcoholics. And males are far more likely to commit juvenile crime.
Much has been said and written in recent years about the challenges of men and boys. A sampling of book titles includes:
- Why There Are No Good Men Left
- The Demise of Guys
- The End of Men
- Why Boys Fail
- The End of Men, and the Rise of Women
- Boys Adrift
- Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys
A common theme is that men and boys have become increasingly confused about their identity and role in society. Kay Hymowitz, author of Manning Up, put it this way:
‘It’s been an almost universal rule of civilization that whereas girls became women simply by reaching physical maturity, boys had to pass a test. They needed to demonstrate courage, physical prowess, or mastery of the necessary skills. The goal was to prove their competence as protectors of women and children; this was always their primary social role. Today, however, with women moving ahead in an advanced economy, provider husbands and fathers are now optional, and the character qualities men had needed to play their role – fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity – are obsolete and even a little embarrassing’.
It is the norm in Hollywood films, TV and cable shows, and even commercials to portray men as incompetent, immature, or self-absorbed. This underlying message has subtly and increasingly influenced the collective unconscious with devastating repercussions.
Academically, it is reported in the United States that:
- Girls outperform boys now at every level – from elementary school through graduate school.
- By eighth grade, only 20 percent of boys are adept in writing and 24 percent adept in reading.
- Young men’s SAT scores in 2011 were the lowest they’ve been in 40 years.
- According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), boys are 30 percent more likely than girls to drop out of both high school and college.
- In 2017, women will earn more than 60 percent of bachelor’s and more than 63 percent of master’s degrees.
- Boys make up two-thirds of students in special education remedial programs.
Women deserve the increased success they are getting. They’ve been oppressed for far too long. They’re more motivated and effective than most men. And hopefully society will continue to allow them the increased equality they deserve.
However, this article’s focus is on helping the struggling and confused young man. Indeed, many young men have taken the adverse cues of society as an excuse to evade responsibility and never really grow up.
If you are a young man and you’re struggling, you are not alone. This article is intended to challenge you to rethink your entire approach to life. If applied, these habits will radically set you apart from the decaying norm.
Think beyond yourself.
Kids look to their parents for all the answers. When they become teenagers, they know all the answers. Many never mature out of this stage and remain incredibly narcissistic, which is displayed in the following ways:
- believing you are better than others;
- exaggerating your talents or gifts;
- expecting constant praise and admiration;
- failure to recognize other people’s emotions or feelings;
- expressing disdain for those who seem inferior;
- trouble keeping healthy relationships;
- acting as if you have nothing to learn.
Moving beyond self-consciousness requires an increase in overall consciousness.
By heightening your level of consciousness, you’ll see the brilliance of humanity in general, be able to relate deeper with others, experience greater joy, and have enhanced ability to manifest the destiny of your choosing.
The following are ways to increase your level of consciousness:
- Allow yourself to experience your feelings, rather than block them out. Meditation is a helpful way to do this. You experience your thoughts and feelings, learn from them, and then let them go.
- Let go of what you think should be and genuinely accept what is. The journey is the end, not simply a means to an end.
- Identify the meaningless things to which you’ve assigned meaning. Happiness and security can never be experienced when dependent on the external — they can be achieved only internally.
- Begin trusting your inner voice. If you feel like bringing an umbrella with you even when the weather report suggests it is unnecessary, bring it.
- Explore the world, experience new cultures, and have your paradigm shaken and reframed.
- Question your own intentions and motivations.
- Be humble about your own humanity.
- Act with love and become aware when you are not.”
Read the other nine reasons at this link: trust me, Dr Ben has got his finger on the pulse!
Start planning NOW to celebrate International Men’s Day on Tuesday 19 November 2019. It might be a quiet coffee or a couple of drinks with a few friends to celebrate the day.
Perhaps you could have a special family dinner to observe this notable occasion.
Whatever you do just make sure you enjoy the day and wish everyone you meet “Happy International Men’s Day.”
Yours for Making a Difference for Men & Boys