International Men’s Day is celebrated across the globe on November 19. This years’ theme is ‘Gender Equality is the Goal, Not Female dominance’.  The main purpose is to promote gender equality, improve gender relations and highlight the positive role of male models.

Gender Equality is the Goal, Not Female Dominance

So what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you say ‘Gender Equality’? Gender equality is when people of all genders have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. It means both men and women have equal rights. Often many misinterpret gender equality as female dominance since women have been suppressed since forever. The idea is for men and women to enjoy the same access to any opportunities and facilities regardless of their gender. So this means there should be a perfect balance between men and women and the rights they enjoy.

MEN TOO FACE SEXISM

We all know women face sexism but men face it too.

The concept of masculinity is not toxic but our flawed interpretations of it often are.

Men are subjected to certain masculine traits that have been widely glorified and accepted by society. This is what many refer to as ‘toxic masculinity’.

Toxic masculinity refers to the notion that involves societal pressures for men to behave in a certain way.

This idea involves the dominant form of masculinity wherein men use dominance, violence, and control to assert their power and superiority.

The term hints that men need to act tough and avoid showing all emotions that can be harmful to their mental health and the idea of “manliness” perpetuates domination, homophobia, and aggression.

“Real Men Don’t Cry”

“Real men” or “Men don’t cry “are expressions we hear most of the time. These standards that have been set for men in society to follow and live up to these expectations can be hard. Many men who do not shy away from letting go of their emotions and do not conform to the default societal standards are subjected to critique.

Here are 3 core components that glorify toxic masculinity:

1. Mental and physical toughness: This is the notion that men should be physically strong, emotionally callous, and behaviorally aggressive.

2. Anti-feminity: This belief holds that men should despise anything that is considered to be feminine such as showing emotions, accepting help from others. They are viewed as more feminine than masculine.

3. Power: Another assumption is that men should work towards obtaining power and status (social and financial) in order to gain the respect of others.

So this year let’s pledge to not let the toxicity spread. Let us spread love and not promote ‘the way men are’. Let us be good human beings and not get swayed by societal pressures.

This international men’s day lets promote common values such as respect for human rights and equality between women and men.

Also read: Continue mask use, physical distancing with COVID vaccine: BMJ study



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