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Why we need International Men's Day

Why we need International Men's Day

The world isn't always a wonderful place to exist. Men are more likely to end up in prison, experience substance abuse, and even have shorter life expectancies than women. We live in a complex world where toxic masculinity is prevalent, a set of attitudes created by living within a patriarchal society - a social system that values masculine ideals and suppresses those associated with femininity.


These aren't terms that have been created to give women the upper hand, but instead they recognise the differing ways that power is spread within an unequal society. Inequality anywhere affects everyone, everywhere. Men included. Of course, the patriarchy negatively impacts women. But it is less understood that this also has negative consequences for men. We hope to dispel any idea that patriarchy or toxic masculinity are positive for men either.


By living in a world that values male traits over female ones, men are rewarded for showing power, dominance and aggression. When these are not balanced by traditionally female traits, they can become unhealthy to men, and those around them. The expectation that men should unwaveringly show these traits holds them to an unreasonable standard of masculinity that disempowers them from a wider spectrum of experience thus impacting their mental, physical and emotional health.

Man in boxers relaxing

Ways of expressing oneself typically associated with femininity such as emotional vulnerability, ability to share meaningful relationships with friends and family or practice self acceptance are all healthy, human behaviours. Because they are associated with femininity, some men disassociate from these behaviours, negatively impacting their wellbeing. The emotional experience of humans is vast and complex and it being suppressed has negative consequences. Supporting men to find healthy ways of getting in touch with these parts of themselves can improve their mental and physical health.


Men and women (and other genders on the spectrum) experience the world differently, through their own unique lenses. These nuanced experiences can come with complex issues that all need to be addressed sensitively and given the time of day to work out how to improve them.


International Men's Day is a day where we celebrate the experiences and contributions of men to the world. It is about improving gender relations by improving the male experience of the world, and thus, improving the way we all interact with the men in our lives. Living in a patriarchy means that men are upheld to unfair standards just as much as women are, and we think this needs to change to improve the wellbeing of everyone.


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