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International Men's Day 2020 and Feminism

International Men's Day 2020 and Feminism

Here we are again, 19th of November , International Men’s day, and we don't want to let the opportunity go without celebrating men. I know, you heard right... we are going to celebrate men's day!

Ok, there is a little bit of us thinking ahead to the 8th of March when we get the classic “why don’t we have a men’s day” comment on Social Media, but mostly we want to write about this because as feminists we want to free men from patriarchy as well and we want to applaud the ones that are fighting hard to dismantle the system, even if they are the ones most privileged by it.

Congratulations on your day men, but more specifically to disabled men, queer men, trans men, gay men, stay at home dads, black men,  men of ethnic minorities and unapologetic feminist men!

International men’s day should be the opportunity to speak about the problems men have, and it should particularly raise awareness about mental health because suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, yet we still keep asking boys to 'man up' and bottle up their feelings.

Men deserve to have (and should aim to be) better role models to help get rid of the baggage that they are carrying about. They need to embrace their vulnerability and feel comfortable asking for help when needed. If we keep just portraying one kind of celebrated man (the superhero, strong, relentless, practical, successful…) we are limiting the other aspects of life and we are causing harm to the majority of men that live in a more complex reality.

No, men are not simple, or predators, or worst carers. They are just taught to be, and then excused for being so, like it's part of their nature. They are often only allowed to express certain feelings and act in a way that aligns with that idea and they are punished and mocked when they diverge from that narrative. We need to see fathers shown as main carers in tv shows, men talking about mental health in films, men at the top of businesses speaking up for their female colleagues, cool guys stopping the sexist comments.

I applaud our chance to change the narrative for men and start conversations about men's issues. I support a day to have those talks, a day in which we compliment Harry Styles for rocking a dress and explore the fragility of the men that felt threatened by it, where does it come from, how can we challenge it. I love a men's day in the middle of trans awareness week because we can't understand manhood without exploring different realities to that of the white, cis and hetero man.
Congratulations on your day men! Let's use it to fight for a society that expands on the current meaning of manhood. Let's reject toxic masculinity and embrace new masculinity, with less ego and more self-esteem, one that doesn't feel intimidated by feminism but embraces it. Choose to be part of the change and celebrate it.

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