International Men’s Day 2021: International Men’s Day observed on November 19 focuses on men’s health, improving gender relations, highlighting male role models, and promoting positive expressions of masculinity. It’s also an opportunity to recognize men who don’t fall into traditional manifestations of masculinity, such as gay and bisexual men, transgender, or masculine non-binary people.
When is International Men’s Day 2021?
International Men’s Day is observed on November 19, although when the holiday was first created it was celebrated in February.
History of International Men’s Day:
In 1968, an American journalist named John P. Harris wrote an editorial highlighting a lack of balance in the Soviet system, which promoted an International Women’s Day for female workers but failed to deliver a male counterpart. Harris stated that though he agreed there should be a day to celebrate women, the day served as a flaw within the communist system.
In the early 1990s Thomas Oaster, the director of the Missouri Center for Men’s Studies, invited organizations in the U.S., Australia, and Malta to hold small International Men’s Day events during the month of February. Oaster successfully hosted these events for two years, but his 1995 attempt was poorly attended. Discouraged, he ceased plans to continue the function. Australia followed suit, making Malta the sole country to continue celebrating.
In 1999 Trinidad and Tobago, the day was revived by Jerome Teelucksingh from the University of the West Indies. He realized that even though there was a day for fathers, there was no day to celebrate men who didn’t have kids, or who were young boys and teenagers. Teelucksingh understood the importance of positive male role models, as his father had been an excellent example for him, and chose to celebrate International Men’s Day on November 19 the day of his father’s birthday as well as the day a local soccer team had united his country with their endeavors to qualify for the world cup.
Since Teelucksingh’s revival, International Men’s Day has served to promote positive aspects of male identity based on the premise that men respond more constructively to positive role models than to negative gender stereotyping. The day is not intended to compete with International Women’s Day, but to highlight the importance of men’s physical and mental health and positive masculinity.
As one of the key objectives of International Men’s Day is men’s health and wellbeing, here are some statistics aligned with that objective.
87%: The percentage of rough sleepers who are men.
73%: The percentage of people who go missing that are male.
76%: The percentage of suicides that are by men.
8.7%: The percentage of men who are alcohol dependent.
26%: The percentage of men who suffer from high cholesterol.
76%: The life expectancy of a man born in the U.S.
22%: The percentage of men who have experienced mental health problems in the last year.
Why Celebrate International Men’s Day:
- It’s a day to celebrate all men
The common line that “every day is International Men’s Day” may bear some truth, but the fact is that not all men are celebrated to the same degree. International Men’s Day reminds us that there are lots of different kinds of men in the world, and they all deserve a voice.
- It’s a day for helping people
Men face a lot of pressure in society for example, they’re expected to be providers, and to refrain from asking for help or sharing their feelings. International Men’s Day is all about addressing these problems and redefining masculinity.
- It’s All About Gender Equality
Gender equality is always a worthy goal, and International Men’s Day reminds us to make a special effort to strive for positive relations across the entire gender spectrum.