What is International Men’s Day about?
A call for the celebration of an International Men’s Day has been echoed since 1969. Since then it has been celebrated throughout the world in various ways and on various dates, however it was not until 1999 when Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh in Trinidad and Tobago was instrumental in pinning an actual date of November 19th for International Men’s Day.
Why Men’s Day?
Dr. Teelucksingh noted that the need for a Men’s Day was recognized to begin reshaping the negative perception of men and by extension masculinity in society. Too many men were lost in the inter-generational cycles of irresponsible traits of masculinity which led them to issues of crime, addiction, rape, domestic violence, etc. These negative aspects of masculinity were modeled from generation to generation, thereby not offering men positive models of which to live by, which coincidentally is this year’s main theme. Men’s Day allows for a new hope and to begin changing the negative perceptions of what manhood has become and to promote new responsible ideologies of which young men could live up to. It allows for a new self-fulfilling prophecy in a positive direction instead to be inculcated.
Towards Gender Justice
As our consciousness continues to grow through personal empowerment, knowledge acquisition and actualization, the Men’s Movement will continue to evolve into a healthy collaborative initiative rather than the cycle of fight and defend with the women’s movement where no one wins.
The Men’s movement is and will continue to be crucial to not only highlight issues affecting men, but to promote responsible masculinity. One where men understand that they too have equal human rights, as should everyone else, but with rights we must accept responsibility. We must hold ourselves and our brethren accountable for when we make mistakes [as we are only human beings], and we must learn from them and continue to do better, each and every time.
Happy International Men’s Day!