Busting Gender Stereotypes on International Men’s Day
Even though International Men’s Day & World Toilet Day falls on the same day, it’s not every day that we engage in a dialogue about the challenges of manhood, masculinity, and men, which involves a broad variety of perspectives and honors men and boys in all their diversity.
The pre-conceived social stereotypes and responsibilities are intertwined to being a man. Today isn’t a sham celebration of male rights but a critical chance to address many issues that can’t be collectively pigeonholed into other days or weeks of awareness alone. It is an excuse to benefit from talking to each other about the things that might be awkward or uncomfortable, like how male suicide is a silent pandemic. In 2019, rates in England and Wales reached their highest for two decades. We decided to bust stereotypes on International Men’s Day to honor the men and boys of the society.
Talk about Men!
Gender stereotypes activate the second a baby’s gender is found out. While there are a billion gender stereotypes about females, there are equally the biggest stereotypes about Men. We both get labelled and are together in this.
The stereotype train leaves the station when a boy is on the way to be born. The nursery is decked up in blue; the closet is filled with tiny jeans, polo shirts, and boots. On top, the theme is usually something like jungle animals or dinosaurs, anything tough basically. Toys comprise trucks, dinosaurs, action figures, and video games. And, on the way to adulthood, they are taught to be anything but normal. Don’t be too caring or loving. Don’t cry. Don’t use skincare products. Don’t dress like that. Don’t behave like that. Be obsessed with sports and cars. You don’t need to learn to cook because you need no life skills. We came across the fresh stereotype in the market. Men hate salads!! Please comment below it’s not true? Don’t you also hate weight gain and indigestion just as much as women do?
Here are some stereotypes we cheery picked for you!
- The Strong and Silent Men
For them it is all about being in charge, acting decisively sans any emotions, and succeeding with women. It basically reinforces the assumption that men should always be in control and to talk about one’s feelings is a sign of weakness. There are plenty of movies that glorify such stereotypes and preach the opposite.
- Real men don’t cry.
Are you a robot, boo? The myth that men are unemotional puts immense social pressure on them to suppress their feelings. It goes hand-in-hand with the view that men are bad at expressing their feelings or are simply emasculating to cry. Anger is an exception. It is one emotion that is deemed “acceptable” for men to feel and express. Any other exhibition of emotions is just a sign of weakness in one or the other way. Men or womxn, must cry and express if the situation calls for it because that’s normal. It’s not a war on pride.
- They don’t like women with opinions.
Yay or nay? Can you speak for yourself and leave a comment below? I think anyone willing to unlearn, change, and adapt will seek a tribe full of confidence, opinions, and support.
- Men are messy.
By now, we must know there are plenty of neat men and copiously messy women. Messiness or cleanliness has nothing to do with gender, but rather your personality type.
- Men don’t listen.
It’s like saying women can’t read maps! So, some men do listen, and some don’t. Most of them are always busy concluding the reply. But tap them on the head when they don’t listen. It’s the same thing they do to women to make them listen.
- Men cheat.
Women cheat too. There are both good and bad people in the world. It has nothing to do with gender or stereotypes.
- Real men don’t ask for directions.
This one is a code for “real men don’t ask for help.” Men are taught to be the providers for the family – the people that others depend on, not the ones that “need” anything. If you’ve ever been in the passenger seat of someone who is lost and won’t ask for directions, you’ll know that this social pressure to avoid asking for help is definitely more trouble than it’s worth.
- All Men are Dogs.
This one is our favorite. Why are they all dogs? What if they wanted to be a duck, frog, or crocodile? Where is the Right to Freedom to choose their own spirit animal? Can we mature and be done with calling men dogs and women bitches respectively?
Can you see how many of these are true for men you really know? It may also be valid for you personally, but it does not extend to any single person in the world. That is what makes them stereotypes; these things are considered “the norm” and expected of every male. Each person is an individual, and while a man stays home with the kids, it is perfectly natural for a woman to run her own company. On the other hand, being a nurse or hating sports or loving cooking is also perfectly appropriate for a guy. So, use today to start asking some questions. How often do chats with other men stumble on your emotions? Does anyone call out homophobia or misogyny in your WhatsApp groups? Parents hardly ever ask children what they think masculinity really means? Do you encourage your friends and family to check their mental health?
Regardless of whether these ideas or the concept of IMD in general, sit right with you, our point is that today, you should have permission to start addressing them. Challenge your understanding and the beliefs of others around you on things like lad culture or the pressures men face to be considered respected by one another. Be “that guy”. You might even come away from it, a better man. We wish men better mental health and less societal pressure in times ahead while busting gender stereotypes on International Men’s Day. This year’s theme for International Men’s Day should be to help them crawl out of toxic masculinity norms.