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Keep calm and celebrate the 2015 International Men's Day

Leszek J. Sibilski's picture

International Men's DayThe greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”Bob Marley

After writing about International Men’s Day (IMD) last year, I didn't need to do so this year; however, during a lively discussion in one of my sociology classes, one of the female students asked me to provide her with the definition of a man. After reciting the textbook definition, a couple of thoughts crossed my mind. First, I have never been a fan of defining any human being, since we are constantly evolving. Secondly, this question ignited an idea within my teachings on gender problems to create a special class unit solely devoted to the celebration of men’s and boys' roles in contemporary society. This semester, all of my almost 100 students (and their relatives and social networks) will learn about not only International Men’s Day, but also about the importance of men and boys in our global society.

In 2015, the theme is: “Make a difference for men and boys.” The objectives of International Men's Day include a focus on men's and boy's health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and childcare. International Men's Day is celebrated in over 60 countries of the world.

According to Men’s Activism News Network, International Men's Day also interfaces with 'Movember' - a worldwide moustache growing charity event, held during November each year. For 30 days each November, men grow their moustaches to raise funds and awareness for men's health— one of the key themes promoted on IMD.  Since 2003, millions have participated in Movember, raising $650 million to fund over 1,000 programs focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.  This is important because gender is one of the most consistent predictors of health and life expectancy for adults. On average, across the world, men die 6 years earlier than women.  In particular, poor mental health affects men more than women: three quarters of suicides are by men. The World Health Organization estimates that 510,000 men die from suicide globally each year; that’s about one every minute.

This year, I would like to dedicate my blog to men who inspired me, and showed me how to be proud of being a man. I will only focus on a few, but there were many others who became my role models and mentors. It was my late dad who took me by hand and walked with me to the first day of school, and waited outside until the end of the school day. It is my son, Jacob, who is 24/7 “Semper Paratus” for search and rescue for those who are in distress at sea. I greatly miss my prematurely lost brother and sons. I was very fortunate to have as a mentor late Maciej Biega, one of the best sports reporters who ever walked on planet Earth. It is my dear friend Tim, who is for me like a rock. He is not only a great husband to his wife Paula, but also a devoted dad to his three wonderful kids. When I talk to him in my low times, the world seems like a great place to live. Every man needs a pep talk from time to time from his own, and there are many who can uplift us in the moments of doubt. As they say in the proverb: “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.”

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Submitted by Olivas on

Love this article. Just like women, men have a right to be acknowledged and supported for their role in society. It is important to care and appreciate the men in any individuals life, I know I do. My father is the best father anyone could ask for, he pushes me to do my best everyday while also helping maintain my sanity. I love my father and appreciate who he is, what he is done for me, and who he has done for my family.

Submitted by Johel Encarnacion on

A man is someone who takes care of his family. Men shouldn't be abusing their power just because of their gender. Men are workers but also Family men as well

Submitted by Darinka on

Thank you for sharing this post with us and teaching us about the importance of men's day. I think we should all learn about this and celebrate some of our hardworking men. For example I really value my dads hard work and love for my family. So thank you again for sharing!

Submitted by Alejandra on

Happy international men's day! Well this article was well written and with good information that makes me agree to celebrate men's day! I do respect men for what they do and for the power they have. We all can learn from one another.

Submitted by Jermaine Fabay on

It's actually rare to celebrate men's day, but good thing that we have it. Let's honor every hard work that men need to face as a father, grandfather, son, brother and etc. everyday. May they feel special and cherished.

Submitted by Mary Balanc on

I think it is important to acknowledge IMD because it doesn't get a lot of attention. Men are very important and can provide good role models in the form of fathers, brothers, uncles, etc. I'll admit that before this year I hadn't even heard of IDM which is sad because it is definiely an important holiday.

Submitted by Henok Gaim on

Men play a powerful role in society. Along with Women we are the only two leaders in our global society. Its our job to make sure that we can be the right male role models not only for young men, but for everyone globally. Though our world is getting better, there are still global problems that young boys face in our society today, its our duty as men to make sure that they can leap through those problems and hope that their children won't have to deal with those problems. Society picture men as human being who are supposed to be almighty and powerful yet it goes unnoticed how men are just as vulnerable to suicides and collapsing under societies pressure as women. My father, mentors, and family members have always taught me to be a better man tomorrow than I was today, not only for myself, but for future generations of men.

Submitted by Samantha Bateman on

I never put much thought into how men affect the world, from going to an all girl's high school and being a woman myself. I feel as if men are just important as women because they provide what women cannot. My dad taught me how to drive a car, that I can do anything if I work hard towards it, and that I should never lower myself for someone else. I have to thank my dad for giving me the life I have from him being part of the military and having the most positive outlook on life and other people.

Submitted by Cornelius smith on

Men are a vital part of society and this article brought that up topic. Men are not thought of enough when the considering the issues related to men. The example of more men being in prison is really bad. The article shows that women are supported all the time but men are some what forgotten.

Submitted by TheOneCalledB on

Having a positive male influence is essential for developing young men. Without having a good reference to develop yourself as an adult, it is easy to become astray and follow paths not becoming of a productive citizen of society. More men should realize the impact they have on society and take pride in their role in shaping the next generation.

Submitted by Aminata carter on

I think it's very interesting to know that men are being recognized and that they do die 6 years before women tend to. Promoting gender equality and that poor mental affects men more then women. Men try to raise funds and and awareness for men's health.

Submitted by Ethan Hoffman on

I think this a very eye-opening article. Men's role in the family is changing, & that's commonly forgotten. Men play just as a important role in a child's development as moms, & men & women alike must remember this

Submitted by Jenny on

I really like the Bob Marley quote you used to introduce the article. Men's day is an important day because gender does matter in this society. It's nice how you are dedicating internalizing men day to your dad since he help you throughtout your life.

Submitted by Aaron Chambers on

It's great that we are able to celebrate Men's Day. There have been plenty of inspirational men in my life that push me to do better. Sometimes man needs the wisdom of another to get past difficult things. It's good we have a day to celebrate them

Submitted by Yasimine on

People often forget that men have a lot of responsibility placed upon them through societal pressures. Men have to provide for their families, be manly, be strong, protect, and many more things. All these things can be harmful to mens health due to stress. So it is important to show appreciation and support our men.

Submitted by anonymous on

Personally, while I recognize the importance of men to families and public life, they have dominated society for thousands of years. Why do they need a day? How can they possibly feel "unrepresented"? EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR is Men's Day.

Submitted by fdeen on

Men are a huge part of society and the world. Men are fathers , compaion and part of the leaders of the world.

Submitted by Kimberly Barros on

This is such an important thing to teach young boys. As a society we need to break the societal standards and embrace all men for who they are. Brining awareness to this day is important and I'm glad I was able to celebrate it this year.

Submitted by Mauro Beteta on

Men plays a huge role in today's society, sometimes not for the best but always with good intentions. This article shares what the good men in the world work for and all the effort they put in. Lastly I'll like to thank all men who risk their lives everyday to protect this country and the ones who do everything in their power to raise their family. This day is for you. Happy International Men's day!!!

Submitted by Fatima Yilla on

This article opened my mind to a holiday I truly was not aware existed. The recognition it gives to those who are able to be a man is great. The mention of the importance of the difference between a men and a boy should be a real eye opener for the youth of our generation. Great reading very informative

Submitted by Helena Nielsen on

Before reading this I was not aware that 60 countries celebrate mens day. I was also not aware of this holiday until recently, but i agree that it is an important day to celebrate. Its a day to thank all man around the world for all they do, from helping their families, friends and others. Its important for society to see the good men that are celebrated so that society can continue to grow to great place to grow up and be a great influence.

Submitted by Crystal on

This is a great holiday because men should be acknowledged and appreciated for all they do. Men play a big role in the family and in our society

Submitted by Nav on

TBH fam, i think poor mental health is becoming way too common... It is important to celebrate our existence on this earth <3


Submitted by Stephen on

Re-check the 2015 theme for IMD. From the website:
This year’s International Men’s Day theme — “Working To Expand Reproductive Options for Men” —is designed to encourage cooperation in addressing reproductive issues that affect men and boys around the world, such as family planning, men’s limited number reproductive choices, sexual health, and safe sexual practices. We ask if consent to sex is also a consent to fatherhood, or alternatively of how we might improve men’s freedom to choose parenthood through cultural, legal, technological and educational avenues.
Get your facts straight.

Submitted by Leszek Sibilski on

Hello, Thank you for your comment. While researching for the blog, I noticed that there were two themes: the one you mentioned, and the second one, which I decided to use. Here is the link: I had also a third option on November 19: to celebrate World Toilet Day, but my choice was to "Make a Difference for Men and Boys" instead. I am assuming that we all meant well no matter what the theme was all about. It was a good day for raising awareness and education about men and boys. I suggest that you contact our advocate from Down Under to unite forces for our cause. Alliances have better survival rates in social actions. Once again, thank you for extending the conversation on the issue.

Submitted by Jen M on

I didn't even know international men's day existed! Today's society has changed the meaning of feminism into something that only focuses on giving power to women but this article brings into light that men are important too! I think this is a great idea to spread the word that right now isn't just the time for women but both men and women!

Submitted by Guisbelle Mejia on

Our society needs men just as much as it needs women. This is a great article expressing how men go through stressful and emotional experiences just as women. The unique thing about men is that they don't speak upon it like women do which sadly causes the depression and suicide that was mentioned in the article. It is important as women and as society in general to reach out to the men in our lives or peers to help them know we are there for them. There are some amazing men around this world and IMD is a great day to show them they are much appreciated.

Submitted by Julienne on

When I first heard of international men's day from my sociology professor, I thought it was a joke. I thought, "why would we make a day to celebrate men?" But after learning more about it I've come to realize how important it is considering all that comes with it. International Men's Day is a great cause and everyone should celebrate it!

Submitted by Melanie Lee on

Happy International Men's Day! Thank you for writing this blog because we always overlook men in being so strong all the time. Because of that we forget they can be fragile, be ill, and vulnerable like us women. 3/4 of suicides are from men! This could be from society telling them they cannot be sad or cry because they need to be strong. We need to show them they are people too. They are equal to us as we are equal to them. We as a society show a lot of care for breast cancer, but rarely do we show anything for prostate cancer. Why not? This is the day where we can be proud of our men, be thankful for them and show our love to them.

Submitted by Kola on

To be a man is no child's play, transitioning from boys to men could either be influence by the environment but most especially internal or closer factors. Mentorship guidance could be from close relative or father or important figure in the society. Personally i believe that every man has roles to play in many lives. Positive roles that can be exemplary to many other people

Submitted by Eve on

For many times, the world has only placed focus on lifting women up but we forget that men are not given the much credit they deserve for what they do to society. It is a great man who brings up the girl child and shows the boy child the right path to becoming a responsible person. Men die faster than women and we can not keep ignoring this. Every human being deserves to be celebrated and apreciated.

Submitted by Shan L. on

First of all, happy international men's day! Finally we have a special day for men too. I feel like in some aspects men are not as strong as we think and what they think about themselves. We all human being, we all have feeling, we all feel usefulness sometimes, and it's ok. Some men just want to hide their feeling and pretend they are ok. This is why men suffered more in depression in women. So be real you, a true man should not be afraid to show his real feeling.

Submitted by Michael G. on

This article actually opened my mind a little to the fact that there's actually a international men's day. I've learned a lot from this, for example, I didn't know that statistically, men die 6 years before women do. It's nice seeing that men are getting some more recognition

Submitted by Arghavan Gilanshah on

Men are important as women in society. They have important roles in family and society. Therefore, the international men's day should become a popular day all over the world to appreciate what all men have gone through to support their families, countries, societies, and their kids. Some fathers do their best for their kids, everyday they push them through success they help them to become successful. Fathers play an important role in children's life as mothers do. Men are important in society.

Submitted by Adam Jordan on

I love this article. This Article is about men and our own holiday. When I first heard about this day, I never in my life knew that we have an actual day out of the year to be celebrated. It's cool to know that men get a day to be celebrated. After reading this article, I now know about International Men's Day.

Submitted by Alisha K on

I really love this article. We should all appreciate both mens and women's in this world. I really wish that International Mens day went global. Hearing only 60 countries celebrate it is kind of sad, when it should be celebrated world wide. Like women's, Mens have tons of responsibilities. They are the head of the house, most of the time they are the providers, they are father, a son, and a brothers. I think celebrating International mens day is a great way to recognize all their hard work.

Submitted by prof premraj pushpakaran on

prof premraj pushpakaran writes -- let us celebrate International Men's Day!!

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