International Men’s Day – Myth or Reality?

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How many of you knew it was International Men’s Day yesterday?

How many of you celebrated the day in a special way?

How many of you made your man (or men) feel special, especially yesterday?

How many of you men made yourself feel special?

I am guilty of it too. I realized it was International Men’s Day, on my way to work hearing the Radio Jockey talking about it and complaining that his office didn’t have special arrangements made for them. Though he joked, “they were sounding like a bunch of kids whining”; it made me wonder how neglected men actually are in reality!

Don’t believe me? Well, hear me out. Here we are talking about celebrating International Men’s Day and when I asked my friends, family and colleagues they gave timid responses. Some of them were embarrassed, some were not even aware of it. When asked if their respective workplaces treated them differently or made them feel special? Pat came the answer NO. When asked if they were made to feel special at home? The answer was NO. When asked if they themselves felt special about the day? The answers were mostly sarcastic… like “Who cares about me?”,  “What so special about the day?”, “I am here to only provide, why do I need to feel special?”

In fact, when I looked into the newspapers or social media, the noise was negligible sometimes completely absent. There were no reminders on Facebook or Google either.

Now compare it with International Women’s Day. Majority of organizations consciously put aside a budget for it, they put in a lot of effort in preparations to make women feel special on this day. There are kitty parties or large scale events planned for this day. Retail houses provide special deals or discounts for this day. Newspapers and media are full of different articles, offers, visuals and other kinds of reminders. They bombard information about the day, about women empowerment, about how special women are etc. Even Google and Facebook remind you of the day.

In today’s world when empowerment, equality are the buzzwords, why are we as a society neglecting half of our population mix? Why are we treating two different genders completely differently?

I am not saying we shouldn’t treat our women special, all I am saying is treat men special as well. Off course, where it is needed. As they say, if reform needs to be done effectively, it’s important to keep all factors constant and only work on one aspect of reform. If we as a society start neglecting the emotions, needs and wants of men in the process of empowering women, I am afraid we will end up with another kind of a problem. If centuries of oppression against women has to be set right, we must allow men to feel liberated, special and wanted too. Instead of oppressing them while liberating women! We need both the genders to work together compulsorily instead of seeing each other as rivals.

When we fail to do that, it is our collective failure. Hence, we must become more vigilant, more sensitive. It’s time let everyone feel special, celebrate each identity in a special way and let them all grow hand in hand. Doesn’t matter which gender do they belong from, it’s important to treat them alike, put them through the same yardsticks and treat them special when it matters.

Else, we will never be able to build the world that we are dreaming to build… a more equal, receptive, healthy and happy world!

Wish you all a very happy International Men’s Day! Celebrate the special in you!

PS: While looking for pictures of “Happy Men” I was surprised to see very less number of smiling faces of men. Hmm!

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Author | Professional Speaker