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  • Writer's pictureGlad U Came

International Men’s Day

Back in 1968, an American journalist named John P. Harris highlighted the issue of imbalance in the Soviet reign which advocated for International Women’s Day but failed to stand for equal rights for men. In 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago, Jerome Teelucksingh, revived the day with a simple thought that although there are dedicated days for father’s and brother's but not a single day to celebrate men as a whole. He understood the importance of it and chose to celebrate International Men’s Day on November 19 as his father’s birthday also falls on the same day and he was a strong role model for him.

International Men’s Day has been celebrated ever since that day in 1999, to promote equal rights for men and eradicate gender stereotyping. Many will say that men have it easy anyway, as it is women who have to face the majority of the struggles. But why do we fail to realise and acknowledge the fact that it is because of the stereotypical mentality that they are considered the breadwinner for the family and still suffer in silence during the toughest of times.

This is not to compete with Women’s Day or anything synonymous to it, but it has to do with the fact that equal importance should be given to them and most importantly their mental health. According to an ETimes Lifestyle poll, 39% people feel that men don’t feel comfortable talking about mental health issues. Out of all the participants, almost 40% of people said they don’t often talk about it because ‘they don’t want to appear weak and vulnerable’.

We are so conditioned into thinking that men are tough that we often forget that they are as human as we women are. They need a safe space to talk about their problems during turbulent times, an understanding partner or family, or even a friend, just someone who doesn’t put them on a pedestal and burden their shoulders with extra stress. Giving them the confidence that it is normal to fail at times is all that they want to be assured of. When these things are not resolved with acceptance and maturity, men usually turn to substance abuse, erratic behavior changes, alcohol abuse and various other vices. The de-addiction from these things becomes a herculean task for all the people involved and nine out of ten times, it doesn’t end well.

It is very easy to say “man-up”, but no one realizes the weight of this one word on a man’s mind. When a person feels like the entire world is closing in on him, he needs to hear “Don’t worry, WE will figure this out”, and not hear phrases which feel like his existence is being demeaned.

We would like to take this opportunity to let every man out there know that opting for therapy is always an option when you feel like all the doors are shutting you. There is absolutely no harm in seeking help from outside when you feel like your inner circle is failing to understand you. All we want is for you to be in the best of your health, both physically and mentally, so please avoid bottling up your feelings, and vent it out. You are as important as women are, for all we know there are a thousand battles you fight within yourself everyday just to put a smile on our face and to see your loved ones happy, so when the going gets tough, sit down, lean on our shoulder, find a confidant in us, and just talk to us. Communication is the key to all relationships, so believe us when we say that we will hear you, and we will gladly walk the tough path with you.


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