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On International Men's Day, Twitter asks what it means to be a man

Men's mental health is in focus this year

  • Published 20.11.19, 2:25 AM
  • Updated 23.11.19, 2:43 AM
  • 2 mins read
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The day is celebrated as anti-sexism day in many places around the world, and focuses on men's and boys' health, improving gender relations, highlighting discrimination against men and promoting male role models. Shutterstock

Yes, #MenToo!

International Men's Day is celebrated on November 19th every year to put the spotlight on men and raise awareness on men's issues globally. Twitterati tried to ask what it means to have a day for men, and answer what it takes to be a man.

The day is celebrated as anti-sexism day in many places around the world, and focuses on men's and boys' health, improving gender relations, highlighting discrimination against men and promoting male role models.

Men's mental health is in focus this year, with positive, inspirational tweets flooding Twitter to lift up the fellow man. In India, at least 6.5 per cent of the population suffers from some form of the serious mental disorder, says the WHO. The average suicide rate here is 10.9 for every lakh people.

But there were also those asking the hard questions. TV presenter Tim Cocker shared a set of statistics, asking why men account for a large percentage of suicides and violent crime victims, among others.

Senior British Army soldier Glenn John Haughton talked about the importance of sharing, listening and normalizing conversations about mental health, fitness, resilience and wellness.

Scottish writer and activist Sara Sheridan of the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries' fame, took to history to talk about Sir Walter Scott, a male 'ally', who was one of the discerning few male authors who appreciated the idea of a woman writer, and women's writing.

But is all this really a reason to celebrate? Young adult writer Christi Daugherty thinks not.

The significant gender gap prevailing worldwide has been portrayed by the Global Gender Gap Index of the World Economic Forum (WEF) since 2006. According to the 2018 report, India is ranked 108th among the 149 participating countries with an overall gender gap index of 0.665. The higher the value of an index, the lower the disparity.

Netizens tried to argue that 'every day is men's day', especially in India where women are still not free, and are denied basic rights. But the idea of International Men''s Day is not about the men at the top, but the men at the bottom, struggling with issues that are otherwise overlooked, or not taken seriously.

Apart from the purpose of the day, Twitter filled up with heartwarming posts that were a delight to read. The idea is to 'open up' more than 'man up', one of the posts read.

Rapper and author Zuby shared pictures with his daughters, saying "The future is male and female".

Of course, there were also some hilarious men's day memes that made the rounds, and some that were just not funny. Many were upset that there was no special Google Doodle for the occasion, and that leading online shopping sites like Flipkart and Amazon don't have a men's days sale.  "If we want to pamper ourselves for at least a day, is it not acceptable?" asks Indranil.

And then there's Piers Morgan.