International Men’s Day which falls on November 19 is celebrated for being a man. It marks the positive male role models, highlights the contributions that men make towards the society, honor their sacrifices and raise the issues that they face in a society that generally puts men to more test than women.
Men are required to prove their manhood at every step in their lives. As a result, the society is generally very harsh on them. Unlike women, men do not gain their manhood biologically, they need to earn it sociologically; this process makes men extremely competitive in nature and also view other men as rivals, enemies, and competitors who are obstacles in their path towards attaining manhood.
The other flip side of this fallacy is the fact that men who cannot attain their social manhood find it very hard to survive in this society because for the society, men are like disposable entities and a man spent off with his utility with a failed sense of manhood is useless and can be discarded easily.
That is one of the reasons why we have most laws which are anti-male in nature and only view men as perpetrators of abuse. Also, innocent men do not get the immunity of protection from the onslaught of these laws. Also, when anything has an ambiguous interpretation, the one that works against the man would be considered socially valid.
However, misuse of laws or the gender bias against men in the legal arena isn’t the focus of this article. The focus of this article is the theme of this year’s International Men’s Day which stands as – “Individual Contentment is a man’s first priority”.
However, before coming to the theme and its elaboration, let’s talk for a while about what it means to gain manhood sociologically as we have been using the term quite frequently. A man needs to prove his mettle by either becoming rich, famous or both and since a lot of men cannot achieve that, they lead an extremely struggle-some life marred by expectations and vying for acceptance. While, a handful few who are able to achieve name, fame, money etc. hog the limelight and set the standards for other men. Their behavior defines the traits of the male gender.
This social mindset makes it precarious for men and often men are thrown into the rat race wherein they all must follow a set pattern barring the rebels who stand up for themselves. In this rat race often men sacrifice their own interests and hobbies as apparently those hobbies may not seem economically lucrative enough to earn enough money so that the man can support his family. Fearing this apprehension often men lead compromised lives sans individual contentment. They make do with this kind of life thinking that there is no other option
However, this International Men’s Day, this message needs to reach out to every man that “Individual Contentment is a man’s first priority”. If a man is not content at the individual level and he is being forced to look after the well-being and interests of those around him, then it an oppression of the man and must not be encouraged.
Only a man who is content at the individual level can truly work for happiness of others as well. If a man isn’t contented at the individual level, how can he attaint contentment for others at his own expense? It’s an unscientific approach and forcing, shaming or demeaning men in order to achieve this is anti-male and anti-human in nature.
This International Men’s Day every man must pledge that he will give utmost priority to his own individual contentment.