International Men's Day (IMD) was on November 19th this year. "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 child care while highlighting the discrimination against them." IMD recognizes the importance of men's mental health, addressing the suicide rate of men, and speaking to the crucial discussion of men's homelessness and poverty. The YW operates a 15-bed Men's Emergency Shelter for men and their children. We think it is important to celebrate them and their successes as well.
What if the very things that we dislike about men, are the very things that make them men?
Men fix things, or try to, even when we don’t ask.
Men step up and are good at things like being a dad when we ask, though often we don’t have to.
Men are logical sometimes before they are emotional, which makes them good at solving immediate problems, turning off their emotion for a time and having emotion later. Whether this is good or bad, right or wrong, they do it and they are good at it.
Sometimes they suffer for it. Sometimes they lose their life over it. Sometimes they become heroes because of it.
This month we look at Movember, which brings awareness to health issues specific to men. We look at International Men’s Day, the theme being Celebrate Men.
I have thought a lot about what to write. I even asked Facebook.
I had different ideas, thoughts about many things, but one thing stuck.
Men are beautiful.
Men are beautiful, and this is the absolute last thing they want to hear.
They are a kind of beauty that we forget about.
They are strong, but when they are weak and vulnerable, it brings tears to our eyes.
They are told their whole lives. Be strong. Toughen up. Get it done. Well.
As women, we expect men to be strong, because who doesn’t want a man with muscle that can make us feel protected, but then we want men to be loving and caring, at the very same time that we call their emotions, weakness.
If there was one thing that we could do this month, I think it would be this.
To the beautiful men of this world, you don’t have to be strong. Be weak, we understand.
Tell us your logical reasons and your illogical emotions, maybe we have some insight.
You don’t have to be afraid of how you feel, or what the outcome of your emotions might be, we love emotions.
We are sorry that we forget that you are human, not superhuman. But you’re still allowed to be our Superman, sometimes.
We love you, just as you are, beautiful and strong, all at once.
You are just as necessary to everything in this world; love, family..and we are sorry that we make you feel that everything you’ve been taught from the beginning, that you must provide for your family, is the very thing we shame you for the minute you come home.
In honor of men this month and every month, may we look to you for your knowledge, wisdom, strength; and may we recognize that love and care looks different to men than women.
May we seek to understand the things that the men in our lives do for us each day instead of wondering why they don’t do it the way we want them to.
May we recognize their heart, that their kindness often looks like doing things for us, when all we want is a hug. Or someone to listen.
May we honor their effort, may we acknowledge that maybe sometimes they need us to do things for them to.
May we recognize their emotions not as weakness but as beautiful strength.
May we be gentle in telling them what we need from them, knowing what we know now.
May we thank them for everything that they are, today, tomorrow, and always.
May we recognize that it takes both men and women, exactly as they are, growing each day, to make the world better.