Today is November 19th, which marks International Men's Day. It's not a particularly celebrated day; I wouldn't have known about it had I not, by happenstance, come across an article on the subject late last night. Unlike for International Women's Day (which falls on March 8th of every year), Google hasn't made a 'Google Doodle" on its home page to celebrate, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a media outlet that will even acknowledge the day.
But that doesn't mean that it's a day not worth recognising. What follow are a few reasons why. In the United States of America (because that's where most of you live, let's be honest):
- Women are more likely than men to attain a post-secondary education.
- A greater percentage of men are unemployed.
- Men are more likely to become alcoholics.
- Men are more likely then women to receive a harsher sentence for an identical crime.
- Men are almost six times more likely to commit suicide than women.
My intention isn't to start an argument about sexism or gender inequality. Worldwide, women face -and have historically faced- much more discrimination than men. However, that doesn't mean that men don't have issues of their own that need to be addressed.
For example, the issue of alcoholism. Males are much more likely to become alcoholics; does this have something to do with how the consumption of alcohol is portrayed in the media? Or does it stem from our cultural disapproval of males asking for help, leaving them feeling like alcohol is the only way to cope with their problems?
My ideal world is one where everybody feels safe, accepted, and equal, regardless of their age, race, gender, or sexual orientation. That's why I'm so excited to be a part of this generation, where homosexual discrimination is finally starting to be eliminated, and more and more people are speaking out to address sexism against women. However, my ideal world can't come into being if we ignore the issues that plague half of the world's population. I encourage everyone to learn more about these issues, and I hope that, in the future, we'll be able to solve some of these problems, just like we're working today to solve the problems of inequality.
That said, happy International Men's Day.
I'm leaving the comments open in the hopes that intelligent, respectful discussion will occur. Unfortunately, many people have, in the past, shown themselves incapable of conversing politely, so I'll be keeping an eye on the discussion, and won't hesitate to lock it if things start getting out of hand. Play nice!