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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

International Men's Day - Should we bother?

I'm interested to see if International Men's Day (19th November) is even recognised this year, let alone celebrated. Recently there seems to only be negative reaction and commentary on men. Discussions about behaviour, crime and general inappropriateness have focused on attributing this behaviour and these actions to all men. Rather than identify and tackle the negative, inappropriate and illegal behaviour, attention has been focused on the male gender and what apparently they / we all do. Personally this has led to me feeling very distant from the conversation of inappropriate behaviour, because I feel as a male, my voice doesn't matter.

I agree there's some fuckfaces out there that are male. But, we would do well to remember there women like this too. It's the behaviour we should call out not a gender.

Additionally I don't feel any of the recent coverage would encourage me to come forward if, as a male, I had been attacked physically, mentally and or sexually. I do believe it's super important for all inappropriate (and illegal) behaviour to be reported and for us to discuss and promote the support available. This International Men's Day I would like to see more conversations about supporting men. Particularly

men with any additional needs, be that learning, physical, mental, emotional, or regarding thoughts about gender, sexuality, heck anything. ​International Women's Day has recently been used to celebrate women's achievements and empowerment. I think that's very unlikely to happen for men given the recent media coverage and commentary regarding the male gender.

With that in mind I think, rather hope, this could be a great opportunity to signpost and promote the support available to males. Keeping that in mind, here's my recommendations for places to get support. These are all places / people that I have used or worked with. MenTell Health

"Mental illness can be a complicated and complex issue, so we break it down into simple manageable chunks. We hope you learn something new or you come across information that stimulates a discussion. The more we all talk about mental health, the better." Solent Mind "We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We won't give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect." iTalk Time To Change "We are Time to Change, the growing social movement changing how we all think and act about mental health. Still too many people are made to feel ashamed or isolated because they have a mental health problem but we're here to change that."

The Honest Guys "The best Guided Meditations on the planet - for free! No sign ups, No nonsense, just amazing relaxation, music and healing for everyone!"

LAGLOs "Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers (LAGLOs) are police officers and staff who are dedicated to supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. All police officers and staff in Hampshire Constabulary are able to serve and support people from LGB&T communities."

Youth Pride Network "A welcoming, fun and proactive group for LGBT+ students, friends and allies to lead in creating an LGBT+Friendly school that campaigns for inclusion."

"No Limits is a charity which offers free and confidential information, advice, counselling, support and advocacy for children and young people under 26 who live in Southampton and Hampshire." Visit your GP

"GPs deal with a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, offer advice on smoking and diet, run clinics, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical operations."

Talk to someone

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