If you're like most people, you know that today is International Men's Day. This day -- and discussion of male issues and rights in general -- tends to get a lot of backlash, even from men. Some people complain that men have always had a voice, and it's a man's world, so their male loved ones don't deserve appreciation. Here's the thing: this day isn't just about celebrating men. It's also used to bring awareness of male issues, such as mental health and things men are silenced for speaking up about.
So in honor of today's date, and for those who think that all men have it made, here are 19 reasons why this day is meant to help your sons, brothers, fathers, etc. And for those loved ones who are fortunate enough to have never experienced anything on this list, the constant efforts to shut down these conversations are also shutting down ways to help them in the future.
1. Due mainly to social expectations, most boys are reluctant to speak up about their problems. Those problems include depression, injuries, molestation, and suicidal thoughts. According to Childline, boys were 6 times less likely than girls to talk to counselors about suicidal thoughts in 2015. That same year, the suicide rate of boys aged 10-19 was double that of the girls. Many boys who do express emotions are labeled as weak, and some are beaten up by peers and even their parents just for crying. I'm just curious, what are your thoughts on boys crying?
2. The reluctance to speak up generally carries on to adulthood. While 1 in 10 men have depression, 59% don't seek treatment. Which is why 78% of suicide victims are male. Maybe we need to ease up on the "man up" rants and provide some real help for our friends and family. We don't know what they're going through.
3. If a man you know happens to be one of the 5 million+ male victims of domestic abuse per year, there won't be much help for him. There are only 2 male shelters in America, compared to 1,910 for women.
4. If he calls the police, he'd likely be arrested instead, or ridiculed by the cops.
5. If he defends himself against a hostile female, the bystanders who had no issue watching him get attacked will suddenly fight him.
6. Helplines will hang up on him, laugh, or accuse him of being the attacker. They might even screen him -- but not the female callers -- to make sure he's really a victim.
7. Your brother, friend, coworker, etc. can be falsely named as a father, then forced to pay child support. Or, you guessed it, go to jail, lose his driver's license, lose his job, etc. Even if the tests prove that he's not the dad. There have been cases of men who were not told of their "fatherhood" until years later -- when they owed thousands in child support.
8. 10 million American males have eating disorders. Boys as young as 8 have been diagnosed with anorexia, and 25% of people with anorexia and/or bulimia are male. Also, 40% of people with binge-eating disorders are male. If the men and boys in your family have these problems, most doctors would have no idea of what to do, as the Western world has been conditioned to think only females can have eating disorders. Hell, the guys themselves often don't realize what's happening.
9. If an underage boy gets raped by a grown woman and impregnates her, he'll have to pay child support to his rapist.
10. Boys who get molested by women are often praised, and made fun of for not enjoying it. For instance, a 16-year-old boy who was molested by a female janitor was ridiculed by not only students, but the staff. News sites will rarely call female pedophiles what they are, instead using words like "affair," "romp," and "relationship." Websites such as Maxim and The Hollywood Gossip have shared pictures of "hot" pedophile teachers.
11. Circumcision is a widely-used practice in America. On boys, at least. Though it has no real reason to be used, not all doctors agree with those findings. Or use anesthesia. The painful procedure kills 117 baby boys per year.
12. In spite of a significant number of men and boys who have been attacked, arrested, and even killed over false accusations, many people want to condition and pressure people into ignoring lack of proof and blindly believing every woman who says she was raped or beaten. Such as the 12-year-old boy who was arrested in his pajamas, then spent the night in an adult jail cell, only for the girl to confess 14 months later. And the high schooler who was accused by 5 girls, then arrested in class, spent a week in juvenile hall, lost his job, and was bullied upon his return to school.
13. If someone you know gets falsely accused of sexual assault, there won't be much he'll be able to do to clear his name in the eyes of the general public. Even after being proven innocent, men are still subjected to vigilante attacks. Accusers -- thus far including the 5 girls in the above example -- are rarely punished and generally keep their anonymity, even if the accused goes to prison or gets killed.
14. Men such as teachers or even dads are often seen as pedophiles just for being around kids.
15. If a man dare try to help a lost child, he'd be seen as a molester, and in a certain case, be attacked and have his info posted online by the accuser/attacker. Fear of those accusations famously led to the death of a toddler after a witness saw her wandering around and decided to keep driving by.
16. 1 in 6 males have been sexually abused by age 18. Admitting it tends to result in a hostile response from women who think those victims are trying to downplay "real victims."
17. Teachers tend to be biased towards female students to the point of intentionally giving your sons poorer grades.
18. And then there's the infamous Ritalin drug for male students who act like male students.
19. Before you complain about people who stand up for men's rights, remember that we're fighting to help the men and boys in your life. Meanwhile, feminists are portrayed as heroes in the media and public opinion, in spite of their history of trying to silence any support for men.