RADIA: We can learn to be better, Nov. 19

Tri-City News columnist Andy Radia - photO SUMITTED
Tri-City News columnist Andy Radia
— image credit: photO SUMITTED

March 8 is International Women’s Day , a celebration of women and all they’ve achieved. It’s also a day to reflect on what challenges they face.

So, let me start by saying that I completely agree with my colleague opposite that, while we’ve come a long way with regard to gender equality, there’s still a long way to go.

On this continent and around the world, women are still disadvantaged when it comes to income; they lack appropriate representation in Parliament and on corporate boards; and they face mental and physical abuse from men at unacceptable levels.

I say without reservation that they deserve an International Women’s Day.

But we need to give more profile and more attention to International Men’s Day, which takes place every year on Nov. 19.

Why can’t we have a day to celebrate manhood and to openly discuss the challenges and struggles we face as a gender?

First and foremost, I think it should be a day where we present young men with positive role models.

Turn on your television sets this weekend and what are you going to see? There are the Homer Simpsons, Peter Griffins (Family Guy) and the Phil Dunphys (Modern Family) of the world paraded about as our generation’s leading men.

I’m sorry but these prime-time male chumps are nothing but nitwits.

Let’s have a day where we show our young boys what it means to be a real man: a continuous learner, a hard worker, a loving partner, an active community volunteer and a nurturing father. Many of us get these lessons from our own dads but a lot don’t.

I think we could also use the day to educate men about diseases we all face.

There’s so much publicity about breast cancer, I literally know more about self-breast exams than I know about prostate exams.

How about mental health? If you think there’s a stigma around that for women, I would bet it’s double for men.

How about workshops for men looking for work in female-dominated industries?

Again, I don’t want to take anything away from women but I think men deserve a day, too.

In the meantime, on March 8, I wish the fairer sex a happy and fruitful International Women’s Day.


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