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[RD] Happy International Men's Day!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by warpus, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    This day does not get much fanfare in North America I don't think, but it is an important day nevertheless. I remember when the International Women's Day wasn't really celebrated in Canada either, so maybe it's just a matter of time before these days get the attention they deserve.

    This is the day when us men can reflect on the unique challenges, needs, responsibilities, and problems with our male gender. This is a complex subject, which I hope we can keep civil, much like I'd expect from a discussion centering around International Women's Day.

    These are important subjects to discuss. Male suicide is out of control in many western countries and there remains a stigma for men to discuss these issues, as well as a lack of support services specifically for this purpose. Many men feel like they do not have anybody to turn to when they struggle with thoughts about suicide, so they just pull the trigger.. sort to speak.. It is incredibly depressing to see so many young and old men kill themselves every year, when in many cases some therapy or just somebody willing to listen would have been a great first step towards fixing the underlying issues, or at least preventing suicide as being a viable option in that person's mind.. With the economy in many western countries not really doing very well right now, and many people having employment issues and other related concerns, this also seems like a good time to bring up these issues here.

    If anybody on here is ever feeling suicidal, or you just want somebody to talk to.. no matter what your gender, you can always message me. I am sitting at home pretty much 24/7 and am on chat services like discord, so if anything I would be willing to listen to your issues. I am not a trained psychologist in any sense of the word, but I do know that just talking can make a huge difference. So don't be shy, if you have problems feel free to send me a message. The worst that could happen is we become friends.

    It is also important to remember the physical challenges men face - such as prostate cancer, which kills about 1 in 40 men in America. That's a crazy statistic and it's something men never talk about. Women are doing it right - look at how much attention and funding breast cancer has gotten over the years. It used to be a bit of a taboo subject as well, but over the decades women have educated themselves and now openly talk about this issue with each other. But us men, we do not like to talk about our testicles... So many men do not end up doing simple checkups that could easily save their lives. This has got to stop, this idea that you are "too manly" to cry or talk about your health issues or mental health issues. These gender roles have been a part of our society for a while, so it will take some time to get rid of them, but right now they are very in the way of us solving some of these issues.

    What other problems do men face? Personally I have only ever experienced mild sexual harrassment, and after shutting it down the other person listened to my concerns and backed off. That was easy enough for me in that situation, but I know that many men just don't want to talk about being sexually harassed, about being raped, or about facing domestic violence at home from their partner (no matter the gender). There is still a lot of stigma for men to discuss these issues openly. We just don't do it, we push it under the rug and hope it goes away. We don't want our friends and family to know.

    STOP

    It's okay to talk about these issues. I am not sure how to really change the culture around all this, but we need to be able to openly discuss such issues. Our gender is "lucky" in that the vast majority of these sexual and domestic violence issues affects women, and not us. And that is important to note. Most of the time I don't have to worry about this stuff.. BUT IT STILL HAPPENS AND AFFECTS MANY MEN. The stigma surrounding discussing and reporting these problems needs to go away, but like I said that is not an easy battle. These things are deeply ingrained in our cultural psyche. They will not go away overnight.

    And yes, this day should also be a reflection of how we can improve as a gender. You should never be judged by your gender, ever, but that does not mean that you can just ignore the historic injustices perpetrated by our gender either. These injustices must be on our mind, lest we forget about them. This day can't be used to compete with women over these issues. Their issues are in some ways similar to the issues we face, but we each have unique problems to deal with as well, and you can't forget that either.

    So, tell me.. men of Civfanatics.. What does it mean to you to belong to the male gender? Do you like the associated gender stereotypes and so called gender roles? Do you think it's sexist when people tell you to "man up"? Do you wish you could cry without people judging you? Do you think it's possible for you, as a man, to both celebrate this day and your gender - while at the same time being retrospective about the historic problems our gender is wrapped up in?

    This thread is not meant to be gender exclusive, much like I would not expect an International Women's Day thread to be exclusively for women. The best way to understand yourself is to change your point of view and attempt to see yourself from the outside - and since women exist outside of the male gender, they are in a unique position to critique us.. celebrate us.. and offer insights we otherwise might have missed. So the female (and non-binary) perspective is welcome here as well, seeing as how women were really the first ones to rally around their gender and bring the unique issues women face to the forefront, turning some of these taboo subjects into issues every single person knows about - so that it is easier for women to discuss these issues and deal with them, instead of pushing them under the rug, the way many men ignore mental health and/or physical health problems...

    So tell me, what does this day mean to you? And if you are a male, what does that mean to you? I am personally using this day to reflect on what it means to be a man and how I can improve as a human being in that context. I am reminding myself to do a full body physical, because .. well, you just never know. I am reminding myself to take better care of my mental health, and to try to open up better when I have problems I do not want other people to know about. I am reminding myself to try to better understand the female perspective, because that's very important as well, and because historically that gender has faced a lot more challenges than men ever have. And that's the thing - there are things we could learn from the female approach here that could help us as well. While it is almost never a good idea to generalize, men are in many ways stubborn about many of these issues. The stigma of discussing a lot of this stuff is a big problem for our gender. Hopefully this discussion and this annual reminder that we are men will help move our gender in the right direction. We are all quite different men, and many here aren't men at all. But let's not forget that we are all human and on the same team.

    So happy International Men's day! And please let's keep it civil
     
  2. Gori the Grey

    Gori the Grey The Poster

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    Happy International Men's Day to you too, warpus, and to all the men on CFC.

    Is there any significance to the date that was picked to celebrate it?
     
  3. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    So according to wikipedia

     
  4. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    To me it's just one of those silly pretend events someone dreams up.
     
  5. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    How could you say it's silly though, when these issues kill so many men every year? Surely attempting to open a dialogue so we discuss these issues is the opposite of silly, since it can save lives.
     
    emzie likes this.
  6. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    They've been trying to fix male suicide here for years. Since 90s if not 80s.

    Some of their efforts seem to have been country productive.

    I have my suspicions why mostly around modern life and social media.
     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Yeah, does New Zealand have a decent support network for men who are struggling with mental health issues and other issues that can lead to suicide? Over here this is something that doesn't really get talked out much or mentioned in the media even. I would have no idea where to turn to if I had problems myself.
     
  8. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    Short of therapists. They don't mention the word suicide in MSM. Usually they report soneone has died and at the end there's a heap of helpless be type numbers.

    One problem they identified was Maori tangi's.

    Basically elaborate funerals. Some people apparently suicides because they thought an elaborate tango is cool.

    American TV shows were weird though years ago when they were talking about seeing therapists. Didn't really know what they were or if you did it's something yuppies in Auckland did.

    If I had to guess it's the generic man up attitude combined with the she'll be right attitude.

    It's Changing but there's still a lot of harden up, take a concrete pill (to harden up), get over it type attitudes.

    Might carry it to extremes though. American men are regarded as to emotional as you see them crying on TV which is rare here.

    There was also an element of children are meant to be seen an not heard as late at Generation X being raised as it's how the boomers were raised.

    Fathers kissing sons us new, didn't see that much as a kid if at all.
     
  9. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It's amazing what a good cry can accomplish, and it's quite unfortunate that gender roles have pushed this whole "Real men don't cry" idea on us. It isn't healthy at all. "Real" men look after their mental health and are in tune with their emotions and don't ignore them. Besides, there is no such thing as "real" make vs "fake" men in the first place.

    Growing up I was always taught to not cry and.. it just leaves you in a bit of a panic when your world begins to collapse around you, which happens to most of us from time to time. What do you do? A lot of women will be able to call their girlfriends, talk about it, and have a shoulder to cry on. Us men, we've been taught to not open like that to our "bros", to keep it all inside, and deal with it without crying or even showing any emotion.

    But crying can be so .. cathartic. I remember going through some crap a number of years ago.. and.. eventually I just let myself cry. I was at a point where I did not care.. and I was also at home, where nobody could see me. I cried like a little baby, I had tears flowing down my face. I was sobbing. It was a release of emotions and 10 minutes later I felt a lot more grounded, like I was able to deal with a lot of the stuff that was causing internal turmoil. It can be a bit of a temporary fix, sure, but it can feel so great. There's no way pushing all those emotions down and refusing to deal with them can be good for your mental health.. and yet, that is what boys and men are encouraged to do.

    I have never heard the "American men tend to be emotional" thing, I would have never guessed that. If anything I'd have guessed that some non-western cultures are probably more likely to encourage men to be more in tune with their emotions, while in America there is a lot of that "real men don't cry" type of attitude going around (it seems, from my pov). I admit I am not seeing any of this from a Kiwi pov, which is what you're doing, but here in Canada we tend to think of American men as the opposite of what you're saying - the sort of cowboy stereotype, if that makes sense.

    One of the reasons I created this thread is because I do not relate to many of the male archetypes and stereotypes that go around in western culture. In many ways I do not relate to the traditional male gender and what is required of it. In many ways I want to say that I don't really quite feel male. By that I mean that I beat to the tune of my own drummer. This is not about sexual orientation, this is about those age old "men are like this, women are like that" gender roles and stereotypes, many of which I do not relate to at all.

    But I am male nevertheless and I want to be included in the definition of what a male is. Why should the gender be dominated by the alpha male, who doesn't cry, plays sports, works out at the gym with bros, chugs beers, and doesn't like women? That is demeaning to me and so many other men who do not relate to these stereotypes .. which society has decided define us by.

    I am not a confident person, I used to have fairly bad social anxiety. I have had panic attacks, triggered by social situations. I can't relate to the alpha male. And yet when you look at my cool and calm outside exterior, you might assume that I am an alpha male, someone who is super confident, never cries, and has no problems walking through life getting whatever he wants. I am not that person. Yet people often assume so just judging my book by its cover - my broad Slav frame & shoulders, imposing upper body, and resting B face, and somewhat chill & collected approach to life. My outside skin is not what defines me - the insides do. The parts nobody ever sees - unless they ask. And nobody ever asks.

    Why am I saying this? I don't feel like I belong in the male gender, or at least society's definition of what a male is. I am sexually attracted to women and only women, I have a penis, sure, but not many other points really line up. I have battled my social anxiety issues and gotten over many of them, but this assumption that I have it amazing just because of my outer appearance is insulting to me.

    If people like me keep quiet then the male archetype will never change, and those loud alpha males will continue to define what it means to be male. But it doesn't have to be like this.
     
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  10. AdamCrock

    AdamCrock Polish Pudding

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    Thank You :)
     
  11. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    Things are changing, each generation does thing differently.

    We've got the American cowboy stereotype as well.

    By more emotional it's also things like chanting USA USA at sports stadiums or the pledge of allegiance or declearing you love your country.

    Definitely gender roles vary by country. American women vary a bit more depending on what state they're from.

    If you cry here it's not as bad as the old days but the social thing to do is give them space vs putting your arm around them. And don't do it in public.

    Are pkayfights/rough and tumble a thing over seas? I was playing with my nephew in Saturday night. Pick him up throw him around a bit while his two friends jump on you.
     
  12. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    When I was growing up.. rough playfights were more acceptable than they are these days. However, I am not a parent, so I might not be the best person to comment on this. Parents are soo much more protective of their kids these days though. When I was a kid I spent all the time outside and my parents didn't see me for hours. We hung out on construction sites, we formed a "gang" and threw rocks at other gangs, we climbed fences, climbed trees, crossed roads we weren't supposed to, we did bike chases, stick fights, and other fun games. At one point I had a brick thrown at my face through a metal tube. Fun, right.. Yeah, somehow that didn't lead to any permanent injuries, and I didn't lose any teeth either.

    These days parents don't let their kids walk to school on their own so it's a bit of a case of helicopter parents changing these norms to something else completely. But yeah, when I was growing up it was mainly a group of boys who caused that mischief. There was of course a girl here and there, but from what I remember at least most little girls hung out with other little girls and played in the sandbox or with dolls or what have you. Boys, on the other hand, ran around and caused mischief. A gross generalization, but essentially that's what I remember, if you ignore the 5% error margin. (i.e. those girls who hung out with boys and vice versa, they always exist here and there)

    So to be completely transparent that was in communist Poland, which was probably a somewhat unique place to grow up, compared to the west. But I bet some of these dynamics were the same.

    From my experience though.. yes.. Slavic cultures are a bit more traditional with their gender roles, compared to Anglo-saxon culture.
     
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  13. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Yes. Boys, bend over and get it checked if you are in your 40s. Mostly it is a benign thing, but if it goes bad, it is an ugly killer.
     
  14. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    Sounds like 1980's NZ. School was 3 miles away here's a BMX off you go.

    10km ride down the coast to get to the river leave in the morning be back later at some point.

    Niece can't really ride a bike it scares her and mom drops her off each day.

    She loves banging out withe though as I let her do boy stuff and take her places mum doesn't. And I game as well mum doesn't.

    I got beat up by a 6,8,10 year old. Put the 8 year old upside down in washing hamper and buried him in pillows, turned it over and hit the side a few times.

    They love it and bounce back. They play rugby. 6 year olds a bit spoilt but gives it his best.
     
  15. Arwon

    Arwon

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    I celebrated by buying tickets to see the Australian men's cricket team! The boys aren't as good as the girls of course, but they do try their little hearts out.
     
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  16. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    Crickets one of those games kinda fun to play but can't stand watching it.

    I'll play rugby to fit in don't particularly like it. Only touch though and it's intergender.
     
  17. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Touching is usually better if you take a girl out on a date. :p
     
  18. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    They consent when they get on the field;).

    Has to be on back a d shoulders area. Only social grade.

    Sister decided he daughter needed diet and exercise so sport time.
     
  19. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    As a representative of the other gender, I would like to wish all the male members of CFC a happy international men's day. :)
     
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  20. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I am an international man ^_^
     
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