November 19 is celebrated as International Men's day. Around 50 countries observe the day with enthusiasm.
Numbers of feminists worldwide has questioned the rationality of the day. Some critics have seen it as just a mockery of the International Women's Day.
Their quest over the integrity of the day is natural and reasonable as no one can deny the reality that men are not just the gender in power, they are also the dominating one.
The basic concept of feminism combats this hierarchy which promotes domination of one race over another.
Whereas the establishment of March 8 as the women's day has endured vigorous protest of a century, demanded bloodshed to achieve the voting rights for women – declaration of International Men's Day had no such issues to address.
It is the observation of some feminists that the number of women being harassed by men has not decreased even after the introduction of such a day. Even though, the objective of celebrating the day comes with a promise to work on ensuring gender equality.
A men's right movement introduced in early 90's was given shape in Trinidad and Tobago by Jerome Teelucksingh in 1999.
While addressing the activists of International Men's Day, Teelucksingh provided a clarification to the movement, "They are striving for gender equality and patiently attempting to remove the negative images and stigma associated with men in our society."
A close reading into gender roles and depiction will reveal that patriarchy captivates both the genders in certain confinements. It gives birth to toxic masculinity and submissive femininity and, consequently, ills the balance of natural order.
Thus, modern and postmodern feminists are promoting gender fluidity that releases male, female and transgender, all of them from imposed societal placement and responsibilities.
In such a flexible world why should a men's day not be celebrated?
The activists of the movement declared six pillars of International Men's day which involves concentrating on the health of men and young boys, purifying gender relations, endorsing equality, emphasising on positive male role models, celebrating their contribution and promoting humanitarian values.
While some have argued that men's contribution has always been celebrated, no one can deny that the rest five agendas have their judiciousness. Moreover, the issue of mental health which the movement has addressed cannot be ignored.
They can, perhaps, contribute to a greater change with the right kind of campaigning.
The theme of International Men's Day 2019 is "Making a Difference for Men and Boys."
And addressing the differences would include making a safe space for men and boys as well. A space that would let them break gender stereotypes and teach them to respect diversity, freedom to explore their emotions regardless of how these are perceived in the society. And one vital aspect of manhood can be realised, that young boys and men can be strong enough to know and acknowledge their vulnerability – especially to any kind of mental or sexual harassments.
In that line of discussion, dedicating a day for men can be very crucial. It has to be noted that, dedications of this sort open a platform for information and education, resulting in enlightened men who will probably be more understanding of women's rights as well. This movement would also create a sense of acknowledgement of the men who are relentlessly working for equality for all genders.