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"Man Up" and Toll of this Phrase

Men’s health week makes us realize how little we acknowledge that even men need their grievances to be heard. Men’s health week is about awareness of men’s health and encouraging them to come forward for treatment. This year Men's Health Week was held from June 14-20. 

Men’s health week came into existence in 1994 for raising awareness of preventable diseases and early detection of curable diseases in boys and men. This was encouraged so that the disease could be identified and treated in time.

The bill which had the proposal for Men’s Health Week was sponsored by former senator Bob Dole and former congressman Bill Richardson. This bill had the importance of cost-effectiveness when the disease is prevented rather than being treated. 

Thus Bill and the support of Men’s Health Week explained how designating a week for campaigning the positivity of spreading the awareness of men’s health will help in better health. The support of the public is required to make this week successful as stated by the bill and presenter of the bill. 

This International Men’s Health Week came into existence in 2002 when six representatives of different men's organizations met in Vienna, Austria. This meeting was held at the second World Congress on Men’s Health where International Men’s Health Week idea was passed to encourage men about their health throughout the globe. 

Father’s day is celebrated this week. The significance of this week is to highlight the importance of the health of the male family member. It honors the importance of the wellness of the men and boys health for the family. This week educates how we can take care of men by providing medical support especially to those who don’t receive such care.

This week also pays special attention to dressing up in blue. We all know how society has captured the essence of males in blue color and females in pink. So people dress up in blue to raise awareness of how important it is to consult medical professionals for having a healthy and beautiful life. It is also to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer or any other issues that affect men’s health. 

It’s important to raise awareness about physical illness and comorbidities in men. But, in this process, we also need to consider the mental health of men which is a less-discussed issue. Society makes them vulnerable to the cage of their own emotions. The emotion piling in men leads to various steps that one might have not taken if given the chance to express their emotions. 

It’s the existing stereotypes that make life difficult for every gender as they grasp them in a particular narrative. Mental awareness importance is needed to reach men as they are more vulnerable to mental health. Society has built them in this way that they feel they can’t feel any kind of pain. But it’s humane to feel pain. 

Men are not supposed to cry

There’s a stigma regarding mental health which is stopping many men to seek help when they need it and this is killing them. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention cited that men died by suicide 3.54% more than women. 

This quote has been repeated for so long that men have given up on their true emotions. It’s difficult for men to confess and acknowledge their feelings. To confront the true emotions for men is the hardest work to tackle. As a society, we need to educate that tears aren’t a sign of weaknesses but a sign of moving forward and standing strong against your past. Tears are proof of how you have stood and fought for yourself.

Traditionally and even in today’s time a man who expresses his emotion and cry is shamed and said “mommy’s boy” and is asked to man up. 

Cultures and societies have taught men that they need to be stoic and hide their emotions. Society has framed the culture of being tough from the outside for men even if they are breaking apart from the inside. They are just not allowed to show their emotions which are killing them from the inside cause this is how men have been preached throughout the years. 

Stigmas surrounding seeking help is that men think that having mental health illness and seeking help is a sign of weakness. 

Movies have contributed a lot to this narrative of not confronting true emotions. Some dialogues like “Mard ko Dard Nahi Hota” (Men don’t feel any pain) are just one of many dialogues that preach men to be strong whatever circumstances they are put through. These kinds of narratives are proof of how the way men are brought up makes them feel that they just can’t feel and if they show their emotions they are weak. Movies and media have set the narratives that men are meant to be tough. 

We need to make a better environment and instead of saying man up, we need to say speak up. Thankfully this narrative of man-up is changing and people are coming together to stop people from judging a person’s way of expressing emotions. Some work of changes has been done but a lot has to be done if we want to make the boys and men true to their own emotions. 

Incoming Men’s Health Week we need to pay focus on how this society could be made less judgemental to everyone. We need to make men aware that it is okay to not feel okay. 


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