Thanks to Christopher Flux from Men Against Violence (MAV) who ran an event for International Men’s Day in Preston. Advertised as ‘REAL MEN an exploration of masculinity and male identity’ this event aimed to look at a whole range of men’s issues from mental health and boys education to the high rate of men as both perpetrators and victims of violent crime.
In the run up to the event Chris’s team held an informal vote for ‘Man of the Year 2012’ in their university’s Students Union. Barack Obama narrowly pipped Bradley Wiggins to the honour, though David Dickinson did better than Sir Chris Hoy and Mo Farrah combined!
The event examined how narrow male gender stereotypes often are and looked at the depiction of men in food and alcohol advertising, sometimes with a tongue-in-cheek ideas of maleness being part of the brand concept itself. (i.e Yorkie, HP Sauce, Budweiser).
From this light-hearted look at gender, things moved on to addressing more serious issues with a group discussion on topics such as men’s health, the high prevalence of men as both perpetrators and victims of violence, boys struggling in school and male suicide.
Other highlights included a guest speaker who is a local youth worker and (relatively) new dad to speak about his life, his work and men who have had a positive influence on his life. He talked at times with light-hearted humour, but went on to give a heartfelt and moving account of the relationship with the most important male influence on his life- his father – who sadly passed away last year.
Congratulations for Chris and his team for successfully delivering their first International Men’s Day team – you can read a longer review on the MAV blog.
If you have any experiences of you International Men’s Day in the UK you’d like to share with us please send the to firstname.lastname@example.org.