Let's talk: Man to man

A hot topic that’s become ever more prevalent over the last few years is equality, specifically in the workplace and specifically, the battles between men and women. 

 Maybe it’s just me, but does it feel like the focus is mainly on women and people have just forgotten about men? Perhaps a controversial way of thinking. I completely agree, there should be no differences in pay scales between men and women, there shouldn’t be any impact on employability due to gender etc, however, I do feel that society has been so pro women in recent times, that men have been forgotten about - I’m not comfortable with this, because this is not true equality. 

 We now tread a fine line of: if we promote things for men then some people will be offended that the promotion of women isn’t the headline of the day and things aren’t changing - “its all about the man again!”. How far do things need to go and can we ever actually reach a point where everyone is satisfied? Unlikely. I mean, why can’t we just celebrate success without discrimination? Why can’t we raise subjects without having to worry about what the repercussions may be? Let’s just celebrate accomplishments without focusing on gender. 

I want to shout out to the guys out there and say we still remember what you’re doing, you’re still awesome and you’re not in the background whilst positive initiatives for women keep moving forward. We should all move forward together, equally. 

This affects all areas, and we need reminding of this sometimes. This can be in the workplace, in the home and with regards to mental health. Men should also be celebrated for being successful in the business world and not feel any guilt or shame for what this may look like politically.

Whatever you’re doing, just be proud about it and be happy, whatever that may look like. If you earn a fantastic salary, don’t feel ashamed about it - yes, statistically we have seen that women should be earning more money, but also, be careful of that fine line and don’t devalue yourselves guys. If you’ve earned it, then love it. Equally, if you don’t fall under the “traditional idea” of an “old school” man then that’s awesome too - feel no shame in that! If you’re not the sole provider of the family and perhaps your wife brings in the money, there’s nothing wrong with that at all, feel proud of what you do in the house, for your family and be proud of your partner. I’m hoping men read this and realise this is true equality, there is nothing emasculating or worrying about this.

I think the idea of a typical/traditional man is probably old and outdated. This used to be that men are out to the office for the whole day, being the bread winner and the wife stays home to raise the kids. Anything different would feel wrong, but this concept is wrong. This is not equality. Why should this be the case, and again, to be boosting the image for women, why shouldn’t they be in that position and the man stays home? There is nothing wrong with this. 

 The same “old school” stereotypes could be said about mental health. The man is typically not a talker, and we don’t like to share our feelings (unless it’s about the football!) and we should just knuckle down and keep everything buried inside, and to speak about anything is a sign of weakness. Again, this is wrong in my opinion. I also don’t want men to suffer in silence any longer on this. Let’s do some shouting about men these days! 

 Guys, if you’re stressed or struggling with something, reach out to your mates and get it off your chest - there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, more often than not, your friend may even say they are going through the same thing. Perhaps the things you are stressed about are some of the topics I talked about above. Maybe you’re an old school guy and you’re uncomfortable with your situation as a low salary earner or being the house husband. Let me assure you - there’s nothing wrong with this. 

 Personally, I’ve felt guilt and shame in these scenarios. Stuff goes through your head like, “If I talk about it, that’s not very manly”, or “If I talk to my mates about it they’ll give me no end of banter!”. I have been in both scenarios and hindsight is a great thing. There’s no shame in what we’re doing guys and you don’t need to live up to any stereotypes that society places on us. 

 I don’t want to “Mansplain” it to you but, it’s simple - just do you, be happy, be confident, whatever your situation is - don’t stress about the opinions of others, we can’t control that anyway. We can decide how life should go for us men, let’s talk more, lets promote each other and celebrate success and not feel bad about it just because we are men - why shouldn’t we be allowed to? Equality means, let’s not forget about how awesome men AND women are, let’s move forward together…. Equally!