International Men's Day


Founding Member
Hello to all the men on here. Today is International Men's Day.

Did you know that suicide is the largest killer of men under 50? In the UK, male suicides are 3 times that of women. We need to talk about men's mental health. How many times have you heard one of the following phrases?

Real men don't cry.
Step up, and be a man.
You got hit by a girl?
Don't be such a pussy
Are you gay?
Boys will be boys
Man up
You're so sensitive for a guy
You gonna let her talk to you like that?

It's everywhere and those messages hurt us all.

Next week will be the 3rd anniversary of a close friend of mine who committed suicide by hanging. He lived for his son. And it was his son who found him. And when I think of him, I mostly smile and remember the fun times we had. But then I also remember what he did, and I'm angry with him for leaving us in that manner. And angry because there'll be a Dad-shaped hole in his son's life forever.

But most of all, I'm sad because I didn't know how bad he was feeling and I'd have liked to try to get him to talk about it.

But this thread isn't about him. It's about all the men who are still here. It's about teaching your sons that it's okay to talk about feelings - even if it hurts. It's about leading by example. It's about all the funny, complex, kind, clever men I'm privileged to know.

The theme for this years' IMD is positive role models. Who are yours - and why?


Staff member
My role models are Donald Trump for doing what needs to be done despite endless opposition and obstacles in his way, and Barack Obama for coming over in a dignified manner, with a warm heart and intentions.

My anti-role models are Hillary Clinton because of all the lies and deceit of a corrupt career politician and Theresa May for selling us out on Brexit and being a cold fish! Yes, I include both these under the male categories because they approximate the form of a man and both have slight beard growth. (And they are part of the patriarchy.)


Founding Member
Unfortunately, Bee, my father was an example of at least six of those phrases of yours. He wasn't violent towards women, though. Callous but he wasn't a beater. He got that way by NOT having a strong man-figure in his life, and that was actually caused by a woman - his mother. The details don't matter so much, but in summary, Dad never knew his father because his mother refused to move from where HER parents lived and my grandfather HAD to move to find work to support his family. So Dad grew up with a certifiably crazy, selfish, demanding shrew of a mother but with no man in his life. And I got that description of granny from Dad's next-oldest brother.

I have tried to outgrow the negativity, but it definitely colored my childhood and young adult life. I eventually had to go through a lot of therapy to clear out the dissonances that for a long time kept me frozen into inaction because I didn't know WHAT I was. Between an unusually Puritanical mother and father and a bad case of social repression caused by being TOO smart (and thus ostracized and bullied a lot), I was frozen by fear and uncertainty until my college days. And even then, I had issues that kept me from dating. It took a lot of therapy and a lot of work on my part to realize who and what I was. Dad misinterpreted my uncertainty as being gay and damned near disowned me. I'm not gay but I was so repressed that I wasn't sure WHAT I was for a long time.

There is that old advice: To thine own self, be true. It took me a long time to learn why "my own self" really was. Since then, I have learned enough to have a happy marriage and I have tried to avoid instilling toxic ideas into the grandkids.

I have to say that in terms of role models, ALL of my childhood male role models were deeply flawed.