As we head into "Movember" the unofficial male month of the year it's important we direct our energy towards men's issues and the difficulties men might face during their lifetime. From suicide to racism, slavery to discrimination towards under-privileged white men, Movember is a fantastic opportunity to explore topics that affect so many...
Could it be that if we had a proper discussion about the issues that affect men and boys, society might actually be forced to do something about them?
For 17 years I was meant to "man up and get on with it" and that tends to instil itself in life outside of rugby too... The 21st Century man is under constant pressure to demonstrate strength at the expense of being able to offload troubles.
November, it seems, has become of the unofficial month of men across the world. Movember has become a big deal for raising awareness about cancer, International Men's Day day takes place on 19 November and throughout the month The Huffington Post UK will be partnering with the Being A Man festival, which takes place at London's Southbank Centre. There's a lot of good issues related to being a man, but by starting a conversation about the tough ones too means there's a huge opportunity to create something wonderful. None of us should be worried about championing men or applauding and rewarding them. Let us be inspired by the great man Herbert Spencer who I mentioned earlier and work together make a society a place that enables us all to start building modern men.
Actor and former Abercrombie model, John Mason, praised the move. Particularly as so many of the retailer's customers were
Suicide is the cause of death for a quarter of males aged 20-34. This shocking statistic, combined with the tragic death
I don't care about normcore, metrosexuality, spornosexuality, or even lumbersexuality (yes, now even the bearded, flannel shirt-clad hipster that has his own label). The last label to be put past me was 'dad-core' (suppose that's just normcore taken to a whole new level, right?).
As a culture we expect our boys to become men without assistance, whereas we could all do with help, guidance and support. These qualities are best imparted by someone who has 'been there and done it', and such mentors can help fathers as well as teens.
Clearly the basics of what I see a man as are confused. I know what I value in a man, but that is not the same as what I imagine a man to be. Taking my large amount of confusion into account, how on earth must men be feeling?
When I mention that I am interested in finding ways to give men and boys a voice, one of the first reactions is often, "why do men need a voice? Aren't virtually all powerful and public voices already male?" But in my experience, men are rarely given the opportunity to speak publicly about the issues that affect them as men.