Is it appropriate to celebrate “international men’s day” as men surely get enough attention generally through the media and in daily life? Mr Baldock gave a lively presentation this week in chapel about how men are perceived in the world today. He asked us to reflect on traditional ideas of what it is to be a man, and how the understanding of the “modern man” has changed.
The promotion for International Men’s Day makes a strong case for thinking about what it is to be a man today. The website http://www.internationalmensday.com/ encourages the reader to think about men and boys’ health, to recognize the worrying high statistics for male suicide, and to consider the changing nature of men in the workplace and in the family.
At Mill Hill School we spent time earlier this year thinking about issues of gender as we supported the Opening Doors Project run by the Institute of Physics and King’s College, London. http://www.iop.org/education/teacher/support/girls_physics/page_41593.html
Within this project we explored with all our students the pressures on them within the school to conform to certain gender stereotypes and what steps we could take to move forward from traditional and outmoded behaviour. I believe that by raising this issue we have encouraged both our pupils and our teachers to think in a more creative way about gender and, in particular, how it might influence subject and ultimately career choices. There is, however, much more work to be done to support the wellbeing and positive images that both boys and girls can have of themselves.
We look forward to reporting on further work in this area over coming months.