There are those who, through ignorance, proclaim that “every day” is International Men’s Day. They point to a world where the majority of politicians are still men, and the majority of people in senior positions in the media and business world, are men.
But just because there are men in these influential positions, it does not mean that they have any knowledge or desire to address the needs of their fellow men. In fact, male politicians and male industry leaders are more likely to pretend there is no problem. After all the DNA of man is to compete and overpower, they are not in these positions of power because they cared and helped their colleagues along the way.
Likewise, these men are still inherently sexist towards women, the others are cheerleaders for the radical feminist movement. This lethal combination means that issues such as suicide, depression, homelessness, family breakdown and cancer – all things that affect men – are over looked, at best, and under valued and under-funded at worst. We have a Minister for Women and Equality in the UK, yet her idea of equality does not extend to men.
This is why we are launching a campaign to highlight men’s issues and we are calling on men, and women, to start an urgent conversation because statistically you will at some point in your life be affected by these issues. This is not the time to stick your head in the sand and pretend it only happens to other people.
Call on your MP or TD to be a champion for Men’s issues as well as Women’s issues. If you believe in equality then you have a responsibility to campaign for equality for all. You have no place campaigning for equality if your idea of equality comes at the expense of others, including at the expense of men.
The UK’s leading campaign group for fathers’ rights has launched a new offensive, calling for an urgent package of measures to reduce casualties from the higher rates of suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse suffered by men across the British Isles.
The campaign, #SOSManDown, was launched by Fathers4Justice in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin to coincide with International Men’s Day on Sunday (19 November).
At prominent sites in all four cities, members of the public were greeted with the sight of the naked body of a man on a mat with the hashtag #SOSManDown and were given real-life information about who that person represented and the circumstances which led to their death.
Locations for the launch this morning included landmarks across London, Edinburgh and Dublin.
Fathers4Justice are calling for the following steps to be taken urgently in all parts of the British Isles:
1) MINISTER FOR MEN & BOYS: Just because many politicians are men, it does not mean they are addressing men’s health issues. In fact, male politicians, like men in society, are uncomfortable discussing men’s health. Men and boys urgently need a voice in government and political representation for men’s issues, with a Minister focused on coordinating a strategy to deal with the men’s health crisis.
2) NATIONAL SAFETY NET: A fully funded safety net for men and boys including a national Life Line and health strategy targeting the causes of male suicide, depression and other health issues, as well as supporting men in difficulty.
3) PARENTAL EQUALITY: Having a father is a human right. Dads should be treated equally and with dignity by the courts and the state, and their right to family life respected. That means automatic parental responsibility for all fathers and a legal presumption of shared parenting and child support.
4) A NATIONAL CONVERSATION: Let’s break the political and social taboo around men’s health and fatherlessness and bring men and women together in unity to make a difference to the lives of millions of men and boys.
Key findings from the campaign briefing also published today include:
- The excess of premature male deaths is the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of men crashing every week
- Nearly 4 times as many men die from suicide than in Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs)
- The biggest killer of men under 45 is suicide and 12 men take their own lives every day in the UK.
- Because of social stigma and religious taboos, male suicide is significantly underreported, or deaths wrongly attributed to other causes such as ‘accidental’ or ‘undetermined intent’ by coroners.
- Dads are 3 times more likely to die after separation than mothers.
- More boys aged 15 have a smartphone than live with their father.
- More than 1 in 3 children never see their father again after their parents separate.
Matt O’Connor, who founded Fathers4Justice in 2001, said: “The #SOSManDown campaign has been born out of the stories of suffering and loss we have received from the thousands of broken men we have helped since our foundation in 2001. The campaign aims to break the wall of silence surrounding the men’s health crisis and calls on respective governments across the British Isles to take urgent action.”
“We want women and men to join together to tackle this wall of silence. In the same way that women’s health issues should be relevant to men, men’s health issues should also be tackled by everyone because they affect everyone. Those suffering will be someone’s son, someone’s nephew, someone’s uncle or someone’s father.”
“We need a comprehensive package of measures to tackle long-term health issues which face men including a recognised voice in government to coordinate efforts and show that, whilst the majority of politicians might be male they have shied away from tackling this health crisis.”
Locations for the launch this morning were:
- London: Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Bridge, Oxford Street, Leicester Square, Liverpool Street Station, London Eye
- Edinburgh: Scottish Parliament, George IV Bridge, Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle
- Dublin: Heuston Station, Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament), Grafton Street, The General Post Office and the offices of the Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission (IHREC).
Download the UK #SOSManDown Briefing Paper here: F4J #SOSManDown Briefing Paper
#SOSManDown Media Coverage
Watch the #SOSManDown Campaign Launch Video
Watch the London Live interview with Paul Browne from Fathers4Justice talking about the #SOSManDown campaign
Nadine O’Connor on The Last Word talking about the Fathers4Justice #SOSManDown campaign
Other press interviews included LBC Radio, Dubai TV, 98 FM News, Today FM News and Q102FM News.
The Sunday Mirror: Shocking ‘SOSManDown’ campaign highlights mental health issues in Ireland http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/shocking-sosmandown-campaign-highlights-mental-11544705
The Irish Examiner: #SOSManDown: New campaign launched to tackle male health crisis http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/sosmandown-new-campaign-launched-to-tackle-male-health-crisis-814648.html
The Irish Post: Half-naked men are lying down on streets of Ireland in men’s mental health protest http://irishpost.co.uk/half-naked-men-lying-streets-ireland-mens-mental-health-protest/
Joe.ie: Semi-naked men are lying down in the street to promote men’s mental health awareness https://www.joe.ie/fitness-health/semi-naked-men-laying-street-promote-mens-mental-health-awareness-606828
The Beat: New campaign launched to tackle male health crisis http://www.beat102103.com/news/sosmandown-new-campaign-launched-tackle-male-health-crisis/#.Wg8HtZ6cleU.twitter
Dublin Live: Shocking ‘SOSManDown’ campaign highlights mental health issues in Ireland http://www.dublinlive.ie/news/health/shocking-sosmandown-campaign-highlights-mental-13922432
The Dublin Informer: Fathers4Justice launch #SOSManDown campaign in London, Edinburgh & Dublin https://dublininformer.com/27957/fathers4justice-launch-the-sosmandown-campaign-in-london-edinburgh-dublin-dublin-video/
The Cork Evening Echo: #SOSManDown: New campaign launched to tackle male health crisis http://www.eveningecho.ie/oneaday/SOSManDown-New-campaign-launched-to-tackle-male-health-crisis-b2d0087e-4915-4ef1-a6a9-01afed89a94e-ds
#SOSManDown Social Media Comment
Fathers4Justice was founded in 2001 by father of three boys, Matt O’Connor. F4J is the world’s largest shared parenting campaign group with over 80,000 registered families in the UK and Ireland. It is also the third highest supported campaign group in the UK behind Greenpeace & Amnesty International (Conservative Party Polling 2011) and their position on Shared Parenting enjoys 84% public support. (YouGov, 13/6/12)
In 2013 the Fathers4Justice Early Day Motion 210 won cross-party support from 104 MPs and in 2017 MSPs from all parties in the Scottish Parliament backed the F4J ‘Forgotten Fathers’ campaign.
F4J campaigns for 50/50 shared parenting and parental equality, family law reform, and on related men’s health issues, including male suicide and depression.