International Men’s …..say what? About men’s rights and my one-woman business.

On Thursday 19th November, we are celebrating International Men’s Day – even if only few persons know of this. Why, you may ask, is this day relevant for Hands-on Knits?

Once upon a time….when I was very young, indeed, I had a boyfriend. One evening he started crying. I don’t recall what caused this, but I remember holding him in my arms till he had calm down. Afterwards, he apologized for having cried – and that confused me a great deal!

He explained to me that as a child he had been taught that boys don’t cry. He added that he had never before experienced this kind of gentleness from a woman – of just embracing him when he was showing weakness!

Now, this episode really opened my eyes. As a kid, I had seen my father burst into tears. Likewise, I had seen my brothers and other boys cry too. I honestly had no idea, what so ever, that different rules applied to boys and girls.

As a parent to both a boy and a girl, I have realised how much children are influenced by gender stereotypic idea posed upon them by their parents, other children’s parents, professionals working with children, television, books….and by society on a large scale.

As an example, I realised that even today some parents teach their sons that only weak boys cry, or that boys must always be strong and tough. By the way, apparently boys are always physically aggressive too……?! I wonder what is does to a little boy, when his emotions are not approved of? How does this influence his life? His relations to others?

Occasionally my daughter comes home from school and claims that boys are always a little untamed in their behaviour. I always reply by asking her: Does that go for all the boys? Are some of the girls like that too?

My daughter and I have been discussing this quite a few times now, so I only need to give her that Human-Rights-For-All glance and she quickly replies: Well, you see, I was referring to the fact that three of the children were behaving a little crazy today.

When we talk about equality and human rights, we must remind ourselves to be inclusive in our way of thinking and acting. Likewise, human rights are rights we possess because of being human beings.

Therefore, even if we draw special attention to the treaties on the rights of women and of children, it doesn’t mean that men’s human rights are automatically fulfilled. We must insist on working for the human rights of all human beings every day.

As you may be aware off, my business has a philanthropic aspect to it. One is that I donate 10 % of the surplus from the knitting patterns for men’s knitwear to a project or an organization dedicated to men’s human rights. I’m always looking for partners, so please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Likewise, I’m always looking to increase the surplus that will provide those 10 %. Hence you are always most welcome to purchase patterns in my shop. 

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