MEN’S EXPRESSED FEELINGS

James Livitski, a Canadian graphic designer, says men should be able to talk about their feelings

Men’s expressed feelings of masculinity of life as a man is not always easy James Livitski Canadian graphic designer says. Men should be able to talk about their feelings without feeling ‘weak’ and ‘not in control.’ Stories of the difficulties of modern women are often told, but how much do you read about the downsides of being a man? This searingly honest conversation unfolded online this week as men shared the negative impact of “toxic masculinity” on their lives. It was a rare chance for many to express how society expects men’s toughness, sexual virility and emotional reserve that lead to isolation, loneliness or just feelings of being uncomfortable around mates. It all started when British columnist and feminist Caitlin Moran put out a call for men on Twitter to talk about drawbacks of being guy today. We spoke to people sharing their thoughts and feelings. A Super Bowl of feelings unfold as James Livitski, Toronto, Canada was really so happy to see topic widely talked about on Twitter. He said, I’ve been saying this forever that there’s a stigma about men talking about feelings. We’re born into thinking a man should be ‘tough,’ push feelings aside because it isn’t ‘manly.’James Livitski, 32James Livitski, 32, sees countless times the impact of social norms that men should not be emotional or vulnerable. “I’ve heard of many relationships end because the man can’t express the way he feels. “We need to be more open to listening to how a man is feeling and push more for them to understand that it’s OK to feel things.” Although his own dad is a “really sensitive man”, he says that many are not taught how do that without fear they will be judged. “We’re all humans and we all feel. You should never be afraid to say what is on your mind. Men should have a Super Bowl for feelings,” he suggests. Increased attention has been paid to men’s mental health in recent years. British Men have the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) aims to challenge a culture that prevents men seeking help when they need it, highlighting that in Britain the single biggest killer of men under 45 is suicide. Men and women experience many of the same mental health issues, but men with depression or anxiety may hide emotions and express anger or aggression instead, according to the US National Institute of Mental Health.

Missed connections

Pressure is men who express their love for family or friends as feminine and emasculated, according to Phil Chan, a digital artist from California. “My dad never told me he loved me, even though I know he does. He did not hug me even now in his eighties I will love to hear it.”Phil Chan: "I think the #Metoo movement has opened up communications between genders"Phil Chan: “I think #Metoo movement opened up communications between genders.“After I told my closest friends how I feel about them, if, it brought us closer together. We hug on a regular basis!” Phil also explained that when caring for his baby nephew, women in public would assume he was clueless about looking after an infant. At a party with his nephew, a group of women criticised him, giving instructions on how to “properly” change and hold the baby. He worries this negatively affects men’s hopes about fatherhood. “I think if men might to be more vulnerable, we could be more compassionate and empathetic,” he suggests.Mark is a software developer in Sydeny, AustraliaMark is a software developer in Sydney, Australia. Mark Pursey, 46, suggests that men find it difficult to foster friendships if they meet a new person. In contrast to men many women who enthusiastically exchange contact information. “I have definitely got a mental list of ‘missed connections’ where I met some guy at a random event got on really well. It’s like ‘see you later dude’ and we never meet again.” He says that in many cases this overwhelmingly leads to loneliness and isolation. Mark says that’s because men are “not learning the emotional labour stuff”, adding, “we like to show off but not put in the boring maintenance work in relationships. “It’s like we still need play dates organised for us.”

Sexual virility

Another issue talked about is men feeling uncomfortable when peers blatantly check out or sexualize women, commenting on their appearance. “It can get toxic easily, and as a guy we’re expected to contribute. It’s happened a lot and it’s so uncomfortable. Just being around that conversation makes me feel dirty,” commented Alan Gretch, 21, from the US state of Nebraska.Alan is completing a Masters in human services to become a counsellorAlan is completing a Masters in human services to become a counsellor. Alan says these conversations are common especially when there are no women around: “They range from ‘this person is hot’ to more graphic descriptions of girls.” He says it’s difficult to challenge men when the conversations begin. “It’s bully, be bullied, or stay silent. It’s a no win situation,” Alan explains. Anxiety about expectations of sexual virility was raised by many contributors on Twitter. “The idea if you’re not: drinking heavily, trying to shag everything moves, living and breathing sport, solving problems with violence, competing with other men to be the ‘alpha’, then you’re not a man,” wrote Neil Walsh. Another user added assumptions of sexual advances are often made when he tries to be “just friends” with women, adding “Yes I know there are very good reasons for this.”

I don’t want to be daddy

Gin Lowdean, in Edinburgh, Scotland, revealed that her four-year-old son told her he doesn’t want to be a dad when he grows up. Instead he’s “excited to be a mummy.” When Gin pointed out most men don’t become mothers, he became sad because “Daddies have to work all the time, they never get to dance and nobody hugs them.” Gin explained that she was shocked because her husband is very affectionate with his sons, but she presumes her son picked up idea from nursery and television. “His dad was devastated, he hugs him all the time and loves to dance,” she explained, adding that to try to rectify the issue by purchasing books about how to express feelings of stories, challenge traditional masculinity. Express yourself honestly and be polite and upfront with feelings. Its vital learn how to talk to each person because of individual differences know that people hear things from their point of view. Consider yourself in the other’s shoes before you speak, text, telephone, call or write them a letter. Your goal is to be a friend, acquaintance, colleague or date and marry. Be specific of your motives for  expressed not to belittle or blackmail to manipulate or abuse their emotions. Women are very sensitive to words and so remember to be careful what you say because they never forget the details of conversations. No matter how long ago, women remember where conversations take place, when it took place, what worn and tone of voice and moods. Women pay particular attention to details, colours, shapes, sizes, context and your choices of meals, drinks etc. So do not talk out of frustration or anger to offload and dump feelings on others for relief. Respect differences, be pragmatic and agree to disagree when feelings are not mutual. Above all consider effects of your feelings on others if you do really care about them you must compromise and find neutral ground to corporate. 

Twitter post by @caitlinmoran

“I do think if us men were ta

Georgina Rannard, UGC & Social News

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TRAIN CHILD FOR LIFESKILL

The Bible says train a child in the way they should go so when they grow they will not depart from it. Especially boys are struggling because they do not express their real feelings for fear of being judged weak. This program is wonderful so must continue through teenage years into adulthood. Limited resources must not stop mentoring them at the most critical times in their lives. Like other Science projects of Professor Robert Wilson among others this program must continue for the next few more years so their hard work will not be in vain. This men are doing a great job and need sponsors to extend it further beyond childhood. It will be good to follow up throughout their teenage and adult years so they retain their knowledge and manners. Other peers and friends that come into their lives later without similar training can influence the vulnerable ones. So need help and support of well wishers to continue this program into teenage years, university, training for skills, careers to transition into adult life. Programmes like First University of the Child and Connections in the Secondary Schools enable children to get the right guidance required. In the past projects were limited to 4 years funding if run by government and then changed into another project for the sake of funding conditions. This is not sufficient long term to help them fully grasp life goals for good success. Their contemporaries often get private fundings to develop practical life skills to continue into business men or the chief executives of corporate bodies. While this program is highly valued and appreciated, please let it not be another statistics of 1% success years later because others drifted off. Coach Carter stood by his basketball playing students in their teenage years despite challenges faced. Please continue this hard work into the future so we look forward to more success from this story. Please ask for more help if you need it to support this program. If you can help please do not wait to be asked first because this good success impacts the community and nation as a whole. Well done and God bless you for your sacrifices and precious times devoted to helping these priceless children. Please encourage their reading skills and academic studies too like Coach Carter. EYE CONTACT IS CRUCIAL BECAUSE OTHER CULTURES TEACH CHILDREN OUT OF RESPECT NOT TO LOOK DIRECTLY INTO EYES OF ELDERS. Misunderstood by Western Countries as “lying” unable to keep eye contact, picked on needlessly, harrassed by law enforcement, lacking important knowledge to understand the difference in the upbringing of children by other cultures. This Instagram photo by @bayouredd

FASTFASHION HARMS EARTH

ClothesFast fashion is harming the planet, MPs say environmental impact of disposable clothing in perfect condition needs to be tackled urgently.  Young people’s love of fast fashion is coming under scrutiny of Britain’s law-makers. MPs say fashion industry is major source of greenhouse gases overheating the planet. Discarded clothes are piling up in landfill sites and fibre fragments are flowing into the sea when clothes are washed. The retailers admit more needs to be done, but say they are already working to reduce the impact of their products.Graphic: Numbers on our consumption of fashion

What do MPs say?

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee says there is a basic problem with an industry that relies on persuading people to throw away good clothes because they are “last year’s colour.” Psychilogical manipulation of a person feeling left out if not wearing the latest clothing means some even wear an item only once. So do not want to be seen photgraphed or attending function in same clothes. Those who do are even mocked and laughed at by their peers. It has serious consequences because it is affecting the environment. It quotes evidence that:

  • British shoppers buy far more new clothes than any nation in Europe
  • People buy twice as many items of clothing as they did a decade ago
  • Fish in the seas eat synthetic fibres dislodged from the washing

The MPs have written to the UK’s top fashion bosses asking how they can maintain the £28bn benefit their industry brings to the UK economy, while reducing the environmental harm. They believe swift action is essential, because if current clothes consumption continues “…they will account for more than a quarter of our total impact on climate change by 2050”, chairwoman Mary Creagh told BBC News. “Three in five garments end in landfill or incinerators within a year that’s expensive fuel! Half a million tonnes of microfibres a year enter the ocean. Doing nothing is not an option.”Second-handMore clothing must be re-used or gifted

What are the solutions?

The committee’s report to government could include a call for the fashion industry to create less pollution, a demand for longer life for garments and a ban on dumping clothes in landfill. The MPs also have concerns about social impacts. They believe fast fashion is fuelling quick turnarounds among suppliers, which may lead to poor working conditions. Among their questions to retailers are:

  • Do you pay the living wage and how do you ensure child labour is not used in factories?
  • Do you use recycled materials?
  • How long do you keep clothes, and how do you encourage recycling?
  • Do you incinerate unsold or returned stock?
  • How are you reducing the flow of microfibres into the sea?Presentational grey line

The Retailers Response?

Peter Andrews, head of sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, told BBC News population growth and increased demand have led to an increase in the overall volume and environmental impact of clothing. But said members are now designing products that are made to last, and they are encouraging customers to return unwanted clothes for reuse. “We know more needs to be done, but the best answers will be achieved with collaborative global actions.” The companies approached by MPs are: M&S, Primark, Next, Arcadia, Asda, TK Maxx and HomeSense, Tesco, JD Sports Fashion, Debenhams, Sports Direct International.

Science & Environment

ENDURANCE & FORTITUDE

Wang, a left-behind migrant childChinese boy with frozen hair reignites poverty debate. Pictures of eight-year-old Little Wang were shared tens of thousands of times. An eight-year-old Chinese pupil, dubbed “Ice Boy” by social media users after the images emerged of him arriving at school with swollen hands and frost on his hair and eyebrows, has sparked renewed discussion online about child poverty. Many users say the pictures of “Little Wang”, who went viral on Monday, highlight that not enough is being done to help children from poor, rural families in China. They sympathise with the harsh journeys that Little Wang endures in order to get to his school in Ludian County, south-west Yunnan province. State-run China News Service agency says the boy walks 4.5 km (2.8 miles) to get to school, a journey that takes him an hour. On the day the picture was taken, the temperature was -9C, the agency says.Swollen hands of a migrant childOne picture that circulated thousands of times shows Wang received 99 out of 100 on a test, despite swollen hands. A photo of the boy, which has been shared by tens of thousands of people, shows him with swollen red cheeks dressed in thin jacket laughed at by classmates. It is seen in another image the boy’s dirty and swollen hands, next to the near-perfect work in his school exercise book. Wang’s teacher took the pictures on 8 January and sent to headmaster and a few other individuals, according to reports in state media. But they soon came to the attention of local and then national media, and the images went viral online. Thousands of users of the popular Sina Weibo microblog shared the pictures, using the hashtag #IceBoy. One post by People’s Daily received more than 277,000 likes. Many Weibo users posted messages praising Wang’s fortitude and perseverance. “This child knows that knowledge can change his fate,” says one. But others voiced their concern, saying that their hearts ached for him, especially seeing his swollen hands and threadbare clothes.Wang, a left-behind migrant childSwollen hands of a migrant child

“His frozen little red face and he’s wearing so little, he really looks pitiful,” another user commented. Some have responded by posting angry comments targeted at the government. “What is the local Yunnan government doing about this?” one asked. Others urged fellow users for their help in contacting the boy so they could donate money and clothes. ‘His home is made of mud and brick’ Journalists from the popular Pear Video website visited Little Wang to see how he lives. “His home is made of mud and brick and is very dilapidated,” Pear Video said. The site found that the boy is a “left-behind child” – one of tens of millions of Chinese children who rarely see their parents, who have moved to the cities to find work to support them. Little Wang lives with his grandmother and sister. He rarely sees his father, a migrant worker who is able to return home only every four or five months. The boy tells Pear Video that his mother left him when he was very young.Boxes of aid arriving at Little Wang's schoolThe Communist Youth League donated clothing and improved heating system to Little Wang’s school. Wang’s story has prompted an outcry in Chinese media for more to be done to help left-behind children. Some local companies have already responded. State-run CCTV says the provincial Communist Youth League has donated 100,000 yuan (about $15,350: £11,350) so that each child at the school can have better clothing, and for the school to improve its heating system. Influential news website The Paper shares the contact details of the Zhaotong City Youth Development Foundation, a charity that supports children in north-east Yunnan. Many social media users say they hope Wang’s story helps raise issues of social awareness of the poverty facing other children in poorer, rural regions. But some note poignantly that Little Wang’s case is synonymous with many other children’s. ‘SurblueDu’, received 2,000 likes for their comment: “No-one knows how many poor children there are, helping one is only helping one.”A poster of President Xi Jinping visiting people living in poverty

President Xi Jinping vowed to eradicate rural poverty in China by 2020

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