I read a description of manhood, as seen through the eyes of a fictional medieval knight once. He watched a child with his wooden training sword pretending to be like the squires, the squires pretending to be like the senior men at arms, and the senior squires listening intently, and pretending to be like the lords that they served. The knight’s line has always stuck in my head: Pretending and pretending, we pretend ourselves into men.
Women do similar, it’s part of how humans learn to be adults, we watch how others do it, and try to mimic. It works, but sometimes it leaves out a lot. Men grow up feeling like they have to always be strong, and going to the doctor when you’re not dying, is seen as being weak. In reality, going for a general check up on a regular basis, can protect men and keep them healthier for longer, so the pretending they are always strong is counter productive. On this International Men’s Day, I’d like to encourage all the men I know to take care of themselves too.