Let’s not forget the men

Applause to Frances McDormand for inviting her fellow female nominees to stand with her whilst she received her winning Oscar – a gesture of kindness and solidarity. Applause to those who have led and raised the profile for the Time’s Up campaign. And during the course of this week, we will be celebrating women globally in a myriad of events for International Women’s Day.

Women should feel empowered, safe and equal but I feel that the impunity of a group of men has coloured our view of the male gender. I like men. I find that they, like many of my female friends, counterbalance me. I like my husband, my son and other men folk that feature in my life and that have influenced the woman that I have become.

Women do suffer and this week I will be thinking of mothers in Eastern Ghouta trying to protect their children from a meaningless war. I will be thinking of mothers wanting a better life for their children and trying to attain safe crossing across the seas to Europe in the face of a new wave of populism and the rise of extremism. I will be thinking about the countless women in sexual suffrage, indignity and trafficked circumstances. But this week, whilst I too attend many events celebrating women including my grandmothers who faced many hardships culturally and domestically and my mother and her generation who paved a small way for future women, I will also be thinking of the men who suffer who also watch their children in pain and suffer; who are also trying to find a better life.

I finally watched Moonlight last night and the portrayal of a young black man being persecuted for his sexuality again reminded me that we must not forget the struggle of men also.

It is not about them and us – it is about all of us.