In this day and age, men are expected to follow the roles and responsibilities of being a son, husband and father while simultaneously being the key breadwinner for his family. Therefore it truly is not easy to “be a man” these days. Add to all this pressure the fact that many men are not skilled at expressing their own emotions and find it difficult to ask for help when facing difficulty and the fact that society often looks down on men who seek help. Due to the strong influence of traditional beliefs, the quality and quantity of social services geared to men is lacking in our society. Work life is already stressful for men who are regularly forced to perform overtime and are therefore unable to spend time with their families. This has an adverse effect on their relationships with their wives and children. When the wife hides her anger or does not understand her husband, many men feel that “a man understands his own suffering indeed.”
In order to understand and try to alleviate the pressure that fathers face, the DAB Women Affairs Committee used the proximity of Father’s Day on the Calendar to survey 205 married fathers. The survey results showed that over 50% of fathers spent only an hour or less each day with their wives and children, a worrying situation indeed. The main reason for such was due to being busy at work and therefore they weren’t able to spend enough time with their wives, adversely affecting the marital relationship. Also, a portion of the men surveyed mentioned that they had no way to alleviate their stress or difficulty when such issues popped up.
We propose the government to increase the services provided for men and to set up a men’s services hotline. The government should promote family-friendly policies and a family-friendly work environment which would increase the number of social services for families and allow employees to spend more time with their families respectively. Also, we wish to remind the wives out there to communicate more often with their husbands and to be more understanding of their plight. Perhaps wives should be more tolerant of his foibles and should try to praise him more often in order to help improve the harmony of each family in our stressed out society.
Chairperson of the DAB Women Affairs Committee and legislative councillor Elizabeth Quat 9031 7995