You wouldn’t think feminists would whine about more men committing suicide than women, but hey, never underestimate their ridiculousness. Over at Feministing, apparently they’re upset that an MSNBC article is chronicling the uptrends in male suicide due to economic pressures. Here’s an excerpt from the MSNBC article:
The numbers are so gut-churning, it’s like looking over a bridge railing. Nearly 26,000 men took their own lives in 2005. That’s nearly four times the number of women who did the same thing, even though three times more women than men attempt suicide. (For every completed suicide by a man or woman, 25 attempts fail.)
Whereas a woman might swallow pills halfheartedly, a man is four times more likely to complete the act, mostly because men tend to use guns — and their aim is true. As grim as that sounds, it gets worse. Mark S. Kaplan, Dr.P.H., who researches suicide at Oregon’s Portland State University, believes the suicide death toll may be up to 25 percent higher than officially recorded. Many single-car accidents seem mysterious. When an overdose occurs and toxicology results are ambiguous, as in the case of Heath Ledger, was it a tragic accident or an exit strategy? Some medical examiners will certify a death as suicide only if the victim leaves a note, and yet only about 20 percent of people who kill themselves do so. Sometimes insurance companies pay the survivors less, or nothing at all, in cases of suicide. The denial of friends and family is a factor, too: It’s less painful to think a loved one didn’t die by his or her own hand.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System, which tracks the circumstances surrounding violent deaths (including suicides), might be able to sort all this out — if it were funded in more than 17 states.
There’s always an internal detonator with suicide, but an external spark helps light the fuse. One factor that comes along every few generations is economic distress. During the Great Depression, when banks went bust and people’s life savings vanished, suicide rates soared. Another instigator: large numbers of veterans returning from armed conflict, many of them with troubled (or injured) minds, lousy job prospects, and fractured families. Which begins to explain why suicidologists, who study the phenomenon, are feeling a little edgy themselves these days. “For those who serve in the military, the suicide risk may be even greater considering multiple deployments, possible brain trauma from concussive blasts, and combat-relatedpost-traumatic stress,” says David A. Jobes, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the Catholic University of America. “This may be a uniquely dangerous moment for young American men and suicide, given the recent economic upheaval.”
Doesn’t seem too shocking, right? I mean, the article was pretty much right on. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men commit suicide almost four times as often as women do. While women attempt suicide more often, men succeed much more. Yet, when Feministing blogger “ekd” saw this, she didn’t see an article addressing a legitimate concern. Oh no. According to her, MSNBC was suggesting that women don’t suffer in tough times!
My first thought was, “So, women can’t have economic concerns that are that important, now?”
I understand that this is coming entirely from a patriarchial perspective – that men have to support their families, and thus losing a job or having a family financial crisis is seen as a failure on their part. However, there are HOW many women today that support their own children and pay their own bills as single mothers or otherwise?
The subtitle of the article “War, debt and joblessness causing emotional distress for many young men”doesn’t seem like something that should be primarly male – those are issues that are enough to make anyone depressed!
The article tries to make male suicide seem more pressing by stating that more men actually do go through with suicide than women, and calls women taking pills “halfhearted”. This just reads like a continuation of the ever-present portrayal of male psychological problems (when addressed) as a “serious concern”, while women are considered “silly”.
Instead of worrying about how men are affected by job loss or economic issues, can we focus on how these affect the mental health of ALL affected?
Yes. She really got the point of that article. Mention how an economic recession may be causing an uptrend in male suicides, and it automatically means that you think that women don’t suffer AT ALL. Apparently, the use of the word “halfheartedly” was enough to condemn the entire article.
I would have thought it was a good thing that, in stressful times, women are not committing suicide. Isn’t that a positive? But I guess not. I’m assuming this must be the same line of logic where it’s a good thing to have the same number of women dying in wars as there are men, which is another thing I completely don’t understand. But I forgot — we’re dealing in feminism’s warped sense of equality. An article brings up a very true and very worrying trend of male suicides in times of economic hardship, and because you don’t devote exactly equal space to how economic hardship affects women, it automatically makes it SEXIST!!
She later “clarified” her position in the comments, saying:
My comment is that they link men’s suicide being linked to the current economic situation. They’re saying that because of the current situation, men are killing themselves. There’s a lot more to it than that – women are just as affected as men, if not more.
I guess to make it “equal”, MSNBC should promptly run an equally long article specifically detailing how many and how often women commit suicide because of economic hardships. Otherwise, MSNBC is — wait for it — just another tool for the PATRIARCHY.
For what it’s worth, yes, men are affected much more by financial troubles. For most men, there is an innate pressure to be the provider for their family, and if they feel they are failing at that, it can affect them profoundly. The feminist response to this is, of course, to further demasculinize men, because how dare a man insinuate it’s his responsibility to provide for his wife and children? She’s just as capable as he is! The feminist response just goes to show exactly how woeful the feminist understanding of men is.
I’m just curious what it is that makes a feminist blogger see something like this and get offended. Do we need to just start ignoring all problems that may focus solely on men and only concentrate on women? Maybe we should figure out a way to give women prostate cancer now, too, so that we can make it really and truly equal.
Honestly, feminists grow more ridiculous by the day.