HAPPY NOVEMBER!!! I hope you welcomed the month nicely, with a ‘monthtrance’, if you will. I spent it at a small Halloween do, and saw the month in [at midnight] tucked up in a bed. That makes it sound like I can’t remember which bed it was or something… C’mon, I’m not that bad!
I wanted to write today about something that some people, including myself, find really upsetting. Yes, I know, I promised that this would be a reasonably comedic blog, about life. However [or but, for the less literate of you], as there is always a however [or but]… I feel that it is so important to write about this topic, because it is so poorly publicised in the media. That subjet is the number of men committing suicide within the UK each year.
I was listening to a talkshow radio program this afternoon, on which they were discussing the percentage of male suicides in the UK in 2014. For the record, that percentage was 78%. That is a HUGE number, and has dramatically increased over the last 10, 20, 30 year, and is currently at a 15 year high. This alone is absolutely disgraceful, and a real shock. I don’t find it disgraceful that people in general commit suicide; without the support of a stable lifestyle, family and friends, a small negative situation can escalate and consume someone. There are times when we all get down and sometimes even think this way.
What I find really shocking is that there is hardly any media coverage of this. If this statistic was related to race, or age, or even location, there would be a media storm – there would be public outcries. However, because it’s a gender-related story, particularly regarding the male sex, there has been minimal media attention. We can reduce the list of many possibilities for this to two, in my opinion.
1. The male sex is not regarded equally within society. A brilliant example of this comes into play within an upsetting but realistic situation. When a married couple divorce, legal technicalities lean heavily in a woman’s favour. It’s rare for a father to keep his children, or even his house, even if he bought it before the couple in question married. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a believer in women and their rights; I think that regardless of gender, you should be treated equally. But, have we now reached a point where women’s rights are not equal to a man’s rights? This lawful but unfair treatment of men is obviously going to cause sadness, using a word that can nowhere near describe the actual emotion. Of course, some men will become depressed and, as devastating as it is, some men will take their own lives.
2. Men cannot cope with their place in society, and the damands that it now brings. Men these days are working long hours, and leading family-orientated lives. I don’t think that people fully comprehend the amount that men do for a family, as well as the amount of pressure placed upon them to act as society expects. Society tells us lots of things, and then, within the same minute, usually tells us the complete opposite and contradicts itself. In this case, society tells us that the man should be the one going out to work, to earn the money to feed his wife and kids. The man should be the one to support his family in every way he can: emotionally, financially and physically if needs be. This is a lot of [unnecessary?] responsibility, and in as direct terms as possible, some men just can’t cope. And do you know what? I can see why. There’s so much pressure for a husband, a dad or a brother to keep things moving, and to support the family around him. However selfish it may sound, there’s no part within society that says, hang on, this is a lot to deal with. Men are supposedly seen as the stronger sex, both physically and emotionally; but stronger doesn’t mean invincible, as these statistics demonstrate.
As you can tell, I take this news with a mindset that something can, and must, be done about this… epidemic. I know that many suicides could have been prevented if society took a step back and admired this mess that they’ve brought on themselves.
For anybody interested, there’s a link below to an article on the CALM website, giving more information on this topic.
I’m sorry for the slightly depressing nature of this post, but I hope you’ve found it interesting, and will maybe think in a different way about something I’ve mentioned here.
What do you think?
See You Later: