It may have escaped your attention that today, November 19, is International Men’s Day. You may not even know that such a thing exists. But it does. The celebration is meant not only to honor men who have had a positive impact on the world but also to highlight the issues that men face on a daily basis. Why would such an important and empowering opportunity be purposely ignored by the vast majority of media outlets around the world?
Are men biologically more predisposed to kill themselves…
Even Google Doodles (the pictures on your Google homepage that change each day) has decided to forgo this supposed celebration. Designing amusing sketches for Christy Essien Igbokwe’s 58th birthday (Nov. 11) and the 39th anniversary of the MassKara Festival (Oct. 28) may seem worthwhile to some, but clearly they are more fringe than mainstream. Yet not a peep about a day that seeks to celebrate men.
Issues Facing Men
In the U.K., 84 men choose suicide each week. That’s 12 males every single day who feel they have no other options or no place to turn. Suicide is the biggest killer for men under the age of 45. In the U.S., more than 90 men per day end their own lives. These figures are almost four times higher than for females.
Are men biologically more predisposed to kill themselves, or is there another issue being swept under the societal carpet?
We live in an age of paradox. On the one hand, men have become the only group that it is now okay to openly criticize, mock, and demean, especially the white variety. And on the other side, those who dare to complain about being marginalized by the media, the entertainment industry, and even elected politicians are told to “Man Up!” or to accept that “they” have had their way for far too long and it is time to sit back and take it.
It should surprise no one that almost a third of young men state that they “would feel too embarrassed to seek help for a mental health problem.”
The Cold Facts
It is not just suicide that is a uniquely male issue. Here are some stats to think about:
- Homelessness: 85% male.
- Homicide victims: 70% male.
- Workplace deaths: 93% male.
Let’s add this in with the fact that men on average serve 64% longer in prison for the same crime than women and are more than three times more likely to receive a prison sentence for the exact same crime.
But don’t speak up about it because either:
- You should just Man Up! Or…
- Men have had it good for so long, stop complaining and let women have their turn.
We hear almost daily in the media and from our government about the mental health crisis gripping the world, but they never provide the numbers on the major casualties.
Most suicides take place at a specific time of the week: Monday evening.
It is, sadly, all too easy to picture a youngish man coming home from the first day back at work after the weekend, seeing the whole week spread out before him. He has problems but is too ashamed to talk to anyone about them. He thinks his male friends might laugh at him and his female friends will think him less of a man. And deep down, he thinks that his problems are worth less than other people’s because of, you know, toxic masculinity. He tries to distract himself by watching a little TV; it’s Monday night, the entertainment shows with Fallon or Colbert make him feel worthless; he turns to the news and is told that white men are the problem, and something needs to be done about them. Feeling worse than he did before, he passes some time on social media and reads how men have ruined everything, and that the world would be a better place without them. He cries a little, then feels ashamed that he did, and is glad that there is no one around to see him. He wipes the tears away and asks himself what he can do to escape this life he finds himself in.
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