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  1. #1
    Sheep pill, broster asynartetic's Avatar
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    Default Why Men Kill themselves

    http://www.psmag.com/health-and-beha...h-high-numbers

    In 2014, clinical psychologist Martin Seager and his team decided to test the cultural understanding of what it means to be a man or woman, by asking a set of carefully designed questions of women and men recruited via selected U.K.- and United States-based websites. What they found suggests that, for all the progress we’ve made, both genders’ expectations of what it means to be a man are stuck in the 1950s. “The first rule is that you must be a fighter and a winner,” Seager explains. “The second is you must be a provider and a protector; the third is you must retain mastery and control at all times. If you break any of those rules you’re not a man.” Needless to say, as well as all this, ‘real men’ are not supposed to show vulnerability. “A man who’s needing help is seen as a figure of fun,” he says. The conclusions of his study echo, to a remarkable degree, what O’Connor and his colleagues wrote in a 2012 Samaritans report on male suicide: “Men compare themselves against a masculine ‘gold standard’ which prizes power, control, and invincibility. When men believe they are not meeting this standard, they feel a sense of shame and defeat.”
    In the U.K. and other Western societies, it sometimes feels as if we collectively decided, at some point around the mid-1980s, that men are awful. One result of the battle for equal rights and sexual safety for women has been a decades-long focus on men as privileged, violent abusers. Modern iterations of the male, drawn in response to these criticisms, are creatures to mock: the vain metrosexual; the crap husband who can’t work the dishwasher. We understand, as a gender, that we’re no longer permitted the expectation of being in control, of leading, of fighting, of coping with it all in dignified silence, of pursuing our goals with such single-mindedness we have no time for friends or family. These have become aspirations to be ashamed of, and for good reason. But what do we do now? Despite society’s advances, how it feels to be a success hasn’t much changed. Nor how it feels to fail. How are we to unpick the urges of our own biology; of cultural rules, reinforced by both genders, that go back to the Pleistocene?

    As we talk, I confide in O’Connor about the time, perhaps a decade ago, that I asked my doctor for antidepressants because I’d become worried about myself, only to be sent away with the instruction to “Go to the pub and enjoy yourself a bit more.”

    “Jesus!” he says, rubbing his eyes in disbelief. “And that was only 10 years ago?”

    “I do sometimes think I should be on medication,” I say. “But, and this is awful to admit, I worry about what my wife would think.”

    “Have you discussed it with her?” he asks.

    For a moment, I’m so embarrassed, I can’t reply.

    “No,” I say. “And I think of myself as someone who’s very comfortable talking about this stuff. It’s only as we’ve been talking that I’ve realized. It’s just typical crap man.”

    “But you see it’s not crap man,” he says. “This is the whole problem! The narrative’s become ‘men are crap,’ right? But that’s bullshit. There’s no way we can change men. We can tweak men, don’t get me wrong, but society has to say, ‘How do we put in services that men will go to? What would be helpful to men when they’re feeling distressed?’”

    He tells me about the time, in 2008, when a close friend killed herself. “That had a really huge impact on me,” he says. “I kept thinking, ‘Why didn’t I spot it? God, I’ve been doing this for years.’ I felt like a failure, that I’d failed her and people around her.”

    All of which sounds, to me, like classic social perfectionism. “Oh, I’m definitely social perfectionistic,” he says. “I’m hyper-sensitive to social criticism, even though I hide it well. I disproportionately want to please other people. I’m really sensitive to the idea I’ve let other people down.”

    Another risky trait he suffers from is brooding rumination, continual thoughts about thoughts. “I’m a brooding ruminator and social perfectionist, aye, without a doubt,” he says. “When you leave I’ll spend the rest of tonight, and when I’m going to sleep, thinking, ‘Oh Jeez I don’t believe I said that.’ I’ll kill—” he stops himself. “I’ll beat myself up.”
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  2. #2
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Here is the source. First an excerpt, underscoring why 'we' should care;

    “Did you see the news?” he asks when I meet him. The morning’s papers are carrying the latest numbers: 6,233 suicides were registered in the UK in 2013. While the female suicide rate has remained roughly constant since 2007, that for men is at its highest since 2001. Nearly eight in ten of all suicides are male – a figure that has been rising for over three decades. In 2013, if you were a man between the ages of 20 and 49 who’d died, the most likely cause was not assault nor car crash nor drug abuse nor heart attack, but a decision that you didn’t wish to live any more."


    The male suicides: how social perfectionism kills | Mosaic Mosaic is funded by the Wellcome trust a bio medical research charity and the 2nd largest non governmental research provider in the world Wellcome Trust


    More excerpts on what social perfectionism is;

    "O’Connor first came across social perfectionism in studies of American university students. “I thought it wouldn’t be applicable in a UK context and that it certainly wouldn’t be applicable to people from really difficult backgrounds. Well, it is. It’s a remarkably robust effect. We’ve looked at it in the context of the most disadvantaged areas of Glasgow.” It began in 2003 with an initial study that looked at 22 people who had recently attempted suicide, as well as a control group, and assessed them using a 15-question quiz that measures agreement with statements such as “Success means that I must work even harder to please others” and “People expect nothing less than perfection from me”. “We’ve found this relationship between social perfectionism and suicidality in all populations where we’ve done the work,” says O’Connor, “including among the disadvantaged and the affluent.”

    What’s not yet known is why. “Our hypothesis is that people who are social perfectionist are much more sensitive to signals of failure in the environment,” he says.

    I ask if this is about perceived failure to fulfil roles, and what roles men feel they should fill? Father? Bread-winner?

    “Now there’s this change in society,” O’Connor replies, “you have to be Mr Metrosexual too. There are all these greater expectations – more opportunities for men to feel like failures.”


    This ties into several other areas of research that aren't directly related to suicide, like a recent study showing that a part of the gender wage gap is due to 'overwork', which is people who work 50+ hours per week and are often salaried. Men 'overwork' at a much higher rate than women, according to the study and are compensated accordingly.

    Men are not human beings, they are human 'doings'. Men lack the intrinsic value that women have due to women being the limiting factor in reproduction (uterus + 9 mo.) and therefore have to 'do' something to acquire value via the roles they pursue, father, fireman, provider, artist, poet etc. This makes male identity/ego constructs very fragile/sensitive to criticism from others since it is based on others valuations of their efforts and hence susceptible to manipulation/influence. Society as a whole has benefited from this arrangement (I use the term loosely as there is no overlord calling the shots) while the individual... not so much. One look at homelessness by gender bears out what happens when men 'fail' at the roles society deems appropriate.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft
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  3. #3
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    social perfectionist. As if such a thing was ever possible. Man, men have problems, man !
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  4. #4
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    It's true- there is a lot of pressure on men to think and behave in certain ways, and to avoid any signs of weakness. Fortunately, there seems to be a wave these days of men rejecting these outdated notions, and women seeing these men as valid and worthwhile. (Either there's a wave, or I know all the ones who are doing it, and I don't think that's the case.)

    I don't agree with this part of the quoted article, though:

    One result of the battle for equal rights and sexual safety for women has been a decades-long focus on men as privileged, violent abusers. Modern iterations of the male, drawn in response to these criticisms, are creatures to mock: the vain metrosexual; the crap husband who can’t work the dishwasher.
    Those stereotypes far predate the "battle for equal rights and sexual safety for women." The vain metrosexual used to be called a fop or a dandy. And advertising has always painted men as bad at domestic stuff, in part to excuse them from having to do it because women are just more suited to it.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  5. #5
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Brene Brown (who has done extensive research on shame) mentions this in Daring Greatly [italics are author's]:

    Basically, men live under the pressure of one unrelenting message: Do not be perceived as weak.

    Whenever my graduate students were going to do interviews with men, I told them to prepare for three things: high school stories, sports metaphors, and the word pussy. If you're thinking you can't believe I just wrote that, I get it. It's one of my least favorite words. But as a researcher, I know it's important to be honest about what emerged, and that word came up all of the time in the interviews. It didn't matter if the man was eighteen or eighty, if I asked, "What's the shame message?" the answer was "Don't be a pussy."

    When I first started writing about my work with men, I used the image of a box- something that looked like a shipping crate- to explain how shame traps men. Like the demands on women to be naturally beautiful, thin, and perfect at everything, especially motherhood, the box has rules that tell men what they should and shouldn't do, and who they're allowed to be. But for men, the rule comes back to the same mandate: "Don't be weak."

    She initially only researched the effect of shame on women, but had an eye-opening experience when a man approached her at the end of one of her lectures to point out that men are just as effected. "That I opted to just interview women, I confess, was partially due to my mind-set that when it came to worthiness, women were the ones struggling."
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari
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  6. #6
    Sheep pill, broster asynartetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    It's true- there is a lot of pressure on men to think and behave in certain ways, and to avoid any signs of weakness. Fortunately, there seems to be a wave these days of men rejecting these outdated notions, and women seeing these men as valid and worthwhile. (Either there's a wave, or I know all the ones who are doing it, and I don't think that's the case.)

    I don't agree with this part of the quoted article, though:



    Those stereotypes far predate the "battle for equal rights and sexual safety for women." The vain metrosexual used to be called a fop or a dandy. And advertising has always painted men as bad at domestic stuff, in part to excuse them from having to do it because women are just more suited to it.
    You disagree with the first sentence, the second sentence, or both?

  7. #7
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Both. They are related.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  8. #8
    Sheep pill, broster asynartetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Both. They are related.
    I'm not trying to nitpick. I just wanted to understand why you disagreed before I plunged into a potential debate.

  9. #9
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    One result of the battle for equal rights and sexual safety for women has been a decades-long focus on men as privileged, violent abusers. Modern iterations of the male, drawn in response to these criticisms, are creatures to mock: the vain metrosexual; the crap husband who can’t work the dishwasher.
    The claim sits on unstable ground, since the "modern iterations of the male" are not modern at all, and not drawn in response to criticisms of men as "privileged, violent abusers." I also don't think the womens' rights movement has painted men as "privileged, violent abusers." That's a misunderstanding of what's being said, IMO. Some men ARE violent, and some men DO abuse, but as nice guys on the internet are so fond of saying, "not all men." No one in the mainstream has painted men AS A WHOLE as violent abusers. I don't know that the author understands what is meant by "privilege," either, since in the concept it's not a character flaw but an accident of birth circumstances.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii
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  10. #10
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Like I always say, when life hands you lemons commit suicide.
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