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The male suicides: how social perfectionism kills (mosaicscience.com)
291 points by lemaudit on May 13, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 344 comments



The demonization of all things male has had a pernicious effect on boys and men over the last 20 years. I've seen it negatively impact friends and, worse, my own boys. Oone of the best things I ever did was cut the live TV feed and the commercials that only show men as drunken idiots, drunken leches, or bumbling idiots (notice: drunken and idiots is a repeating theme).

As a society, we need to come to terms with masculinity. That means men need to be able to be masculine without being domineering and without being castigated.


I think you're right about society's role, but I see a much more pernicious tendency that I think damages boys and, eventually, men. Society teaches boys to bottle up their feelings. "Be a man" means be strong, and don't show emotion. Crying is a sign of weakness. And god forbid you talk about your emotions...that's a female thing.

But the thing is, those activities are what allow us to be vulnerable and what allow us to bond with others. The more you suppress those urges, the more you end up feeling alone. And loneliness is perhaps the most understandable cause of suicide I can think of.

We need to stop sending this message to young boys. It's okay to express your feelings. It's okay to be vulnerable. You don't have to simply grit your teeth and toughen up to endure whatever is bothering you.


My experience has taught me the opposite. My grandfather and father were never taught to express feelings. Both were products of their time and circumstances. And there is nothing wrong with that. Both were successful in life despite the odds being stacked against them.

I do not have children. I would not have a clue how to raise a girl, but if I had a boy, I would be teaching him stoical techniques to dealing with problems, not today's 'share your feelings' approach.

(I am not in anyway telling you how to raise your children, just sharing my opinion as a man.)

I just don't see any evidence that the West's in vogue approach to teaching boys and young men to be "in touch with their feelings" is helping them in anyway. They are not happier. They are not more successful (in life). They are depressed.

The stoics taught that most of what we think are problems, are not in fact problems. And the things that are problems are generally not in our capacity to change and therefore probably not worth worrying about.

Society tells us that every little thing is worth being upset about. We are conditioned to even be outraged on other people's behalf over what really amounts to nothing (think every single twitter shitstorm ever). We are told to pick at scabs until they are bleeding, then pick some more. The theory being that if we pick deep enough we will end up in a state of emotional healing/enlightenment and we will feeling better for it. I don't buy it.


You are conflating two different things. Stoical calm isn't just silence, it's silence when the situation calls for such, when making your voice known cannot improve things. Engagement in communication is encouraged if it is believed to lead to good outcomes(although how "good" is defined is left more ambiguous). Stoic silence works best when it's used to be a good listener.

In comparison, masculine silence of the "strong silent" form, which occurs frequently in my family, and even myself, acts to reinforce existing privileges - it leads to excessive maintenance of a self-assured, unflappable image, not betraying weakness or answering to anyone, even when you need to ask questions, share responsibility for a problem, or should collaborate and submit to a group policy on behavior. It's ultimately built on the kind of anxiety over one's role described in the article, and it's a major penalty to healthy communication within the family, because it creates a stagnant bubble of "shall-not-be-challenged" behavior and outlook.

I'm actively working to disentangle the two within my own life. I've had the listening part down pretty well for a while. I had to learn when my responses were turning into image-asserting judgments, explanations that were unasked for, and other communication-blockers. I still have some trouble asking for things. I still have plenty to learn about when to become more engaged and active.


There's a HUGE difference between "don't sweat the small stuff" and "keep your feelings to yourself".

All of those things you mention are of the former, not the latter category.

One can be stoic and unconcerned with the problems the world throws at you but still connect to people on an emotional level. This is something older generations of my extended family absolutely failed at, due mostly to old-fashioned englishness, and now the younger generations feel few emotional bonds between ourselves and have basically dispersed.

It's OK to be a tough man who can take it on the chin, and also to admit you love your friends and family.


It's OK to be a tough man who can take it on the chin, and also to admit you love your friends and family.

Stoicism has nothing to do with being unable to express love/affection?


I'm not up on the finer points of stoicism as its defined in a dictionary or as a philosophical movement but ... I guess that's what I'm trying to get across, yup!


You can do both: be stoic and also be able to discuss your weaknesses. See toughness as a virtue, but not pursue it to a fault.


They are often at odds, when the pressure to discuss your feelings is external.

Many times in my life people around me have pressured me to express how I feel about some recent event. I often resist this for a number of reasons. I might consider my feelings towards the matter to be deeply personal and private. I may realize that my feelings toward the matter will, if vocalized, cause distress to others. I may not have strong feelings at all, and expressing that may cause distress to others. Sometimes I just have nothing at all to say, and my insistence that I have no thoughts on the matter is taken as me being resistant to share what I think.

Summer camps when I was a teenager, the deaths of distant relatives, and the suicides of classmates that I did not know well are common places to the later examples.


I just need to ruminate on things sometimes, anyone who tries to get me to "open up" is just going to prolong the process by not allowing me to examine and/or get to a spot emotionally where I'm able to accept whatever it is I'm dealing with.


This was maybe a useful message ten, twenty years ago.

The problem is that, honestly, a lot of these feelings are messy. They aren't expressions of weakness, they aren't some magical key used to unlock progress, they're not even something that's easily sympathized with.

They can be the white-hot anger of being pulled off a project or ignored for the nth time in class or being made fun of. They can be the bubbling cold black rage of being forced to work on something only to have it stunted at every turn by bad management or being shunned by members of the preferred gender for whatever reason. They can be the bright flash of joy and uncontainable exuberance of having pulled off the impossible on deadline or winning a hard contest.

The point is, in all those cases, boys and men who express their feelings honestly and openly are considered creeps, weirdos, crazy, or unprofessional.

So, no, the problem isn't that they keep these feelings bottled up--it's instead that, when they're honest and open in their passion, people become uncomfortable and afraid or inconvenienced. We celebrate the passionate man, in the abstract, but you bet your ass it's never made things better in the day-to-day.

In fact, we tend to double-down on this nonsense, and so punish the behaviors (sparring, yelling, cursing, whatever) that would formerly be used to defuse the feelings in young folks until they realize such things are counterproductive, and bait-n-switch them.


The idea men should express themselves combined with the limits on socially acceptable expression have always been a strong indicator to me that "men showing emotion" isn't about men showing emotion.

The social limits on expression aren't even based on a laughably bad interpretation of "heathy" expression. It straight up means to continue conforming like you always have, but additionally cry and show emotional weakness when socially cued to do so.


And you expected different? Social life is a game of shared expectations and showing you understand when to lie and not to, how to act by the rules for children and when to break them. Most moral discussion is posturing, just as most social discussion is an attempt to score political points.


And you expected different?

Nope, just agreeing with angersock without wearing my misanthropy on my sleeve.


Everybody's brain is wired differently (and infused with a different cocktail of chemicals).

For me, controlling my emotions brings a sense of inner calm -- happiness. There is nothing better than thinking with a clear head, without being dogged by feelings of anger, anxiety, jealousy, fear or sadness.


Often happiness, thrill, arousal is better than thinking with a clear head.


Happiness is found by peace in your own reflection. Be happy where you are, with what you have, with who you are. It's not attained by anything further than this. Arousal feels good, but that's not happiness. Thrill feels good, but it's not happiness. These things are distractions, like drugs, hobbies, work. Happiness is contentment within the moment and delight in what the moment brings.


Are they? To me it seems obvious that if one is seeking those emotions actively, then one will be disappointed or worse if they prove unattainable.

For whatever reason, be it psychological or physiological, it is clear that humans cannot maintain a perpetual high. The serotonin is expended, the stimulant wears off, unhealthy dependencies on emotional states are created. An even keel is worth any number of highs in my opinion. The goal should not be an emotion or a high-water mark, but rather to make progress. Progress is tangible, you can hang your hat on it and be proud of it, and most importantly it's available to you no matter how poor your circumstances or station in life are.


The issue is that 'Better' is a subjective term.

I don't enjoy wild swings of emotion and the loss of control that often accompanies; so level-headed and clear thinking are better for me.


They feel better in the moment, but result in dumber decisions. So they're a lot like alcohol.


> It's okay to express your feelings. It's okay to be vulnerable.

I've thought about this a lot, and I'm afraid its not that simple. In competitive, male societies where a certain bluntness is socially accepted, you cannot unilaterally change the rules. You'll be a welcome victim to the schoolyard bullies. You'll be setting up your son for psychological damage.

Having friends, doing sports, enjoying nature, taking care of your appearance etc. are probably more effective in balancing a boy's psychology.

If you don't have a cute girl's pretty face, nobody will white-knight on your behalf or care about your feelings - instead, people will be embarrassed.


I can't believe you're serious.


If you disagree, please elaborate - its hard to have a discussion based on expressions of moral outrage.

My statement seems controversial, and was at one point even downvoted below zero. I'd be interested to hear the counter-arguments, but alas, the HN downvote-to-disagree anti-pattern is in full effect, so I'll never know.

I said what I said because it reflects the experiences that I've made. Of all the people I can think of, including me, those that got tougher and worked hard on improving themselves, changed their lives for the better. If there is another way, I haven't seen it yet.

In the end, you can only adapt to the society you live in, or must choose to live elsewhere. Becoming an outsider or moving to the woods is an adaption, too. There is a wide range of norms and cultures worldwide, and those with a very masculine culture (e.g. Japan) are often economically successful, but can be harsh on men due to the competitive pressure.


An aspect of this problem is that society not only teaches people how to behave, but defines expected behavior. If a man defy those expectations and do seek help at a psychiatrist, a documented problem is that he won't be taken serious. Male patients get often too little or no medical support, while female patients suffer from over medication and forced hospitalization.


Beyond this, if knowledge is leaked that the man is seeking help, he will lose respect in the eyes of his peers, likely making any existing problems worse. Also, there is the issue of ones psychological health being used against them (such as some people wanting to restrict one's job or rights based on their diagnosed mental health).


There is two sides to this equation. Men need to be taught to express their emotions, but society needs to be taught to be just as accepting of a man who expresses his emotions as one who is stoic, if not more accepting. As it stands, you can teach men to express their emotions all you want, but as long as the stoic man is valued more, we are going to have problems.


Part of the issue is the question of who moves first - individual or society. A man who expresses his emotions, in a society where this is not valued or honored, is going to lose social status. I would not want to teach my son to be that "first man" and take that risk.

Additionally, the specific emotions being expressed matter a lot. I would lose a lot more respect for a man if I saw him crying inappropriately in a business situation (assuming the situation didn't warrant it) as opposed to if I saw him get angry and shout inappropriately.


There is a cost of the man to move first. There isn't a cost for society to be more accepting. Seems like society should move first.


No, just no. You're asking people to act weak and unstable. You're promoting a path that leads to unconscious confidence in decisions you make.

Every decision is wrong, but it's your job as the one who has their shit together in the shit-storm to choose the least fucked up choice.


Expressing emotions doesn't imply weakness or instability.


The problem is that socially it is seen as doing such even if it doesn't actually.


When society is wrong about something, we make progress when those who know better act to change things.


It's OK to be vulnerable, but it is equally OK to master your emotions and and be tough. I prefer the latter route.


I'm going to have to fundamentally disagree with you. those activities are NOT what allow males to bond with others. it is OK to show emotion, but not vulnerability or weakness. male friendship and bonding is orthogonally different from female friendship and bonding.

source: personal experience. all of my male friends and I bond through good natured ribbing of eachother. all of my female friends and I bond through shared good emotional experiences.


As a male.. all that "good natured ribbing" really made my life a lot more terrible. Once i finally got new friends who didn't do that, then things went a lot better. I was finally able to be myself.


The problem is that it quite often isn't actually safe for men to be vulnerable, or share painful feelings yet.


So long as the 'stoic' lack of words isn't an obvious-to-all sullen pout, I can't think of a reason anyone would react negatively to someone who fronts satisfaction in a group setting. Rather, it's over-sharing and over-complaining that will repulse (except in the mutual dance of [platonic or otherwise] intimacy+trust).


I feel like the notion that society teaches boys to bottle up their feelings is more of a myth the internet perpetuates than a reflection of reality.

We don't send these messages to boys. The messages we send is that they should be ashamed just for being boys, and atone for the sins (actual and perceived) of their fathers by being subservient and expecting to be shot down when they try to assert themselves.


This is a product of the wrong people continuously trying to redefine masculinity to fit their own agenda, and most men are confused, shy, unattractive, have low self-esteem, are passive, etc. as a result of this.

These parties would rather men kill themselves over their identity crisis than those men rediscovering true masculinity - because they're afraid of the bad part. It's just the nature of things, Masculinity and Femininity both their good and bad parts, but we only shun one.


Demonization of all things male? That's just ridiculous. There are nasty things both men and women have to struggle with.

I'd say the problem with male suicides probably exists for longer than 20 years. Patriarchy has existed for a long time, and together with it its accompanying set of high expectations of men. Pressures to be strong, successful, never show emotion or weakness, to serve your family,.. there is nothing new there. It used to come with much more rewards, but feminism has eroded that away. So now we are kinda equal, while the old cultural norms still survive, causing pain to men.

Patriarchy is the common enemy.


The difference is that women don't need to prove their worth to society. They can bear children. What can men do? If they can't find a way to make themselves useful, what is their place?


That's extremely reductionist. We are human beings, not reproduction machines. The concept of "worth" is much more complex. I don't think a woman can simply bear children, and she's good.

I presume you were trying to make a point that this may be a "core" biological difference, which will always lead to a difference in suicide statistics between men and women. You may be right, you may be wrong, but it is in any case too early, maybe even defeatist to talk about that now. I believe it is high time for a male revolt against patriarchy, and that it might, even if you are right, at least reduce this problem.


"You may be right, you may be wrong, but it is in any case too early, maybe even defeatist to talk about that now"

After hundreds of thousands of years of existance of humans you think it is too early to talk about that? I consider that ridiculous. You can not simply escape reality by crying "reductionism".

Of course it is a statement of averages. Not every woman is fine, things can get in the way. But on average, woman will be considered to be valuable to society no matter what.


What are you talking about? :D

I meant, given that we are right now facing this problem of high suicide rates among men, it is definitely too early and too defeatist to ascribe it to biological differences. (If that is what you were trying to say. As I already said, I'm not sure if I understood correctly what you were trying to say.) We have to look at our culture and at ways in which we can change this. Maybe in the end we won't make the problem go away completely, but we must try. That is what I meant.


I wasn't talking about male suicide specifically. But if you want, I think there should be a lot of data about that already, too.


>> The difference is that women don't need to prove their worth to society. They can bear children.

Yes, I frequently read articles in the press about women on welfare with large families, and how amazing they are for having children, and how privileged we all are to contribute to their upkeep!

I am not defined by my use to society. I live my life for me and the people I love, my place is what I make it, not what 'society' decides to offer me.


The frequency of stories is irrelevant to the frequencies in real live. It's just your perception. And where are the stories about men on welfare?

And I am pretty sure that you depend on society (the people around you) a lot. You sound as if you look down on welfare moms. How would your friends like you as a welfare mom - would they still be your friends? How would you feel?


Another thought on welfare moms: if you are a welfare mom, you still have your children to care for, which makes you useful. What does a man on welfare have to make himself feel useful?


Just stop, dude. This is not elementary algebra, these are people we are talking about. Go out and meet some.


The article was about suicide statistics. Your belief that welfare moms should be the most prone to suicide is probably false.


"we are kinda equal"

Which gender legally gets the kids, house and alimony in +90% of divorces?


We could start listing examples of injustices, each one of us could find them, and we would only get farther from finding any solution, or farther from just having a meaningful discussion.

I am not negating that there are prejudice against men. I simply wish to point out the obvious - these prejudice are a product of patriarchy.

It was not feminism that painted the picture of the man as incompetent parent. It is a very old tenet of patriarchy, that mothers are better parents. That men go around drinking, fighting, they are too aggressive, too incompetent at small housework... These things are really old. They are patriarchy.


> these prejudice are a product of patriarchy.

Is this the argument to make, though?

It forces the assertion that "if not for patriarchy, these prejudices wouldn't exist."

I'm not sure that that logically follows.

> It was not feminism that painted the picture of the man as incompetent parent. It is a very old tenet of patriarchy, that mothers are better parents. That men go around drinking, fighting, they are too aggressive, too incompetent at small housework... These things are really old. They are patriarchy.

You're certain this paragraph is true? Patriarchy holds a male at the head of the organizational unit under the belief that that person will do a better job managing that organization. This doesn't lead to "he's the head of the house but a useless parent." I'm fairly certain that that is a modern invention for comedy.


> It forces the assertion that "if not for patriarchy, these prejudices wouldn't exist."

Implications cannot be automatically reversed, as anyone visiting this site should know ;) I.e. "Patriarchy => prejudice X" does not automatically imply "!Patriarchy => !prejudice X".

As for your explanation on patriarchy, it is simplistic. Probably all ideological systems that humans have ever followed have been rich with mythology, symbolism, and various ideals. Patriarchy, like any other human system of thought, is not merely such a cold, pseudo-rational conclusion. There are always ideals that come with a system, most importantly, in this case, the concept of the ideal man and woman.

Basically, ask yourself, why was it thought that men would better "manage the organization"? What characteristics were idealized in men to make them fit this role? What is the ideal "man of the family"?


Well, I used the context of your assertion, I didn't assume it could be automatically reversed.

> I am not negating that there are prejudice against men. I simply wish to point out the obvious - these prejudice are a product of patriarchy.

The context of this statement implies the removal of patriarchy will affect these prejudices, and, as it makes no sense to argue for the removal of patriarchy if the effect would be negative (!patriarchy => n * (prejudice X) where n > 1), and since the assertion establishes a correlation between the two (n cannot be 1), we're led to assume you mean !patriarchy => n * (prejudice X) where n < 1.

Patriarchy doesn't traditionally espouse the tenant of a useless father figure in the household. The distilled archetype being discussed is a modern comedy trope born of gender exploration from the last 40 years.


Actually, patriarchy does espouse such a tenet. The household is meant for the woman, it is her responsibility, while a man is outside, working for the family. Even if they were not beneath him, an ideal man in patriarchy simply wouldn't be bothered with such menial tasks. This can only naturally produce such a trope. And, OTOH, women are very strongly associated with care and nurture for children, reinforcing the prejudice which causes the unjust treatment of men in custody cases.


It feels like there's a lot of projection going on here.


Well, that's what I get... I try really hard to keep it civil, to address your comments honestly (even though I was tempted to ask you if you ever met any people, so disconnected from reality your ideas seemed), and in return I get this pathetic piece of ad hominem. Shame on you.


> Even if they were not beneath him, an ideal man in patriarchy simply wouldn't be bothered with such menial tasks. This can only naturally produce such a trope (Emphasis mine)

I made an observation given keying words and phrases you used. I've no doubt your description came from an honestly held belief. Describing the ideal male in a patriarchal society to find raising a family or keeping a household to be menial and beneath him, indicates a viewpoint based on disrespecting women and considering them less, rather than an illogical division of family and social duties based on physical gender differences.

Your umbrage is misplaced.


You're really just trolling, are you? :)

I already answered this - all systems come with ideals, myths, additional narratives that serve to explain why things are the way they are. And so patriarchy comes with the concept of the ideal man and woman. This is not something I invented.

Patriarchy is not merely a value-neutral division of labor, or whatever your cold impersonal description was meant to convey. A key component is placing greater value on men, and hence bestowing them with various privileges, but also obligations, expectations.

Finally, even if patriarchy did not insist on male incompetence in the house, the very fact that men never do housework, and are not even allowed to do it unless they want to belittle themselves before others, means that it is very easy to imagine a Real Man (TM) stumbling around during babysitting.


If anyone's trolling, it's you. Even if under the "patriarchal" model, the men were "incompetent at small housework" and "wouldn't be bothered with menial tasks", that doesn't imply they would be bad parents. Parenting isn't just taking care of the child, it's also parental guidance, being a good role model, instilling a sense of responsibility and the value of hard work, etc. All of these are thing even a working man (or any working parent) could do.


>These prejudice are a product of patriarchy.

No. E.g. The aggressively anti-male prejudice baked into domestic violence law is entirely the work of feminists.

There are many other similar prejudices now. So it's simply dishonest to pretend that feminism has had no influence on family law, education, or many other areas where boys and men are struggling.


> The aggressively anti-male prejudice baked into domestic violence law is entirely the work of feminists

Ou don't think it has anything to do with the vast numbers of women killed by men? Very few men are murdered by their wives.

While domestic abuse from women against men is important please don't make the mistake of saying the levels of severity of violence is the same.


> While domestic abuse from women against men is important please don't make the mistake of saying the levels of severity of violence is the same.

The parent wasn't. S/he said:

> The aggressively anti-male prejudice baked into domestic violence law is entirely the work of feminists

which is true regardless of the statistics; under the US rules (AFAIK), police must arrest someone as a result of a domestic violence call, and the guidance is that they must arrest the "primary aggressor", the person who is bigger, stronger, etc. - deemed more dangerous (i.e. the man), regardless of who's actually being violent.

Even if men were attacking women in 90% of the cases, arresting men in 99% of the cases is sexist anti-male prejudice.


> under the US rules (AFAIK), police must arrest someone as a result of a domestic violence call, and the guidance is that they must arrest the "primary aggressor", the person who is bigger, stronger, etc. - deemed more dangerous (i.e. the man), regardless of who's actually being violent.

There's several errors in this:

(1) There aren't really one set of "US rules" on this level of specificity for domestic violence calls, (2) Under the Constitution, arrests without probable cause are forbidden, and the mere fact of a call will not always support probable cause, so insofar as there are "US rules", they prohibit the form of "must arrest" rules described, (3) Where rules do require arrest of the primary aggressor in cases of mutual combat in domestic violence, the rules for determining who the "primary aggressor" is generally do not consider "who is bigger, stronger, etc.", but instead consider the actual injuries that have been inflicted in the particular case, past history of domestic violence of domestic violence complaints, and whether one party's violence was in self defense or defence of others. A few also include consideration of the potential future injuries as well as those other factors, which is the closest thing to the "deemed more dangerous" standard you propose that might way against men. [0]

None allow arrests of one party regardless of who is actually being violent, as you claim.

[0] a state-by-state breakdown of relevant statutes is at http://www.bwjp.org/files/bwjp/articles/Primary_Aggressor_Ch...


A result of the weapon of choice in domestic abuse. Men favor fists, while women favor improvised weapons (the legal term as in sticks, stones, or whatever is reachable).

Weapons in untrained hands do generally less damage than fists, so men in general cause more damage in fights. However, if the weapon do cause damage, that damage has a higher risk of being major.

So which one is more server, a untrained knife wielding attacker or someone going for you with their fists. The legal system has one view, the statistics has one.


It's also dishonest to put such words in my mouth, when they were never said ;)

The disconnect, IMO, stems from the fact that women are fighting, and men are not. Or, perhaps better said, men are just beginning to frame an opposition. Women have stood up, organized, and brought attention to their problems (which were, without any doubt, seriously greater than men's), and achieved many victories. Standard democratic process. Now it's high time for men to do the same. However, if male action gets reduced to just attacking feminism and blaming feminism for everything, that sucks. It is one system, patriarchy, that causes all these problems. If some women and feminists are blind to the problems of men, is that really a surprise? Fully understanding someone else, someone whose shoes you haven't walked in, is incredibly hard. What we need is discussion, finding understanding, and fighting the common source of all these problems - patriarchy. And nobody can stand for men, but men themselves.


> If some women and feminists are blind to the problems of men, is that really a surprise?

Yes, honestly, though perhaps it shouldn't. The point of feminism was to bring equality to the sexes. In places where it has been successful, to see it continue to push forward as a way of achieving victories for women causes spite and backlash. I have low hopes for a real men's version of feminism to form, for exactly the reasons laid out in this article. The main problem (as this article points out) is that any man who admits to difficulties or problems is seen as not-a-man. The current state of MRA might be sad, but they are generally despised first and foremost because men who complain are not respectable men. Perhaps its just a pipe dream, but one would hope that feminists would remember that the original goal was equality for both sexes, and would help us out where needed.


I agree with a lot of what you say. But waiting for someone else to fight your fight never worked for anybody. It's just the way it is, people have a hard time putting themselves in others' shoes, and everyone naturally tends to place greater emphasis on their own problems. And then there's the fact that problems women face still exist.

But for me, the problem with MRAs is not that they are "unmanly". They remind me of something like a slave, who sees another former slave now walking free, and instead of now demanding his own freedom, he fights for the other guy to become a slave again...

You are probably right, MRAs probably will be seen as pussies and belittled, but their response, IMO, should be to embrace it. Yes, I am a pussy. If that's what an intelligent, reflective man is, then let it be - I am a pussy. Kind of like the relationship between feminists and the word "bitch". And that is for some men one hard pill to swallow.

Now that feminism has won a lot of victories, men are in a position that they are still burdened by patriarchic expectations, but no longer enjoy the corresponding privileges. The right answer is to fight the expectations, IMO.


> but their response, IMO, should be to embrace it

I simply do not see this happening. Before people ever do this, they will attempt to accomplish their goals by easier, more acceptable, less self-socially destroying means, like wrapping their complaints in traditional/religious roles or (likely reactionary) ideology. But I don't want to detract from this any longer. The point I was trying to make was far more succinctly put by marrs in anther reply to you.


What sucks is if a men's movement has to accept the same B.S. underpinnings as feminism because feminists can't handle others disagreeing with them.

The whole patriarchy critique is a biased philosophical position of a particular social movement. If you guys like it, fine, but you don't get to force it upon others.


Yeah, exactly, forcing things upon others. Or, as people usually call this, a conversation :D You are being a hypocrite right now. You may disagree, but you may not accuse me of forcing anything just because I said something you disagree with.


You could put a minimal amount of effort into charitable readings of the comments of others.

Feminism has gone so far as to brand the men's rights movement a hate group, they've gone out of their way to characterize men's rights books as rape-apologizing hate speech, and in some cases[0][1] have actively shut down talks given from what is basically the MRA viewpoint.

This is clearly coercion so I feel justified in saying feminism is attempting to "force" the men's rights movement to develop in a certain way.

Am I saying you're personally trying to force me to do anything right now? That wasn't my intention. As for your view that we should all get together and blame the patriarchy, allow me to rephrase myself for clarity: thanks, but no thanks.

[0] - http://metronews.ca/news/ottawa/1000093/protesters-shut-down... [1] - http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/robyn-urback-move-...


That would have been one charitable reading :D Of course I understood you as if you were implying that I am forcing something. Thank you for the clarification!

I cannot really speak for others, I represent no one but myself. I can only guess that, to some extent, such reaction from some feminists is simply defence. The MRA narrative is too focused on feminism, and has too much relativizing, "who's the greater victim" talk, which is stupid.

But I also definitely agree that some of the reaction is just a lack of will to hear what the other side has to say, which sucks.

BTW, what do you then blame?


Pointing out that feminism has been damaging to men and the male psyche is accurate, your movement has had collateral damage and you need to deal with that.

It's impossibile to stand up for masculinity as being a natural and good thing without butting heads with THE group who says masculinity is an overvalued social construct that needs to be destroyed.

On victimhood, it's completely childish for a movement to spend 50 years talking about how victimized its members are and the moment somebody else starts using the same tactic it's "let's not talk about victimhood, it's sooo stupid!" It's a classic "learned it from watching you" scenario.

On who I blame, I don't have a group that I blame for everything. We live in a difficult world where survival is a challenge, there will always be things that are nobody's fault. People who have a default boogeyman use them in times of uncertainty: "the gays caused the earthquake", "the patriarchy caused me to miss that promotion", "I drink because of my ex-wife", etc.

But do I blame feminism for the things it's responsible for? You bet.

edit: I don't mind donwvotes, but I do take notice when something is downvoted in less time than it would take to read and reflect on the comment.


First of all, hypocrisy again - you say blaming patriarchy is lame, "default boogeyman" and so on, but you completely fail to see you use feminism in exactly the same way. MRAs typically blame EVERYTHING on feminism. Any kind of problem men face today must somehow be caused by feminism, there is rarely any other explanation that is acceptable.

Second, I did not say that pointing out problems men face is stupid, far from it. What I said was that comparing is stupid. "Who's the bigger victim" is stupid talk. Negating the problems women face, as if this were a competition, some kind of zero-sum game, is stupid. Try some of that charitable reading you recommended yourself.


I tried to make it clear that I think feminism should only be blamed for things it's responsible for. Really.

Victimhood is almost always relative and I've spent my entire life hearing about how society victimizes females as compared to males, you can't just rewrite the history of the movement when it's convenient.

In fact if you listen to them these evil MRAs are saying the exact same thing you are right now, that all the victim playing of feminism is disrupting any societal discussion of men's problems. The day feminism stops caricaturizing men in order to talk about female victimhood is the day you get to complain about MRAs entering the conversation. If you think feminism doesn't misrepresent men then you're part of the problem being fought against.

And when I suggested you read comments more charitably it's because I thought you weren't and it was causing you to miss the point. It wasn't just to hurt your feelings, this isn't reddit.


> ...I've spent my entire life hearing about how society victimizes females as compared to males...

Maybe that's what you heard from it, but it's not the position of feminism that, e.g., rape is bad merely because women get raped more than men. Rape is bad, period. The point is that the problem affects women disproportionately more, and in the past men could get away with it without any punishment. So, women need, and have fought for, extra protection. And of course, for the general dismantling of the power imbalance between men and women. Why some men immediately internalize this, and feel like someone just called all men rapists and woman haters is really beyond me.

In any case, we will probably have to agree to disagree. In my experience, MRA is not really about anything else than feminism. There are some who actually care about the specific injustices faced by men, and some who have endured them directly (and you may be shocked but I am a feminist and still support them...). But the MRA movement is really just using these things as tools in a fight purely against feminism. Because, it's always feminism. Nothing else can be at fault but feminism. Every male problem is either caused by feminists, or feminists are indirectly to blame because they didn't fix it already (?!). Because, yeah, fuck all the rapes, domestic violence and shit, the most important thing all feminists have to care about when fighting these injustices is - men, of course! :D

A lot of feminists probably go to far, and dismiss valid concerns too easily, but to take that as a reason to focus on feminism, and to constantly negate the whole of feminism makes it clear that the MRA movement, for the most part, is just anti-feminism and nothing more. That the problems men face are being used as a fig leaf to cover up simple misogyny.


> The aggressively anti-male prejudice baked into domestic violence law is entirely the work of feminists.

Specific (i.e., with citations to the actual law) examples of this alleged anti-male prejudice are called for in support of this claim.


> It was not feminism that painted the picture of the man as incompetent parent.

No, but it is the reason that this is the modern trope men are reduced to in modern media. Matt Groening has gone on the record saying that the reason he created Homer and Bart as incompetent / lovable / stupid / trouble makers, and Lisa / Marge as competent, intelligent role models, is because at the time the series was coming out he felt that was a good way to avoid getting negative publicity for his new series from various feminist groups around the country. No one was going to protest a stupid male role model, or a trouble making male kid, but making the women the same way might, and making them the positive characters would win his show support from feminist groups. Most modern sitcoms follow this same format for the same reason.


Wait, what are we even talking about here any more - are you saying men contemplate suicide because feminists make them feel bad about themselves? Because of sitcom tropes?

Anyway, feminists fight for women. They are mostly women. They had a serious bunch of wrongs to right, more than just some unfavorable sitcom tropes. If they were not, during this fight, sufficiently sensitized to the problems of men, can you really blame them? Do you even realize how unjust and hypocritical such a judgement is? Had feminism followed such standards, it would have never achieved anything, and women would to this day be unable to vote, own property, etc etc.

Men would do well to stand up for themselves in these matters, and not allow themselves to find scapegoats in feminism.


    Anyway, feminists fight for women.
And this is the problem I have with feminists. We should be fighting for each other, not against each other. We are all on this planet together and we all deserve equal rights and opportunities.

The idea that we achieve this by having women fight for women's rights and men fight for men's rights is absurd. It might have been inevitable to begin with, but we're not living in the 60s any more, and if we don't move away from this adversarial position then of course people will start to feel threatened, retreat to fundamentalist positions, and react in the way you object to.


> The idea that we achieve this by having women fight for women's rights and men fight for men's rights is absurd.

No, it is the essence of democracy. I cannot go around preaching, protesting, speaking in the name of other people. Everyone must stand up for themselves first, and then, if their cause is just and recognized as such by society, wide support will follow. Waiting for other people to represent you better is completely ridiculous.

> ...this adversarial position...

You seem to be implying that if people stand up for themselves, they must automatically be opponents. This is not true.


This is the point I was trying to make, thank you.


"They had a serious bunch of wrongs to right, more than just some unfavorable sitcom tropes."

I would argue that the way your sex is stereotypically portrayed in society at large _is_ serious.


> I simply wish to point out the obvious - these prejudice are a product of patriarchy.

Since no one can explain what "patriarchy" even is in a concrete way, this is very far from obvious.


You're joking, right? :D


Honestly, if you held a gun to my head, I could not give you a definition of the word. I have looked for definitions, but they're very vague and contradictory.

From usage, it seems to mean "a powerful and sinister force that oppresses women".


Nope. The way feminist use Patriarchy reminds me of creationist (and IDers) use of God, miracles, and the supernatural.


>these prejudice are a product of patriarchy.

A uesless hypothesis that isn't testable.

Women treated worse? Patriarchy.

Men treated worse? Patriarchy.

Consider that if you go back far enough, men were considered the better parent. I'm sure Patriarchy is to blame for that even though it was to blame for men being considered the worse parent as well.


It couldn't have anything to do with women risking their lives for 9 months carrying the child to birth in their bellies? Or that they tend to breastfeed their children for months after birth, which men simply can not do?


Sure, of course. It's probably both. But you do understand that men get discriminated in child custody trials even if the child is already well weened off the tit?


The point is that the situation is not created by patriarchy, but by biology. That women tend to be the caregivers is simply an extension of the beginnings (pregnancy, higher investment in bringing the child to life).

Personally I suspect that women being allowed to be the primary caregiver is actually a privilege they earn because their investment in having the children is so much higher. Feminism needs you to believe that being a stay-at-home mum is a horrible ordeal and a hallmark of oppression. The opposite is probably true, if you consider the average job. There may be jobs that are more fun than taking care of your own children, but most jobs aren't like that.

Consider a stay-at-home dad. He would be a very expensive babysitter (half of the mother's income). Why should women accept that?

Btw., I've heard that in custody trials men actually tend to come out quite well. But I think it has to be taken into consideration that fathers probably only go to court when they see a chance to win to begin with (mother is a crack whore or whatever). So that statistic alone is not telling much.


Using the word "Patriarchy" unironically gives away the fact you don't care about mens problems, because you're automatically blaming men for these problems.

You live in an age of abundance now, but 50 or so years ago you might be singing a different tune, and you can't reprogram society overnight without causing serious harm.


You fail to grasp one crucial distinction - patriarchy is not a term that labels all men. It is a system. The crimes of patriarchy are not automatically the fault of all men. It is perfectly possible to be a man and against patriarchy (you're speaking with one right now, actually).

As for "reprogramming society" - that's just spreading FUD. Society is not a piece of stone, it changes constantly. And far from it that any of these changes happen simply overnight.

And to simply assume that patriarchy is the direct cause of our society's abundance today, well... to say the least, you may need to provide some proof :D


Are you really saying "all of society's problems exist because men run everything" whilst also saying "all of society's accomplishments are despite men running everything"?

I don't mean to put words into your mouth but that is how your statements read to me.

OK, having read more of this discussion, I don't think that's what you're saying. But what do you mean by patriarchy? What do you mean by its crimes?


My point has nothing to do with the specifics, I was merely pointing out that attacking patriarchy is not an attack against all men. That should be pretty obvious, but hey...

I don't know if I can give you a quality definition of patriarchy, I am sure you can google that yourself, if you are actually interested. If you just want me to make some silly semantic mistake and then bicker about it, then this will get boring soon...

I would say in short that patriarchy is a form of societal organization where men dominate. As the bloody word says itself already.


I'm not trying to attack you, I'm just trying to make sure we're using the word in the same way, because I couldn't attribute anything to a patriarchy in the way you do. I can't unpick the workings of society in that way. In a society where women stay at home and manage the household, they are the community builders, a business leader's first counsellor is his wife, and so on. Women are still a huge part of society. So the decisions of men could well be the decisions of women.


The word is easy to misunderstand. I usually just avoid it entirely and discuss the symptoms instead. Most people agree that what patriarchy is is something that needs changing, so it's silly to stick with a word that so reliably muddies what should be an uncontroversial conversation.


Well, it should not be easy to misunderstand an attack on patriarchy as an attack on all men. That misunderstanding makes no sense, unless a person has certain rhetorical goals...

Generally, your approach is smart, but topics like this have to stir up emotion. I believe it is completely impossible to have a meaningful discussion about such topics, which affect people's lives, without getting emotional. I guess only people who are completely unaffected by the problem at hand can have the luxury of objective distance...


Much of the time, I can say "that thing you just agreed with is the feminist position on patriarchy," and it's like a lightbulb goes off in their head. People get ideas about words and concepts because their early exposure to them was negative. Give them a more accurate concept, then reintroduce the term.

It's really no different from how people assume the fem- in feminism means it's all about putting women ahead of men. I avoid calling myself feminist for the same reason I don't generally use the word patriarchy. Avoiding confusing terms in early conversations is a simple matter of effective communication.


Yes, name a tv show where the man is the idiot and the woman the smart or normal one (all of them). Name a sitcom where the man is smart and the woman an idiot (none of them, and 'Married with children' doesn't count, they were all idiots. Of course I'm not advocating portraying women as idiots).


Parks and Recreation. Ron Swanson is an excellent masculine role model.


The Ron Swanson character is humorous specifically because it pokes fun at the traditional male role by exaggerating it to an extreme. A better example might have been the men in Mad Men, but there too, the narrative goes out of its way to show the problems with those characters through a modern filter.


In a TV show in which people are portrayed as unusually smart (not merely normal), most of them will be male.


And hampered by social ineptitude completely out of proportion to their increased intelligence, to the point where they depend upon someone of the opposite gender to lubricate their social interactions.


Are you referring to the "nerd blackface" of Big Bang Theory?


Not only do I disagree with the description of Big Bang Theory as "nerd blackface" (and, in fact, find that description offensively trivializing of the actual nature and impact of blackface, but that's getting tangential), but clearly the description is more applicable to Scorpion, in which, unlike Big Bang Theory:

1. All the hyper-intelligent characters that are part of the main recurring cast are male (BBT has a 4:2 gender ratio in the characters portrayed as unusually intelligent),

2. The one female character that is part of the team with those characters is a female who is explicitly part of the team to, as described upthread, "lubricate their social interactions." (BBT has a range of social ineptitude among the intelligent characters, including one of the intelligent female characters as particularly socially inept.)

3. Is, rather than a deliberately and overtly ridiculous sitcom, a drama billed as reality-based.


I agree with you.

Firstly, blackface used white actors painted black, unnecessarily. Comedy cannot use real nerds, because real nerds cannot act. Non-nerds depiciting nerd characters are used for the same reason that, in acting, non-surgeons portray surgeons, non-pilots portray pilots and non-US-presidents portray US presidents. Blackface is offensive even when the actual portrayal the black characters is balanced, simply because of the discrimination against black actors which prevent them from getting the roles.

The nerd stereotypes in BBT are not single-faceted, and they are not offensive to nerds. In fact, nerds love BBT. Most of the characters on BBT are "real" in the sense that people can relate to them.

Something that might satisfy a reasonable definition of "nerd blackface", if there is one, might be, say, The Revenge of the Nerds (1984).


> Name a sitcom where the man is smart and the woman an idiot

Big Bang Theory, kind of (its a sitcom, all the male main characters are intellectually "smart", and the not-smart main character is female, though there are also two "smart" female characters, as well.)


You may be right about that, but there are plenty of societies worldwide that have not had the demonization of all things male, which show a similar pattern in suicides.

The only exceptions seem to be Bangladesh and China. This indicates that, whilst it would be nice to have a simple one-size fits all reason for male suicides pretty much globally being higher than female, the picture is somewhat more complex than "We have been demonizing all things male".


My long - but casual - observation is this is not a phenomenon relegated to gender, but rather a common theme with the prevailing majority.

The ability to hold up traits common to those that are in power as a source of derision seems to have a cathartic function in both the recipient(s) and the sender(s).


And how is this related to suicide? Actually I think guys with especially masculine ambitions face the highest risk of suicide - which is also explained in the article.


I don't understand this. In most stories, arn't protagonists primarily male? Arn't they typically courageous, or intelligent, or unyielding, or strong, or determined?

I don't understand.


Look at some of the stories from the media. Some airlines will not allow males sit next to unaccompanied children. A theme park bans single males from bird watching, "in case they are predators". Female sexual assaults are disgusting while male sexual assaults are funny, to most people. If a little girl has a problem, it is immediately attended to, whereas if a little boy has a problem, he is told to "be a man and suck it up". Feminism is cool whereas MRA is not. Oh, we also have some "interesting" people like this - http://www.vice.com/read/is-reducing-the-male-population-by-...

And so on.

I wish we look at problems without the gender/race/nationality etc lens and only purely based on their merit. This is 2015 and we still have gender stereotypes, whole lot of double standards (for both genders), laws favoring one gender or the other etc. All this noise is just tiring.


Feminism is cool whereas MRA is not.

Because MRA has an absolutely horrific public image. If they concentrated on topics like visitation rights in divorce they'd be well appreciated - Fathers 4 Justice[1] is/was an organsiation that does exactly that and received positive coverage back in the mid-2000s (sadly, according to Wikipedia they've since gotten worse)

By contrast, almost every MRA conversation I've ever seen has been talking about how awful Feminists are. Using "Social justice warrior" to cover anyone who is passionate about helping women do anything (and why is it a negative label anyway?). About fake rape accusations as if they cast doubt over every legitimate accusation ever made. About how scantily clad women are 'asking for it'.

Is it really any wonder MRA isn't "cool"? (and let's be honest - Feminism isn't exactly universally cool anyway)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fathers_4_Justice


Didn't feminism have similar beginnings? It was a lot more angry, and it was justified. That anger often tipped over into unwarranted hatred and generalization, but that doesn't mean the anger was unjustified.


> Female sexual assaults are disgusting while male sexual assaults are funny

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muuFygvXPAM

Imagine this "witty banter" about female mutilation.


The Femitheist article was actually satire. Yeah, I also didn't quite get it either, though I was thinking that it must be satire, it was so over the top. Poe's law in action, I guess, and well-executed!

"I now no longer present my satirical works without making it clear that they are not serious, as many people have been unable to recognize that fact on their own, despite the over-the-top and theatrical style of said presentations."

http://www.femitheist.net/p/cp-faq.html


>> Feminism is cool whereas MRA is not

The extreme voices of feminism are pretty awful, but AFAICT the entire MRA movement is made up of arseholes.

It doesn't have to be, and there are issues to be addressed. It's just a shame it seems to be addressed by misogynist dickholes.


There are some topics that are impossible to discuss even for 5 minutes, before it turns ugly with labels, name calling etc. Gender topics top that list (others include religion, political affiliation, eating meat etc). May be what you are saying is true, still it would be nice to refrain from name calling etc, right? Not that it bothers me personally, it just diverts the conversation from the actual issue. In the end, many people just keep quiet as they realize nothing they say is going to help.

We have managed to figure out how to land on the moon and yet we can't figure out how to weigh certain issues on their merit, and merit only.


>> May be what you are saying is true, still it would be nice to refrain from name calling etc, right?

It's just language....

To put it another way - it's easy to see that a mens rights movement could exist that actually pushes for mens rights. All we seem to have now is a group of reactionaries that like to rant about the evils of women and feminism, and espouse some (IMHO) horrific views about women and their place in the world. They also see mens rights as a fight against feminism in a sort of tug-of-war where no fight needs to exists - gender roles and inequalities could be fought together.

I think calling them misogynist dickholes just about covered it though, because that is the way they generally come across.

I have no problem with the "actual issue" of discussing ways in which men are treated unfairly by society. I have a huge problem with the people who have taken it upon themselves to stand up and be called "mens rights activists" and then proceed to rail against women's rights and women's rights activists as if they are the enemy.


But part of the problem is that nobody would address radical feminists as "misandrist cuntholes", right? Doing so would automatically disqualify your credibility. But for men, it's fine, they are really dickholes, right?

That's cultural hegemony at work, folks.


>> nobody would address radical feminists as "misandrist cuntholes"

People frequently do!

The difference is that they don't make up the whole of that movement.


>People frequently do!

Do they?

HackerNews search results:

* "Misandry": 2

* "Misandrist": 0

* "Misogyny": 59

* "Misogynist": 23

Most people will have to look up "the opposite of misogyny" to find "misandry", and that's telling in itself. I do understand why this happens (misogyny has always been a culturally-recognized problem with real repercussions, the opposite not so much), but it still happens and it does unbalance the cultural perception of things.


I'm not sure those figures are in any way relevant to anything, and when I said "People often do!" I wasn't referring to HN in a vacuum.


Of course, I was just taking HN as a random sample, to show that even in our highly-educated, male-dominated geek community, people are quite familiar with one term but not the other. This is significant and relevant to the argument, imho.


Misandry does not exist.


3 matches now :)


>> The difference is that they don't make up the whole of that movement.

I'm pretty sure that this statement makes you a misandrist. FYI, MRM does not include actually PUA and MGTOW. Different goals.


>> I'm pretty sure that this statement makes you a misandrist.

You'd be wrong then.

Misandry would be the hating or disparaging of men as a group, not the hating or disparaging of the MRA movement as it exists right now.

As a man, I do not identify with MRA and neither am I offended if someone criticises them, it is not misandry to do so. As I said - I can see that there could be a mens rights movement that addressed mens issues without resorting to being misogynist and anti-feminist. I do not think this exists in the MRA sphere at present. I do not think feminism (in its more mainstream forms) is the enemy, either, in fact it should be a natural ally.

I'll concede that a lot of outspoken feminists often try to intentionally confuse this issue as well, painting anyone who disagrees with any facet of feminism, no matter how extreme, as being misogynist.


And you are conflating anti-feminism with misogyny. It's very hard not to be anti-feminist when NOW is sabotaging shared parenting[1]. Feminism can't be natural ally of mens' rights because it is actively pushing against it. And please don't say that it is the issue with fringe feminists. NOW is not fringe, its as mainstream as it gets.

Have you heard what feminists say about legal parental surrender, military draft, circumcision, false accusations etc? Dodging the issue, invoking "it's patriarchy", FGM straw man and so on. With variations of "XYZ can't be fixed because its biology" or "add more feminism".

You are right on one thing. Traditionalist women are actually much worse than feminists when it comes to MR. Unfortunately feminists cater to this particular "electorate" and because of that feminists are not allies of MRM (outside of /r/FeMRADebates).

[1] http://www.nownys.org/fathers_resp.html


>> And you are conflating anti-feminism with misogyny.

No, I'm not, in fact I'm explicitly and deliberately not doing that, as I said here -

"I'll concede that a lot of outspoken feminists often try to intentionally confuse this issue as well, painting anyone who disagrees with any facet of feminism, no matter how extreme, as being misogynist."

>> Feminism can't be natural ally of mens' rights because it is actively pushing against it.

I disagree.

--edit-- In fact I disagree entirely, there's no reason at all that a mens rights movement could not exist to push the issues you call out, and work alongside a feminist movement working on feminist issues. Women campaigning for greater access to the workplace, and against street harassment, are not in opposition to men wanting greater access to their children. This is what I mean by natural allies.

The idea that they are necessarily in opposition is childish.


They are not in opposition when it comes to idea and desired end goal. They are pretty much in opposition when it comes to political means of reaching that goal. You can't have social change without support of large part of population. MRM caters mostly to men, Feminism caters mostly to women.

> Women campaigning for greater access to the workplace, and against street harassment, are not in opposition to men wanting greater access to their children. This is what I mean by natural allies.

In theory. But in practice they are. Please read the link I provided.

I really hope that you are right and both movements can actually come and act together. Equal Rights Amendment was a beautiful thing, shame it died.

As for now we have rape-on-campus (not supported by statistical data) moral panic instead.


>> I really hope that you are right and both movements can actually come and act together.

Fat chance, humans being what they are...

(Yeah, I'm a closet misanthrope!)


Most American women won't call themselves feminists because it has a bad image. Where do you get your idea of "cool"? I am curious!


Going off of that Vice article, sometimes I think that a 40/60 ratio of men to women would be favorable... it'd probably reflect the proportions of our hunter gatherer ancestry, and a lot of psychological benefits would come with that I'd imagine.

But everything else she said was extremely misandrist and sexist.


You can actually see the difference in gender relations in places with different gender ratios, and by age, as well.

"Single men become a rare commodity later in life due to our unfortunate propensity for dying. If you can get to 50 the world seems to be nothing but women."

http://jonathansoma.com/singles/


"sometimes I think that a 40/60 ratio of men to women would be favorable..."

Without wanting to turn this into a race thing, there are sociological circumstances which sort of give us a glimpse (in subsets of the population) of what that could look like - and it's not pretty... See e.g. http://www.economist.com/node/21532296, which is one of the lesser emotionally charged discussions of it, but I'm sure you can find the right Google terms to find dozens of other articles about it yourself.


China's and India's fad of aborting female offspring is not really very helpful. They're setting themselves up for some really, really nasty future.


Not sure about India, but China is already in trouble

http://www.forbes.com/sites/china/2011/05/13/chinas-growing-...


Sweden have imported so many males from middle east that it's now more men than women in Sweden for the first time in 300 years.

"More boys are born in Sweden, the average life expectancy of males has gone up and it's mostly men who move here from other countries." http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2054&art...


Thank you for that link, that really changed my perspective.


[flagged]


Oh dear god you talk a lot of bullshit -

"No one woman can provide the amount of sex a man physically needs for his mental health."

Grow up.


heh. Is there any part of that that's concretely not true? Humans all over the world have come up with it independently -- I dunno, unless Muslims and Mormons shared notes.

I could even go further and claim it to be an almost pan-mammalian truth.

Men and women are different. Especially when it comes to sex.


No, they're not that different, no you don't need more sex than one woman can give you to remain mentally healthy, as evidenced by all the not-crazy monogamists. You're an idiot.

If you want more than one partner, go for it, become a polyamorist. Lots of men and women do.

But your generalisations and your attitude towards women are childish, you need to grow up.


> No, they're not that different

Look at the testimony of transgender people who go on hormones, especially female-to-male people. There's so much anecdotal evidence suggesting that the male libido is out of control compared to the female one.

> If you want more than one partner, go for it, become a polyamorist. Lots of men and women do.

I think what he's referring to is competition. Since there are more women than men it's more likely for a man to find a mate as compared to a society where there are an equal amount of men and women (since it's more likely that a women he would be interested in is taken). Women end up getting the shit end of the stick, though.

> But your generalisations and your attitude towards women are childish, you need to grow up.

Agreed.


I may have been exaggerating when I said mental health+, but it's still a fact that men still aren't getting laid as much as they would ideally like to=.

I mean, how would you even know? Because they aren't begging for it constantly? Really, I can tell you that that's more due to being polite and knowing in advance that the answer will be no.

+ I term I use in a much broader sense internally, since I don't know any better for word it. So I might let it out without checking if other people will understand what I'm saying.

= Not that they're entitled to it or anything, but then that never was my point.


What you're doing is generalizing people based on their gender; which is, by definition, sexist.

I'm not trying to harp on you - I have also been guilty of this not too long ago. Your experience does not represent that of all men, and your mental model of what a woman is does not represent all women. You are literally generalizing two groups consisting of 3.5 billion people, the vast majority of which you will never even see in your entire life.

> but it's still a fact that men still aren't getting laid as much as they would ideally like to

I'm pretty sure you're internally replacing "men" with "me" here.

> I mean, how would you even know? Because they aren't begging for it constantly? Really, I can tell you that that's more due to being polite and knowing in advance that the answer will be no.

Again, you're speaking for yourself here.


If you don't think that the woman you are with has a high enough sex drive for you then you should probably discuss it with her or find someone more compatible with your needs.

If you can't be satisfied with sex with only one woman the you are free to lead a polyamorist lifestyle if you wish.

It's the generalisations across entire genders and the implied sexism that come across as childish. Not to mention your bizarre and horrific attitudes to rape. Do what you like, but women are people with varying tastes and drives just as much as men are. Maybe if you got to know a few you might find this out.


> It's the generalisations across entire genders

Do you take everyone so literally?

> horrific attitudes to rape.

... I'd roll my eyes, but I'm not American enough. What's being discussed is barely even rape at all, except in some broad, all-encompassing dictionary-style definition of the word. Something falling under the broadest possible definition of the word rape doesn't automatically mean that it's rape in the sense of a male assaulting and raping someone.

> women are people with varying tastes and drives just as much as men are.

Yes, and there's barely a person alive that doesn't know this; see point #1.


I was talking about the attitudes to rape you displayed in the other thread further down the page, some of which have now been deleted they were so bad.

It's awful, you have a terrible attitude and a real lack of empathy.

I mean this - "Having sex with someone without their consent is rape, but that doesn't automatically mean it's a bad thing." - what the fuck? You clearly have no idea and I hope you're just young and stupid.


I can't remember everything I've written, but I don't see that anything's been deleted.

I'm sorry if I can't accept it as an axiom that all rape is equally bad...

Are you. seriously. saying. that just because something falls under the broadest and most pedantic definition of rape, that that means it must automatically be violent, bloody, sadistic?

If you fuck someone awake in the morning, that fits that very same definition of rape, therefore it _is_ rape, but it's obviously not a bad thing.

If one such counterexample exists I don't see why a few more shouldn't.

Are you even AWARE that I'm talking about the WOMAN initiating here?


and the reason I'm saying that is that the main argument against me on that subject seems to be: "rape is very bad because rape is very bad".

also: the posts were shadow-deleted. also: I can't even comprehend how sensitive people are that they feel the need to delete that. it isn't even hate speech or anything, not that speech in itself is a bad thing or that people can't just ignore it when they see it.

the only thing I can see accomplished by such deletion would be people assuming the absolute worst, on the basis of information they don't have access to.


In older stories, sure. But the "action hero" died a while ago. Have you not noticed the rise of the weak male lead in movies/TV/commercials? It's hugely prevalent in romantic comedies, but even TV shows like Modern Family (bumbling Phil and razor-sharp Claire) depict archetypes that are becoming quite common.

The formula is a charming yet incompetent male lead who's mainly driven by sex, paired with a strong, capable female lead who's always two steps ahead of him.

If I had children, I certainly wouldn't want them watching TV/movies that depict their gender as incapable or unintelligent. And that's equally true for girls and boys.



I recall an article on exactly this suggesting that this is the only stereotype that TV can screen now which won't offend.

For example, switch around the person who embodies the bumbling figure and in most cases it would be frowned upon or not effective.

It's possibly a power thing. Maybe it's ok and fun (not right) to poke fun at those perceived with the most social power. In most other situations, it's like kicking someone when they're down. I didn't say I agreed with this, just that it might explain why it is more "acceptable" at the moment.

Above everything though, I do find this set up incredibly boring. It was funny the first couple of times but it's been done ad nauseum now. Ad agencies and comedy writers, please up your game.


> But the "action hero" died a while ago.

As a 30-something guy the main issue I had with Avengers 2 (just to pick the latest mainstream action movie example) was the blatant product placement which had no logic (like driving an Audi convertible in the midst of a gunfight scene). Plus, there was too much talking, I almost felt asleep mid-way through the movie. I'm not a comic-books aficionado, so I didn't particularly care about any of the characters, I just wanted some good action.

Compare that with "Predator" or the "Rocky" or "Rambo" series. Lots of good action, lots of "this is damn cool!" feeling without much thinking or non-sense talking. And "Last Action Hero", the movie, was indeed genius, like its director, John McTiernan.


You're just going to the wrong movies. There are action-no-talking films. Basically anything made by Michael Bay, for example. John Wick or The Raid 2 if you're not into CGI action. Anything made by Stallone in the last decade. There are plenty of Asian imports as well.


The other great product placement scene was when Bruce Banner was listening to classical music on his Beats headphones.

Beats headphones are overpriced, over-bassed crap with a gross form factor and uncomfortable cups to boot. This is said by anyone with any kind of taste for finer audio.


This isn't really a new thing. I presume it was already a cliche when The Flintstones came along.


Exactly, the sitcom approach has also generally been fat dude + thin woman for just as long a time


Why do you prefer seeing men only as action hero? In fact, many boys will grow up to be goofy dads.


That's quite the false dichotomy. Why would the opposite of "bumbling moron father" be "action hero", rather than "competent father"?

The John McClanes of this world, if in fact they exist at all, are exceptionally few and far between. Good competent fathers though? Those are hardly Hollywood inventions.


It's a valid question, but most people I know (including my boys) identify far more with the guys on Big Bang Theory than Bruce Willis in Die Hard, and those guys are every negative archetype of maleness (sexist, unable to care for oneself, etc) wrapped up in a pseudo-intellectualized package. The one exception was Penny's boy friend, who filled "stupid jock".[1]

What Bruce Willis brings to the table is this idealized version of what "man" is supposed to mean. So, on the one hand, we have an image of men as socially retarded incompetents and on the other hand, we have an image of men as unkillable tough guys. Where is a 15 year old supposed to land in there?

1. I actually really enjoyed the first five or so seasons of BBT, before they started playing more and more to the cheap "socially retarded scientists" jokes. I also believe they aren't making lives better for intellectual young women, either, who need the role models more than anyone.


BBT has had nerdy women for a few seasons already. And most of the characters take care of themselves in their own apartment, and have highly respected careers. The nerdy women are actually a bit stronger than the nerdy men.


> The nerdy women are actually a bit stronger than the nerdy men.

Of course, they have to be, it's a modern sitcom. The most attractive one is also only a waitress/failed aspiring actress.


This is why you shouldn't rely on TV to provide your role models :p


If I watch an action movie, I am not intimidated by or identify with the cool guy in the movie because I'm not the guy they're portraying. When sitcoms and commercials emasculate and defame the everyman, I know they're talking about me.


Yet young boys grow up identifying with the hero.


Really? Fantasising about being him, maybe. It's usually the side-kick that one identifies with.


daaaaaamn man. You're telling me you don't identify Jerry Seinfeld, you identify with George Costanza?

Because when I've seen men get emascualated or mocked on TV, it's due to some jackassery on their part, and I don't feel the need to empathize. Isn't that true for you as well?

If there's an over-riding theme in media regarding men that I would report, it's that the consequences they experience are a result of their actions. I'd call that just as far from the truth, but an otherwise pleasant lie.


When I see the stereotypical sitcom dad, he keeps fucking up to telegraph to the audience that he's a fuckup, AKA Barney Fife, not to be a morality play "don't do this or this will happen." Barney can't not be a fuckup because that's his identity. Andy is a well-rounded character, he's not even perfect, sometimes he plays the fool and you learn the lesson, so it serves the morality play function. The dad on My Three Sons is near-perfect, he's the opposite of Barney Fife, his identity is that he's an inhuman archetypal father-figure. I Could see how this could be intimidating, but at least it's something to aspire to. From my perspective, the first two have mostly disappeared from television and most male characters that I would identify with are made to be Barney Fifes. There are also a lot of characters I don't identify with at all, I don't think anybody is supposed to identify with any character in Seinfeld, they are all supposed to be nigh-sociopathic. The audience is invited to laugh at all of them.


In Germany there was a funny incident recently: the Green political party decided to change all the wording in their publications to be gender neutral. In German often jobs have two names, somewhat like "captain" and "captainness" for male and female captains. And so on. They decided to change everything to "captain/ness".

The funny thing was that they properly gendered all positive personae appearing in their publications. But they forgot about the negative appearances.

So it would be "the captain/ness is steering the ship into the harbour" but "the captain is leaving the sinking ship".

So check your bias next time you read a story. It's telling that you don't even notice all the negative portrayals of men anymore.


> But they forgot about the negative appearances.

"Forgot".


What do you mean? Is it incorrect? I am not a native speaker of English.



He's speaking of commercials, which often portray dad as barely able to tie his own shoes.


> In most stories, arn't protagonists primarily male?

In most stories, the protagonist (male or female) is chosen because they're extraordinary. While I might identify a bit with Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker, they're certainly not going to be people I think of when I try to think of who I am because they're so fantastically extraordinary.

On the other hand, Bart Simpson or Fresh Prince Will Smith? Or, considering the age I'm approaching, Al Bundy? I can identify with them a lot more, even with the negative traits.

The other issue is:

> Arn't they typically courageous, or intelligent, or unyielding, or strong, or determined?

Why do you have to be courageous, intelligent, unyielding, strong, or determined? Why are all of those the absolute "good" traits?

If you're not a super strategist, are you a bad person? What if you avoid conflict? Afraid of dogs? etc.

The "standard" of extraordinary manhood is incredibly high if you look at stories like that.


Like a lot of people have said, modern shows are very much into the everyman male lead. Bryan Cranston's character in Malcolm in the Middle, Ed O'Neill's Al Bundy, Tim Taylor playing, once again, the affable rough-though-bumbling dad.

The thing is these are all prime-time sitcoms and comedies.

There's just as many popular shows where this isn't the case. Dramas rarely have this sort of soft, incorrigible-but-loveable archetype.

I'm not super-current on my media, but Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Walking Dead, Mad Men... most everything on HBO, Showtime, AMC, and FX run with strong, deep, emotionally complex male characters who grow and discover themselves, alongside the female characters.

And the male characters in these dramas are, on the whole, much more identifiable and aspirational.


> Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Walking Dead, Mad Men

Those characters are aspirational? They're almost all murderers, thieves, adulterers, or worse. I wouldn't want my son to be anything like any of those characters.

Part of the problem with the antihero-as-role-model is that it also conveys that being interesting is important. And to be interesting, it's good (or at least OK) for a man to have significant character flaws. So many soon-to-be-men think having your crap together is boring and thus unattractive. And many women think falling for a flawed man and fixing him is a romantic notion.


Yeah, aspirational was probably the wrong statement there.

Your son probably shouldn't be like any character on television, whether that's the antihero or bumbling means-well-but-worth-nothing comedy father. But

Interesting doesn't require character flaws. Those exist in characters in stories to provide space for developmental arcs -- space for us to see them grow and change, something we all want to do. They exist to make a point out of a story.

And these folks are so identifiable because we all sometimes feel like a not-put-together person. Heck, look how popular Breaking Bad, or House, M.D. were -- Laurie and Cranston were insanely popular in those roles because in their ridiculousness they reflected traits many people understand. Though I doubt their performances encouraged any meaningful percentage of the nation's fathers to start cooking meth, or medical professionals to treat people for lupus.

The story for a lot of these characters is that you can look like you have your shit together and still have space to learn, grow, evolve. Sure, it's in the context of murders and whatever because there's more drama there than "guy that goes to the office and has an ongoing feud with his HOA". But that doesn't invalidate the story, or directly encourage the audience to adopt the superficial story components.


>I don't understand this. In most stories, arn't protagonists primarily male? Arn't they typically courageous, or intelligent, or unyielding, or strong, or determined?

That is a common motif. Is it easy being expected to be unyielding/strong/determined/etc? You have lower social value when you aren't adhering to this role. When you are adhering to this role you are making yourself disposable to a "higher cause". In other words making yourself cannon fodder or getting black lung in some coal mine.


In old stories, yes. But just look at The Simpsons as a major and early example to the contrary.


In more stories villains are male.


> As a society, we need to come to terms with masculinity. That means men need to be able to be masculine without being domineering and without being castigated.

You're doing the exact same thing you're complaining about. This is a social problem towards men, it is not a mans problem they need to solve for themselves.

The issue has nothing to do with masculinity and everything to do with the current crop of overly loud feminists. They won, and in doing so they left behind half the population. It's time for society to remember that other half.


But feminists aren't the ones enforcing a rigid version of masculinity that discourages men from talking about their problems.


In other words, it's mens fault.

This is exactly the problem. Instead of considering what it would take to solve the problem you point the finger at men for no other reason than they aren't women.


Never said it was men's fault. I said the problem is society's skewed definition of masculinity. It's perpetuated by both men and women. The solution is implied: redefine what it means to be a man.


We've been redefining what it means to be a man and the suicide rates went up.


Gasp! A correlation!


Every single feminist I know encourages me to open up, and supports me when I do. You need to know better feminists.


The No True Scottmans Fallacy coupled with an assumption that the problem is men not being more like women emotionally.



What's that got to do with anything? Men are more touchy feely now than they have ever been and the suicide rate is up, not down.


They did not win, they just managed to be listened to. Women still have more difficulties than men. And telling that is not saying that men do not have problems.


That's actually not true.

Compared to men, women:

* Live longer

* Are less likely to kill themselves

* Are less likely to be the victim of violence

* Are better protected under the law if they are victimized

* Are less likely to be homeless (and receive more support if they are)

* Receive shorter sentences for the same crimes

* Are less likely to be victims of police brutality (the disparity between men and women is actually greater than the disparity between blacks and whites!)

* Are protected under the law from genital mutilation

* Have reproductive rights

* Are more likely to go to college

* When applying for academic positions, are twice as likely to be selected over equally qualified men

* Are the majority of the electorate

* Receive preferential treatment in civil court

* The youngest generations now out-earns their male peers

* Are provided government loans, tax breaks, and contracts unavailable to men

* Are given better grades in school for the same answers

* Own the majority of wealth in the United States

Everything else being equal, men face far greater issues than their female peers.


You're going to need citations for a lot of those statistics... http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024233028

http://www.pnas.org/content/109/41/16474

You could also make a similar list of complaints about the "advantages that men have," which are obviously numerous. Everyone has it bad.


Why the hack is this getting downvoted while the ridiculous post above is getting all the upvotes.

What's wrong with this community?


I've deleted this comment based on replies, I may have had wrong information : )


You can try, but every study I've seen has found that men are favored in contested custody proceedings.

Its true that women are more likely to end up with custody, but that appears to because they are vastly more likely to seek custody.


>You can try, but every study I've seen has found that men are favored in contested custody proceedings.

Do they? Every study I have seen has never accounted for the differences in the average case where the man challenges vs. the average case where they do not. Perhaps they are discriminated against to the point that they only seek to challenge the status quo when they have a very good case, which is why they win more often when they do challenge.


'arzugula (who replied to 'dragonwriter with an appropriate post), your account is shadow banned.


>Everything else being equal, men face far greater issues than their female peers.

This sentiment is part of the problem in my opinion. How shitty you have it isn't a damn competition. I think we should be working to remove these systemic issues for everyone, rather than keeping score on who has had the more challenging game of life.

Edit: I was thinking about your comment. You bring up a legitimate list of concerns that I happen to agree with you on. I just don't really care for the way it was delivered. I think you could win a lot more support if you presented the argument less as a competition for who has it worse, and more as a way to illuminate issues for people who may not be aware or who may have not given these issues much though.


Considering it was a list of examples to show another poster's claim as being unfounded, you seem to be responding to the wrong person. Their parent comment is the one who insisted that one side has it worse, suggesting it is a competition.

It is a trend I notice in online discussions. In the gender competitions, it seems the one who wins is reprimanded more than the one who started it.


The last time I checked, acknowledging the problem was the first step to solving it.


> Women still have more difficulties than men.

I think the above statement needs to be qualified. It's most likely true in most of the third world, but in the developed world, women enjoy many of the advantages that men don't, so it's really hard to claim who has more difficulties...


just wanted to let you know I agree.

cheers, mate


"In every country in the world..." Obviously including extreme male centered societies like Iran and Saudi Arabia

"middle-aged men are most at risk" So obviously not a recent attack on male children. Indeed the problem is greatest among people who are older then the average poster to this thread let alone their often hypothetical children.

There is obviously a serious problem here, apparently related to age, and instead of a sensible discussion it's shoehorned into some men's right agenda. It appears that HN is frequented by individuals so extremist it clouds even their basic critical thinking.

It makes about as much sense as claiming George Price's mental illness didn't cause his suicide but his generosity did it. Or voting to the front page an article about ending the fiscal "evils" of democracy by building an unseaworthy boat.


How do you know the average age of the people in this thread?

From the linked article - "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".

Dismissing the people who try to talk about these issues and branding everyone 'MRAs' seems like an attempt to kill any discussion, normally by those who cannot argue with the statistics.


From the World health organization, the age group with the highest suicide is 45 - 54 That group used to be the 4th most at risk, now it is the most.

But as important as this issue is, some of the most upvoted posts include: "TV...only show men as drunken idiots", "We're turning into a bunch of sissy, touchy feely men", "This is a product of the wrong people continuously trying to redefine masculinity", "The issue has ... everything to do with the current crop of overly loud feminists"

So yes, any discussion was annihilated by MRAs griping about TV shows, feminists and "good ol' fashioned values" because we can safely say none of this is why a 50 year old or Iraq vet kill themselves. You have a screwed up economy, a society that throws away anyone over 45 and utterly inadequate social protections of any sort, even to vets, because that's "socialist". And some of the people most damaged by it have had their justifiable anger mindless redirected at women and TV.

Actually the only thing accomplished here was to make hn just a little more of laughable to recruitment managers.


How do you know these things are not affecting those men? Do men in their 50s not watch TV? Indeed, are they not more likely to exhibit behaviour that is old-fashioned or no longer tolerated? Are they not more likely to feel isolated or misunderstood by society, especially one that is rapidly changing?

Often it is the subtle, everyday things that you can't put your finger on that trouble the subconscious the most. So while an advert here or a comment there might be inconsequential, years or even decades of constant exposure will take its toll.


Is that figure you quote from the WHO worldwide? The article we are discussing is about the UK - I agree that there are different situations in different countries.

In the UK there has been a lot of talk about how austerity measures have effected people at the bottom of the food chain - people's pensions cut, social welfare limits etc.


A few years ago I was eating dinner and watching the local 6PM TV news broadcast. The lead story: "Friends and family mourn the tragic death of a young woman who killed herself..." Half an hour later: "A young man has become the latest statistic in a string of suicides..."

I don't know if it was deliberate, but it definitely brought to mind the quote attributed (most likely incorrectly) to Stalin concerning deaths, tragedies, and statistics.


Vaguely frustrating that this thread had been taken over by MRAs.

Suicide is complex. Suicide is common - it's a leading cause of death for some men.

We need to make it acceptable for men to seek help when they are suicidal.

This does not mean that we need men to talk and talk and talk about their intimate feelings. But we do need to make it so men can say "I'm not having a good day" and have someone else say "is it the kind of thing you want to talk to me about? Or is it the kind of thing you might want to talk to a doctor about?"


>> But we do need to make it so men can say "I'm not having a good day" and have someone else say "is it the kind of thing you want to talk to me about?"

And you know what? This is exactly what my most outspoken-feminist female friend does. The MRAs have the wrong of things IMHO, and I'm glad I have good friends.


I suppose I'll get labled an MRA for this but I've found feminists to be the absolutely least supportive people in my life over the past X years.

When somebody has an ideological belief that you're luckier than they are it's difficult for them to feel empathy for you.


Relating personal experience does not make one an 'MRA'.

It's always going to depend on who you know, and I'm not trying to say that feminism has made her a compassionate person, just that my friend is a good person regardless and her dedication to feminism hasn't made her into any sort of man-hating caricature.


> This is exactly what my most outspoken-feminist female friend does.

Outspoken feminism can mean many things.

Examples of outspoken feminism also include Jezebel, a mainstream feminist website that is highly popular with my female friends. It publishes an article saying "Have You Ever Beat Up a Boyfriend? Because, Uh, We Have" that includes lines like "...slapped a guy when "he told me he thought he had breast cancer. (Okay, that one made us laugh really hard.)" [1] (Note that men can get breast cancer.)

I'm not quite sure it's only the so-called MRAs that 'have the wrong kind of thing'. Mainstream feminism can also be pretty ridiculous.

[1] http://jezebel.com/294383/have-you-ever-beat-up-a-boyfriend-...


In my case I meant my most outspoken feminist friend - i.e. someone who does not hide it and folds feminism into her outlook on life and her everyday actions.

Also please note that at no point have I said "all feminism is good and right all the time", I think much of the hysterical stuff on the net is counterproductive (at best) and some of it is downright hostile to all men.

--edit-- But I think that there is 'good' feminism in abundance as well, whereas I don't think that this exists very much in the MRA space.


Nothing can be good if it chooses to go by the same label as a lot of bad.

"Good" feminists provide cover for "bad" feminists. Thus, all feminists are bad.


So there's no good cake because bad cake exists?

I'm not quite buying that.


Cake doesn't choose to call itself cake. Feminists choose to call themselves feminists, and thereby associate themselves with bad feminists.

But let's not quibble here---most feminists are collectivists advocating for what they perceive as their in-group at the expense of others. There are very few self-professed feminists who would be good, were it merely not for the label.

Also, the reason you can't understand is probably because you are trying not to. Turning my point into something about cake is probably not an honest attempt to understand my point, but is probably a dishonest attempt to dismiss it.


No, it was not an honest attempt to understand your point, it was an attempt to ridicule your facile, ridiculous non-point.

I'd love to see your study on what most feminists advocate, it would make fascinating reading, what was your methodology?


> No, it was not an honest attempt to understand your point, it was an attempt to ridicule your facile, ridiculous non-point.

This shows that you put people's whims over the truth. You'd rather influence by intimidation than by referencing reality and using reason. I don't think this kind of behavior should be tolerated by this community.

> I'd love to see your study on what most feminists advocate, it would make fascinating reading, what was your methodology?

This is the other side of the same coin. You hold that nothing is true without some sort of research study, knowing full well that such studies are too concretely empirical to be used to draw reliable conclusions (which is why they often appear to disagree with one another). That leaves nothing but whims and intimidation.


> Vaguely frustrating that this thread had been taken over by MRAs.

What is vaguely frustrating about that? The thesis of many commentators seems to be, "Of course men are going to commit suicide. Society often acts in ways strongly unfavorable towards them.", which may possibly not align with your views. I see no reason for bundling them with the "MRA" label/slur.

I think it is already acceptable for men to seek help when already suicidal. If I told one of my co-workers "I'm feeling suicidal", your statement of "is it the kind of thing you want to talk to me about? Or is it the kind of thing you might want to talk to a doctor about?" is exactly the kind of answer I would get, and this is true about most decent-thinking people. (In fact, your specific statement sounded pretty insincere to me, and would almost suggest "Please don't talk to me about this," in real life.)

The real problem is why so many men are seeking to seriously commit suicide in the first place, which is why those "frustrating MRAs" are probably talking about it.


> see no reason for bundling them with the "MRA" label/slur

There's a difference between saying "here's a bunch of stuff that makes it harder for men" (not MRAs) and saying "women did it" (MRAs). There are a weird number of posts here unequivocally saying "the women did it". That view isn't supported by the statistics which show higher rates of completed suicide by men for many many years, since before feminist movements became active.

> I think it is already acceptable for men to seek help when suicidal.

Notice that I'm talking about mental health before the person is suicidal. We know that most people with a mental health problem experience stigma. Also note that previous threads about suicide have had fucking awful examples of wha people think is the right thing to say when someone is suicidal. ("Why don't you go whitewater rafting instead?" Etc)

Why did so many men die from testicular cancer? They do not seek help when they find a lump on a testicle. We had extensive campaigns to get men to see a doctor when they find a lump to help reduce the death rate from testicular cancer.

Why do so many men attempt suicide? Because they do not seek help when depressed nor when suicidal. We know that men do mot seek help from anyone for their mental health. We think that getting men having simple conversations about their mental health will make it easier for them to seek help when they need it.

An example of the type of conversation (see the Matt and Tim video): http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/talking-about-mental-health

If you had a broken arm, in a cast, would you talk about it with your family? Your neighbour? On a first date? At a job interview? Now (obviously) swap "broken arm" with "mental health problem" and see if your answers change. Most people's answers do change, and this is what is being targetted when campaigners are asking people to talk about their mental health.


> Why did so many men die from testicular cancer? They do not seek help when they find a lump on a testicle. We had extensive campaigns to get men to see a doctor when they find a lump to help reduce the death rate from testicular cancer.

Did we? I don't recall people wearing anything in support of testicular cancer awareness, but many frequently wear pink ribbons. I also don't really recall a campaign from my childhood, except one (1) occasion when doctors told us (university student) to self-inspect our balls.

Maybe it's better in the US, though.


> There are a weird number of posts here unequivocally saying "the women did it".

I don't see any posts saying that women are responsible for the current condition of men; only ones saying that they are, in some ways, far more privileged in terms of being treated favorably in the average case. Please feel free to link or quote any posts that say "It's specifically only the female part of society that is responsible for this." I am pretty sure they won't be anywhere near the top.

If you asked me, I would say that it is mainly large corporations, political parties, and some educational institutions that cheerlead femininity and demonize masculinity in the hope of getting more votes/sales/students. These can have both male and female components.

> We think that getting men having simple conversations about their mental health will make it easier for them to seek help when they need it.

This is correct. However, you are talking about addressing the symptom, and the so-called MRAs about addressing the cause. You are saying "it is essential to get quinine to malaria victims", and they are saying "there are a lot of disease vectors here, how can we stop them?". It is not at all clear that one view is more valid than the other.


Vaguely frustrating that this thread had been taken over by MRAs.

Incredibly frustrating that what started as an OK discussion about male social experiences when I went to bed, now has people willing to fundamentally misrepresent the tenor of conversation because it doesn't occur on their terms. You yourself define "MRAs" as those saying "women did it" which didn't seem to be the majority here. (unless not explicitly saying "this is only the fault of men" is equivalent to blaming women)

I'm sure the tide will change though, as people (ie You) seem to be rolling in wanting to have the same go-nowhere internet arguments again and again rather than discuss things on terms outside their comfortable narratives. You're just priming the pot for the conversations you deride. Thanks buddy!


Spend a day in family court. Nowhere are the expectations of perfectionism for men lower, but rules and the penalties higher. The suicide and early death numbers for men whi transit this system are predictably high.


It all boils down to social pressure, doesn't it?

Socially, it is unacceptable for men to be "losers". To have any social standing men have to do what is "respectable". Losing a job, for example, is not.

Why can't a man be appreciated for who he is? Why does he have lower standing if he makes min wage or does something boring? Maybe he has other things he takes care of. Maybe he has a deep personality and even deeper interests.

To be honest, once I realized that this is how males are treated in real world, I started having more respect for men in any situation...for I know what they've been through. The world is cursed for men.


The media have been churning out self-reinforcing stereotypes for decades. The effects are as subtle as lethal.

A few years ago I was very stressed out. I thought that talking about my problems (college, family, whatever) would have helped me. I shared my worries and fears with a few my female friends. Bad idea.

> “A man who’s needing help is seen as a figure of fun”


That must have been horrible. I had a similar experience, but what I got out of it is that I relearned what "friend" actually stands for and that not many exist in my life. "Close aquaintances" are more common, but friends are rare.


Real title: "How a cheating wife killed her loyal husband and took all his stuff and the kids in a 100% legal and socially-approved way".


The article begins with what appears to be a misstatement of fact. China is an unusual country where the female suicide rate has been higher than the male rate for a long time.


I wasn't aware of this.

I had read the overview page on wikipedia, where the numbers aren't broken down by men and women for China

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_ra...

instead, they provide a link here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_China

It's a bit of a shame, because I had scanned the first page in the past and the higher female to male ratio would have jumped out at me since it's unusual. I'm not suggesting in any way that there's any deliberate suppression of info here, the reason the male/female numbers for China aren't printed in the summary is because reporting is controversial (official govt numbers are at odds with other independent studies), and so is complicated enough to warrant its own page.

It is worth a look, with some interesting implications.


This article points out something I've felt intuitively for the last few years.

Can anyone recommend any vacation destinations or some other form of a get-away for a week or two? I've been getting really stressed out lately, probably a burn out. Have been thinking about some sort of a vacation anywhere from a cruise to meditation retreat, can't make up my mind. Any recommendations?

Not to derail this topic but this article outlined some symptoms I have, feel like I need a break.


Where are you, what's your budget and what do you enjoy?


I am in TX with a budget of ~1500 for a week or two. The longer and cheaper alone time is better. What do I like, you know I've been so slammed and in my head that I can't even pick a vacation spot or remember what I like. I think I'd enjoy just some peace somewhere, disconnected from it all for a week or two.


My biggest suggestion would be to get out in nature. Unless you are really opposed to spending a decently long time without creature comforts then I think this is one of the best things.

Another piece of advice is to stay away from crowds like you pointed out. There is a seemingly infinite amount of destinations that could satisfy this requirement too.

Best of luck! I hope you find something suited to you and feel refreshed after getting back.


There are few things that work better than outdoors sports for me, so I agree on that one.

You might be interested in the concept of masculine / feminine societies (checkout geert-hofstede.com), because as a texan, you are probably in one of the most masculine places in the world, which is probably rather stressful. I would suggest, if you decide to travel abroad, to go to a country that is considered to be a feminine society, like Sweden or Thailand (avoid the south though, and the party islands). I was astounded that a huge city like Bangkok could feel so relaxed, it is a different life.

Though I have to say, traveling is often not advisable when you are depressed. You have higher expectations of happiness that are impossible to fulfill, plus often higher stress levels, which will likely make matters worse.


What about Mexico? It's near, you'll be disconnected in another country and I think you can find something cheap but good there.


See if you can rent out a lakehouse in the Finger Lakes of Upstate New York. Not much noise, few distractions, plenty of nature, plenty of wineries. Kick back with a bottle or two and listen to the birds.


You could probably just buy a laundry van on craigslist and drive out to somewhere rural for a couple months, if you want to most bang for your buck.


Get a backpack, a tent, some supplies and go hiking. It costs next to nothing, can be done almost anywhere, gives mind clearing exercise, and gives you concrete and solvable problems to focus on.

Perhaps best of all, you'll be outside of cell coverage.


What about going work in a farm (something like fruit picking) to be sure to be busy with something different, and to feel physically (instead of mentally) exhausted at the end of your day.


Go camping or rent a place some place reasonably calm or unfamiliar, and stay there for two weeks.

Where exactly matters little, the point is to make it two weeks during which you ignore work and aren't watching news and TV all day long. Your body and mind needs about a week to snap out of your life routine and start resting -- which it does during the second week.


If you're into Buddhism, you could always consider a retreat at a Vipassana center. They're affordable and great opportunities for self-reflection and spiritual work.


Social perfectionism? Maybe just having a spouse like Livvy was enough to do it... geez. People who are evil, uncaring, and selfish can also cause others to feel depressed.

I remember reading a strange question on Quora once. A woman was trying to figure out why her husband was always drunk and suicidal. "He used to be the perfect man! I don't understand why he's acting like this now." Of course, in the next paragraph, she mentions that it all started right after she had cheated on him. The disconnect between her behavior and her failure to recognize its consequences was staggering.


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