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Man shaming and victim blaming by Karen Woodall

Filed under: Gender Politics — MurrayBacon @ 10:48 am Sat 25th April 2015

Man shaming and victim blaming: an A-Z of male suicide
Apr 14, 2015
I caught the end of the Panorama Programme on male suicide in the UK last night. Whilst I know something about the statistics around male suicide and understand some of those things which stack up against men, causing loss of hope and a spiral into despair, even I was shocked that 100 men are killing themselves every week in the UK.

100 men every week. It is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 50. It is happening in our country right now and yet, apart from the exhortation to “talk about it’, we have, as yet, no national strategy, no national awareness of what is happening and no real idea of what to do about it other than telling men they need to talk about it.

So it’s all their fault then and if only men would be more like women and talk about it, all would be well. Is that our strategy? Make men more like women and all will be well? According to Calmzone’s CEO Jane Powell it is. Powell, who ended the programme last night by saying

the answer is in”¦simply talking about that sense, the answer is free.

and then went on to talk about how there had been a massive cultural change for women over the years with the implication that if men would only get on and talk about it, the rates of suicide amongst men would drop and it wouldn’t cost a penny.

Was I the only one whose jaw dropped to the floor on hearing this? My first reaction was laughter at the nonsensical idea that all men have to do is talk about their feelings and they won’t feel like killing themselves anymore. My second reaction was serious concern which grew into anger at the realisation that the sole idea that was being put foward in this documentary was a feminist construct that if men were more like women and talked about their feelings, their despair would not drive them to death. So let’s look at what talking about it does for the men who are most at risk of suicide in the UK.

Men under fifty whose lives are fragile and based upon the whims of the woman they live with and her approval of him being a good enough husband or partner.

If he fails to live up to this and his wife or partner decides that the marriage is over, what happens to our man under the age of fifty?

a) his behaviours are routinely analysed as being based upon his inherent advantage under the rule of patriarchy. He is judged wanting because he is a man because men are advantaged and women are not.

b) he is asked to leave the house he lives in.

c) leaving his children behind


d) he comes home one night to an empty house, his wife and his children are gone

e) he is regarded as a perpetrator, it must be his fault because he is a man

f) he faces systemic discrimination in the services he turns to for help, including even those services set up to support him it would seem, as their core belief is that if he just talks about it he will feel less like killing himself. Meanwhile he is homeless, forcibly separated from his children and

g) forced to pay 20% of his gross income to support the children he can only see if their mother is willing to allow that

h) when he enters the housing system he is told he has no priority and so he spends much of his time sofa surfing in his friends homes or lives with his mother and father, alternatively he goes onto the streets and becomes one of the invisibles, the ones we don’t care about because if they are on the street it must be their fault mustn’t it?

i) When he tries to see his children, using the family court system he pays for it financially, emotionally, psychologically and physically.

j) He applies to see his children using a C100 form and is asked to attend mediation which he does. His children’s mother however refuses because she has reconfigured their relationship through her “consciousness raising’ as being abusive”¦he is doomed but he doesn’t know it yet.

k) He goes into court and secures that which is afforded to him now that he is regarded as deficient as a father, contact. Contact with his children, those kids who he held in his arms on the day of their birth and promised them the world. He is now allowed to have “contact’ with them.

l) “Contact’ is stopped when allegations are made and the criminal court takes a year or more to conclude that he is not guilty.

m) now his kids don’t want to see him anymore, he is too sad, too bad, too not what a dad should be.

n) He goes in to the court system believing he will get justice and comes out shredded, bullied, coerced and shamed.

0) He suffers from PTSD

p) his working life has suffered for a very long time, now he faces losing his job.

q) losing his job is the final straw, now he is homeless, childless, jobless and worthless.

r) he asks for help from one of the local services who tell him that all he needs to do is talk about it.

s) he staggers out into the street and wonders why he doesn’t just throw himself under that bus, who would care?

t) he drifts listlessly from one day to the next, his friends have given up on him, or been turned against him by his ex

u) his mother is seriously concerned about him but cannot get through to him

v) he starts planning how to end the pain

w) he wakes up one morning after a night drinking to kill the pain of the loss that he has suffered and the post traumatic stress that causes his brain to spin around the same questions over and over again”¦what did I do that was so wrong?

x) he cannot cope with it anymore, he has talked it and walked it for too long.

y) he knows his mother is not in the house today

z) he takes the rope from the garage

If only he had talked about it”¦.

Telling men who face external barriers and obstacles to those things that keep them mentally well and healthy to talk about it is like shouting into a force 10 gale and thinking the person over the other side of the hill can hear you. The sickening thing about telling men who face these levels of discrimination to “talk about it,’ is that it is like sticking a plaster over open heart surgery in the belief that it will heal itself eventually. What we are doing to men is wrong, it is not healthy and it is very definitely not about equality.

For those who believe that when I write about men that makes me a men’s rights activist and those who believe that because I have abandoned feminism for what it is, a discriminatory cult which is about women’s rights and not equality, I am biased against women. Let me tell you that I am not an activist for anything other than equality, that which is based upon enabling men and women to be who they are and different, not the same. What I also am is someone who believes that if we are to be a truly equal, just and fair society, in which our boys and girls can grow up to have choices across the whole spectrum of their lives, we have to undersand that victim blaming is not just for women, it is for men too. And victim blaming is something which starts when we see the struggles of men and women as being of their own doing. This is exactly what is happening when we tell men who face systemic barriers to their wellbeing that they will feel better if they simply “talk about it.’

What happens when men do talk about it is that we collectively start a process of man shaming. When men climb on buildings to highlight their plight they are irresponsible wasters who clearly should not have anything to do with their children, when they march for their rights, we say they are bullies and are showing their true colours and when they kill themselves we say that if only they talked about it, all would be well. Man shaming. It is rife in our culture. It is wrong and it is killing men at the rate of 100 per week in the UK.

Instead of telling men to talk about it, isn’t it time that those of us who want a fairer, safer, more just world for our children, got on and did something about it?

And I don’t mean talk about it.

Written by
Karen Woodall


  1. We Do Not And Have Never Lived In A Patriarchy

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 25th April 2015 @ 3:46 pm

  2. SCUM dominant, secure, self-confident, nasty, violent, selfish, independent, proud, thrill-seeking, free-wheeling, arrogant females, who consider themselves fit to rule the universe”¦’

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 25th April 2015 @ 3:49 pm

  3. A great post. Suicide is related to societal exclusion. The group organising the exclusion is simply engineering a strategy of predation, asset stripping, and eradication. It is simply a holocaust.


    Comment by Joseph — Sat 25th April 2015 @ 5:03 pm

  4. Men’s suicide risk goes up once they reach 30 as job markets change and families break down

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 25th April 2015 @ 8:16 pm

  5. If you have been in this situation and some how manage to find a way through , what Karen says is so true.
    I feel so much for guys out there but don’t know what to do.
    As Joseph says it’s a holocaust.

    Comment by al — Sat 25th April 2015 @ 8:31 pm

  6. Maybe it is hard to be at the right place, at the right time?

    Maybe it is easy to say “harden up”? In one of the Anzac stories, an elderly woman told how her father returned, but felt suicidal at times over an extended period of years. A local doctor told him, “you will just have to harden up and face it”. He did, by shooting himself a little later. She hadn’t seen her father since she was 4 years old. Alternatively, the doctor might have explained about his value to his wife, his children, his parents, his wider family. But that conversation would have taken longer.

    I have failed in somewhat similar circumstances too, now twice.

    On the home run to suicide, if people are aiming down, they are often very closed off. At this point, it is practically too late. People really should be given the tools to survive, while they are happily alive and more willing to listen.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 25th April 2015 @ 8:41 pm

  7. Well written, thanks Karen Woodall. It’s heartening to know that some people can see things clearly. More and more people are recognizing the false claims and hypocrisies that constitute modern feminism. Feminism was never about gender equality, only about ensuring that women get at least everything men get regardless of merit. The privileges that women always had are still expected, and the many areas in which men are disadvantaged compared with women don’t matter one iota to feminists. Feminism seems to provide a licence for women to be as greedy as possible and to care about nothing but themselves. It is beyond possibility that the male-blaming and male-denigration practised by feminists and the law makers captured by feminists will not be contributing significantly to the huge male suicide rate.

    In NZ, suicide prevention is blatantly misandrist. Although four times as many men commit suicide as women do, our Ministry of Health denies that gender is a significant issue in suicide. Our state-funded suicide prevention plan provides for special interventions for youth, Maori, Pacific Islanders, gays, transgender people and those who are financially deprived. None of these factors are close to the factor ‘being a male’ when it comes to comparisons of suicide rates. Yet not one word is mentioned in the Suicide Prevention Plan of any need to understand why men are killing themselves in such high numbers, or of any need to provide prevention services suitable for men.

    Although our government has been challenged about its misandry in the area of suicide intervention (see, the only response was that the Minister of Health referred it to his Ministry, which then did not bother to respond at all. Incredible.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Sun 26th April 2015 @ 4:24 pm

  8. Thanks for the article.
    More and more gynocentrism is being exposed.

    Comment by Man Alive — Sun 26th April 2015 @ 4:58 pm

  9. A very plain and simple to read post. Thank you Murray for posting the link to A-Z male suicide.And thank you to the others that have added their support.

    The importance of having the steps that leads a man to end his life spelt out in such clarity is a welcomed liberation to the reality males face today.

    The unfairness of having his family taken away, striped of his assets seeing his children raised by another and being unrealistically taxed with welfare payments to the point of being unable to feed himself. By not having any hope to survive and having all avenues to get anywhere in life cut off it is not hard to see why men are checking out. The fact that 100 men kill themselves each week in the UK is testament to what is happening.

    But why doesn’t the health sector acknowledge the problem and take some measures to protect men from this grief?

    Because the rights of a woman who chooses not to work to support herself or 50% of her children is supreme.

    Because the rights of a woman to choose to cut access to a fathers right to see his own children is supreme.

    Because the rights of a woman to shack up with another man and have the real father to pay for it is supreme.

    Because the rights of IRD to place a separated man with children into an unlimited overdraft with unstainable penalties is supreme.

    Because the rights of a woman to lie about being abused and blocking a mans right to challenge is supreme.

    Because the rights and protection of men have been discarded by statute is supreme.

    Men are known to be practical beings. A man in this situation knows talking about it to someone doesn’t change the outcome. Only a change to fairness in law towards men will.

    Think about it! Right now in UK there are 100 men who are alive today that will be dead by their own hand by this time next week because they have decided for themselves that it is better to not have the anguish and heartache of living in a world of hopelessness.

    100 Deaths a week. Politicians around the world including NZ call it irrelevant. I call it genocide.

    Comment by Lukenz — Mon 27th April 2015 @ 11:24 am

  10. If you’ve ever listened to the likes of Sue Bradford banging on about the vision of feminism, equality and the fair society she represents, you quickly realise that vision includes the absolute preservation of women’s reproductive rights – i.e. men don’t have reproductive rights only women, and taking away her political speak this essentially means:

    – the right to reproduce whether by deception or otherwise
    – the right to terminate ‘her’ pregnancy
    – the right of control over the upbringing of ‘her’ children

    The battles that are fought by men on behalf of the child these days are generally a fruitless waste of time, and often result in the man being left in debt to the state.

    That’s the price of the political and legal control executed over the lives of men in countries within the Western World to facilitate the secular civil society and its current methods of governance.

    The irony is this weekend we commemorated the centenary of the Anzac sacrifice for the preservation of freedom especially the loses (2800 men dead and 5200 wounded)at Gallipoli.

    With the deaths through suicide that we observe in New Zealand today we lose that many men in about 6 years (bearing in mind the suicide rate a few decades back was virtually nil) and we wound twice as many men each year in family court cases.

    The end result of two world wars was that it took sixty years to fix the damage and 20 years for a few women a few judges and a few politicians to fuck it up again. (the last 20 years in the history of this country have been a waste of time)

    And what’s worse is the same smug bitches that stand up on Anzac day and celebrate the sacrifice men made would expect us to go and defend what we have now.

    Would you?

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 27th April 2015 @ 12:18 pm

  11. The 100 men a week figure for UK is probably a significant underestimate, just a round figure as a simple talking point.

    NZ’s official figure is about 7 per week, maybe it is the most use to consider the figures that sit around our necks, like burning tyres?

    In my opinion, blaming feminists for the carnage in familycaught$ is missing the point.

    Legal workers (and to a lesser extent Parliamentarians too) have hopped onto a bandwagon that has served them well financially. They have been able to blunder into families, incompetently in terms of doing the tasks set by Parliament, with no effective accountability and plunder those families until their assets and borrowing power are fully extinguished.

    All for no family value at all, in the vast majority of cases……..

    How long will consumers tolerate this for?

    Given the stresses and unfairness, it amazes me that men have survived as well as they have.

    To me, that looks like the miracle.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Mon 27th April 2015 @ 3:05 pm

  12. I think the miracle there Murray is the strong cultural groups that still exist among some immigrant populations. The descendant population has had it family structures torn apart by such behaviour as radical members polarising groups within families rather than sorting the shit out. Many of the European population are coming to some realisation of what it has been like for some Maori during the last century.

    Many of the immigrants who have come here unassisted and have failed to connect with cultural groups have also fallen victim the women’s crusaders.

    America is a slightly different example: in their armed services alone (serving and retired) they experience 15 – 25 suicides PER DAY. They ship home more suicides than they do war casualties. You’ll see some references to this is the Robin Williams posts but the figures are, surprisingly, readily available on the net)

    Modern politicians have no interest in running society, as long as they achieve re-election and serve their self interests they are happy campers. The legal thinking of the legal minds that supposedly serve society have disappeared into some lala-land of ideology that expects humans to be compliant individuals in society.

    It simply doesn’t work. It’s a bigger failure than pike river or cave creek but we have a blind media that doesn’t want to see because it’s ideologically driven in its content by its reporters and (cynically) financially-motivated to the abuse of females by it’s owners.

    When will women see what has happened to them?

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 27th April 2015 @ 3:54 pm

  13. Murray.You say that figure of 7 per week is official.Can you explain where this can be found?I find it alarming.
    I am not surprised about politicians not wanting to know as per downunders comment.

    Comment by al — Mon 27th April 2015 @ 8:23 pm

  14. Link

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 27th April 2015 @ 8:35 pm

  15. I apologise, the remembered data that I used was a few years old and the official figures have been dropping significantly. (However, if you were to include likely suicides hidden in industrial “accidents” and car “accidents”, then the present numbers of men’s suicides probably still exceeds 7 per week in NZ.

    I want to add to MoMA’s comments above, about the apparent refusal to see young middle aged men’s suicides in NZ.

    The comments above draw attention to many important suicide dynamics, that are not talked about enough.

    Few parents and family of suicides take public action. Some give quiet support to suicide support organisations. By comparison, Maria Bradshaw (Toran Henry’s mother) set up a suicide awareness organisation, to pressure mental health services to provide more effective help for young people and to warn the public about the hazards of psychiatric drugs. I want to thank people like her, even if I disagree with her on some of the small points. A father, Rick ??? did similar a few years earlier. Such people are few and far between and should be appreciated.

    #7 MoMA above, says:

    In NZ, suicide prevention is blatantly misandrist. Although four times as many men commit suicide as women do, our Ministry of Health denies that gender is a significant issue in suicide. Our state-funded suicide prevention plan provides for special interventions for youth, Maori, Pacific Islanders, gays, transgender people and those who are financially deprived. None of these factors are close to the factor ‘being a male’ when it comes to comparisons of suicide rates. Yet not one word is mentioned in the Suicide Prevention Plan of any need to understand why men are killing themselves in such high numbers, or of any need to provide prevention services suitable for men.

    I don’t mean to defend hospital doctors and Health Department from such criticism, as I believe that the criticism is well founded.

    However, to understand how hospital and general practice doctors can ignore the large men’s suicide statistics, the following issues must be remembered:

    1. hospital expenditure on men’s issues isn’t “sexy” ie gaining impact with voters and MPs,
    2. Hospital doctors experience women suicide attempters and only occasionally see men injured in suicide attempts.
    As a result, they just don’t believe the suicide statistics and also know that work on men’s suicide triggers will not attract funding.

    Men are typically viewed as the advantaged sex – their average income is higher than for women, average mental health needs are lower than for women. (Just think what Graham Hart’s income does for men’s average income statistic?) Women are more free to publicly discuss their childhood trauma experiences, than men. The whole idea of individual treatment, is that it is given to the weaker person who needs it, not the “average” person. Some treatments can be put into the water supply, or send almost all children to school, but most ailments must be worked on individually. We wouldn’t need personal doctors at all, if treatments were only given to the whole population.
    3. GPs may get to sign off death certificates for men’s suicides, but each GP only sees a few suicides in their entire career, so they know that what they see isn’t really the whole picture. Anyway, who asks for GP’s opinions on much anyway?

    So what?
    People tend to work on problems that they can see. Refusal to see leads to the most extreme blindness that there is.

    To turn around the neglect of men’s suicide issues, will need the majority of men to be willing to say that some men need much more social and mental health support. Their needs are not accurately indicated by nationwide average statistics. Only when the majority of men give priority to supporting and helping men at need

    Neglect of men’s suicides closely parallels neglect of emotional neglect of children.

    We prioritise protection of children from injuries, which are relatively easily seen, detected and diagnosed. However, the largest damage to children’s wellbeing, is to their mental health and social competence, by emotional neglect. Emotional neglect is difficult to detect and measure, until the damage is too late and is extremely serious. However, to pickup on the worst causes of harm to our children, it is emotional neglect that we need to be picking up earlier and then doing something about it!

    Presently that only warning factor that can be used to make in time decisions to protect children from emotional neglect, is to only allow parent’s with satisfactory mental health to care alone for children. Parents whose mental health status is poor with respect to the conditions which inhibit emotional responding to babies, would only be allowed to care for babies, with another more experienced and skilled adult in the house, most of the time. Some parents already have such support from families, but the remainder need this Karitane Nurse type of support, through to when the child is about 12 to 24 months old. (If such help was refused or couldn’t be arranged, then the child would need to be placed with other caregivers, until it was older.)

    Largely the carers of babies are women and emotional neglect is a consequence of mothers lacking social skills and good mental health and children spending too many hours in their sole care. Children can be much better protected from emotional neglect, if they spent more time with their fathers (married and separated). This dynamic shows up clearly in the better outcomes of children in non-separated parent homes.

    Allowing separations to take place, where young children are impacted, before the children’s developmental needs have been competently looked at, is like building homes without competent inspections, or allowing people to walk in off the street and pretend to be doctors…. Although our legislation provides some coverage of this issue, the familycaught$ does not act on it. It is far more profitable for the lazy, to let the separation take place and argue it afterwards, while the children suffer.

    Of course, men’s suicide is also much impacted by childhood emotional neglect…. So there is a parallel and also the childhood emotional neglect feeds into adult’s need for more careful support………women and men, of course.

    In looking at both of these problems, we need to look past the easy to see problems, such as women suicide attemptors in beds or children with bruises, to the emotionally neglected children and men who are thinking about suicide and suicide statistics and try to measure the total social harm being done. DALYs. See also epidemiology….

    Then we can more sensibly prioritise healthcare and education expenditures and get bigger improvements in the population’s wellbeing. This is happening, but far too slowly….. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    As Downunder says:

    It’s a bigger failure than Pike River or Cave Creek.

    It is up to men to say “enough”. (I have a feeling that this is plagiarism from feminism?)
    Are men willing to put their pride aside and speak clearly and loudly?
    It is as important for our daughters, as it is for our sons, that these issues be straightforwardly addressed.

    MurrayBacon – impulsive axe murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Mon 27th April 2015 @ 10:50 pm

  16. Missing items are often very quiet and the hardest to spot.

    I am hammering the points:

    1. Keep your eye on the ball (so you have to know what are the most important issues!)
    2. Look before you leap (ie don’t blunder into familycaught$ having listened only to their misleading and dishonest marketing information)
    3. Listen most carefully to the people who have successfully got through what you are considering doing. (This isn’t easy to do on the pages on, so we need to make it easy.)

    Just above I complimented the education and health sectors, for generally trying to make improvements for their consumers, based on careful, honest research of the issues involved.

    I hope it hit you, like an axe on the back of the head, that I failed to compliment the familycaught$.

    Is it that I am completely unable to compliment those people (I do have this problem), or is it that for all of the many million$ of turnover by legal worker$, they spend preciou$ nothing on competent, honest, useful research?

    In fact, they do everything in their power$ to make it almost impossible and unrewarding for any outside parties to carry out research on issues relating to the operations of familycaught$.

    This is why people who are affected by familycaught$ must take on the task of researching familycaught$, as otherwise it will continue to get worse and worser and worsest.

    I mean babies, children, women and men.

    MurrayBacon – unpredictable, random and relentless axe murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 29th April 2015 @ 10:17 am

  17. Downunder’s comment about

    Sue Bradford banging on about the vision of feminism

    triggers my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder problems. I just can’t get the mixed metaphors out of my brain…..

    S/He sums up many of the problems as culture and also alludes to foreign cultures protecting men more effectively.

    Corruption/incompetence in familycaught$ is also a culture and a very pernicious and destructive one at that.

    So, I ask for a general attention to culture:

    1. What factors are worth keeping and building on?
    2. What factors should we root out and try to extinguish?

    I am not wishing to put too much focus onto abortion, but there are some angles that need careful, detailed discussion and scrutiny. I have had some hard talking to, from older relatives, along the lines that most men don’t understand women’s needs, around fertility and abortion, in particular. I agree strongly.

    Abortion lowered USA crime rates
    Impact of abortion on men
    Financial abortion-a male right to choose

    I am uncomfortable with the name “financial abortion” and I suspect that this name is likely to arouse much opposition. I see a more constructive approach being a general social and legal requirement to negotiate a parenting and draft divorce agreement, prior to conceiving children. Then we could have illegitimate and illconceived children?

    Most important of all, the myriad of other issues that make up our culture, remembering that our intertwined, warring species have quite distinct cultures and evolutionary trajectories.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 29th April 2015 @ 12:04 pm

  18. Most important of all, the myriad of other issues that make up our culture, remembering that our intertwined, warring species have quite distinct cultures and evolutionary trajectories.

    What sort of axe-murderer would say that?

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 29th April 2015 @ 7:40 pm

  19. dribbling?

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 29th April 2015 @ 11:11 pm

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