A new/old message for poor, white, hetero males

Hurry up and fucking kill yourselves already.

Mike Buchanan of Justice for Men and Boys and the Anti-Feminism League graciously provided the link to a new study on male suicide produced by the UK charity and support group Samaritans.

Mike pointed out in an email: “It’s about damned time society cared more about the male suicide rate.”

The report, entitled Men, Suicide and Society, provides a much-needed statistical perspective of this issue, but of equal or perhaps greater interest are the theoretical assumptions underlying the report, as well as its unstated conclusions.

As I will show in due course, the report is at heart a collective of rationales for doing nothing at all to help the low-income, middle-aged, white, heterosexual males who are most likely of all population segments to kill themselves. The message is reasonably clear: “fuck you, white hetero suicide guys. Hurry up and fucking kill yourselves already.”

One of the authorities cited in the Samaritans study, Sandy Ruxton, is the lead author of Man Made: Men, Masculinities and Equality in Public Policy, a report produced by the Coalition for Men and Boys.

The CFMB is an organization whose stated goals include providing ‘a national lead in encouraging support and responsibility amongst men and boys for measures to tackle discrimination and gender-based violence.’  It ranks the White Ribbon Campaign among its supporters.

The title phrase ‘Man Made’ is telling – the source of the problems that necessitated the work is identified clearly, given place of honor. But just in case the reader doesn’t immediately catch on, the press release celebrating the report’s production states the case a little more cogently:

 

Public policy needs to respond urgently to the problems that men and boys create and the problems that they experience, according to a new report by the Coalition on Men and Boys. This must take place alongside efforts to improve the position and status of women.

The essential meanings of this communique are both explicitly stated and immediately inferable: men and boys by virtue of gender create the problems. Men and boys experience problems as a result. Women do not create problems and are victims with an undeserved low position and status in society.

Ruxton is also lead author/researcher of a report commissioned by the EU entitled The Involvement of Men in Gender Equality Initiatives in the European Union.

Among other tidbits, the reader of this work learns that the goal of men’s participation in gender equality will be achieved through emphasizing its benefits to men, such as the joys of fatherhood and no longer being ‘the help­less man at the stove after coming home from work, like their fathers and grandfathers. They gain power in education and household affairs.’

This falsehood is, of course, directly at odds with the real life experience of men, as the declining employment of men in teaching, and the millions of fathers who are refused a relationship with their children would tend to demonstrate.

The report further advises that ‘actors were mostly excluded if they clearly subscribed to a ‘men’s rights’/‘fathers’ rights’ approach.’ In other words, those who thought men and fathers should have rights were deliberately excluded from participation in the study. Proponents of women’s rights were neither questioned nor excluded.

Mr. Ruxton’s bio shows a long-term and no doubt lucrative career involvement with various equality and rights organizations, many of them sponsored by UK and EU government organizations. His intellectual and economic bread and butter is the feminist narrative. There are many more like him.

Returning to the Samaritan’s suicide report, a citation accredited to Ruxton states that:

 

In research, policy and practice to address suicide in this group of men, it is important to remember that, while they may be marginalized in power structures by social position – for example, relative to middle-class men (and sometimes women), they may also be implicated in the subordination of other groups, of women and men, including BME or LGBT groups. The needs of disadvantaged men in their mid-years must be addressed, but in ways which benefit society as a whole.

Disenfranchised, white, middle-aged men in the lowest economic bracket may be implicated in the subordination of LGBT groups? Ah yes, they have nothing better to do (outside of killing themselves) so they seek to oppress lesbians and the victim crowd – haven’t you noticed all the anti-LGBT ads they’ve been funding? And hey, we’ve all seen the hordes of mentally ill beer-bellied suicidal white heteros running amok, engaged in anti-whoever pogroms that would have made the Nazis proud. (Actually I haven’t, but then I don’t get out much.)

Ruxton also advises that the needs of men cannot be addressed unless doing so ‘benefits society as a whole.’ The primary benefit society currently derives from males is their utility – servants to the economic demands of women, bureaucrats and corporations, and their disposability – death and injury suffered at war and at work while serving those same masters.

What possible motivation then can society find to address real solutions for these men? What benefit to society as a whole can be extracted from dirt-poor, disenfranchised middle-aged men who have already noticed (consciously or not) the lack of validation provided them as human beings worthy of attention in their own right? No answer is provided, conspicuously.

Let’s look a little further into the Samaritans ‘research’:

 

‘Masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ are sociological concepts which can be defined as the collection of roles, behaviours, activities, expressions and practices that are broadly associated with being male or female, respectively. In this view, men’s and women’s identity, behavior and the expectations placed on them are not purely the result of their biological sex, but reflect socially constructed ideas.

If that sounds familiar, well, you know the saying. The report is invoking classic feminist theology – the ‘gender is a social construct’ meme. It is well known who constructed this gender idea, of course – why, it was those same nasty old hetero white guys, for their own benefit at the expense of society’s true victims.

There are further problems with this report, for example we find a paragraph titled ‘constricted by masculinity.’ For those who believe masculinity provides privileges rather than constrictions, a certain amount of doublethink is required.

And then there’s ‘masculinity as driver of suicidal behavior.’ This includes stereotyped fembot descriptions of what masculinity is (very few men actually fit them or would agree with them), as well as the implicit assumption that being male is enough to drive a man to suicide. Oh the horror! I was born male, I had better kill my sorry ass.

To sum up the study’s conclusions:

1) There is no benefit to society from doing anything to help suicidal men.

2) Men have created the very social environment which is driving them to suicide.

3) Men are oppressors of the true victims.

4) Masculinity itself is the problem.

5) Feminism is the solution.

The Samaritans report then, while highlighting some important details for men, is in essence a tedious repetition of classic specious feminist bullshit; a pretense at compassion by a crowd of hand-wringing, taxpayer-funded, neo-liberal ideologues raking in fat consulting fees while quietly doing the dirty work of their feminist comrades.

***

These three reports provide a look at the discreet but ugly voice of power in modern sexism: dreary and dishonest dissertations of feminist gender supremacy and the will of its supporters to impose it on society without regard for reality or principle. It is apparent that people such as these inform and indeed dominate the social policy debate.

In addition, these intellectual elites belong to the school which assumes that government can and should solve every problem, by law (translation: force) if necessary, based on their own ideological presumptions, biases and definitions. No doubt there are actually many among their ranks who mean well; the same could be said for every institutionalized ideology that has ever existed, including the most murderous.

As for the future of gender studies research, Asia is the new frontier. Consider this 2011 call for papers from the National University of Singapore:

“Since the 1980s, scholars such as Robert Connell and Jeff Hearn have argued for pro-feminist gender studies which investigates hierarchies within femininities and masculinities, and considers the implications of narrowly defined gender roles and patriarchal structures for both women and men.”

Although not ostensibly demanded, the anticipated theoretical framework for further research and funding is explicitly spelled out. None of the above bodes well for the future of men.

♦♦♦

Sources:

Samaritans Research Report: Men, Suicide and Society  2012

Coalition for Boys and Men Study: Man Made: Men, Masculinities and Equality in Public Policy  2009

Coalition for Boys and Men:  Press Release   2009

European Institute for Gender Equality Study Report:

The Involvement of Men in Gender Equality Initiatives in the European Union  2012

National University of Singapore Call for Research Proposals  2011

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