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CALM - campaign to prevent male suicide

(21 Posts)
LadyBlaBlah Thu 08-Jan-15 00:22:21

So, while out and about today I saw some really encouraging bill boards advertising a campaign against "dangerous stereotypes of masculinity". How exciting i thought, finally the patriarchy might get recognised.

But lo and behold, the first page I went to.....feminism is part of the problem. Yes, feminists are telling men they shouldn't talk about their feelings and be more macho <face palm>

link here

When I went through the rest of the site, the research, the topics, the general feel, it's just quite 'feminist'. Most feminists recognise that patriarchy harms men whyyyyyyyyy do feminists get the blame for a masculinity crisis?

I think the site is doing something good before the MRA lurkers jump on me. I also think it aligns with many feminist views about masculinity, it's just frustrating feminism is cited as being one of the contributory factors. The only women who support such masculinity stereotypes are the women who are patriarchy handmaidens, and they are the ones who "ARE NOT FEMINISTS"

Just saying.

PetulaGordino Thu 08-Jan-15 07:09:06

My disclaimer here is that the calmzone was started by a friend of a friend and I am naturally favourably disposed towards it

I have encountered a very small number of feminist-blaming comments beneath articles on the site in the past, but it was literally a handful and it's not an attitude that pervades the site in general IME. However it would be as you say damaging and unhelpful if that were to become more prevalent there. It is a site that is doing a lot of
good and is very much needed and as you say it aligns in many ways with my own feminist views about how gender stereotypes and toxic masculinity need to be tackled

Reading that article (and given that I am predisposed favourably to the site) I agree that te first paragraph is poorly worded and unhelpful, and an MRA would cling to it with glee. But as you say te article itself has lots of interesting and important information and shouldn't be overlooked. It is a shame about that initial sentence though

YonicSleighdriver Thu 08-Jan-15 08:42:04

I saw the posters too and I like them, I'll have a look at the site.

cailindana Thu 08-Jan-15 10:08:14

I think feminism does contribute to men's feeling of disorientation because it shows that the attitudes they've been brought up with, that they've seen their dads and other role models hold and espouse without question, are actually hugely disrespectful and destructive. That can be a horrible thing to face up to and can lead to depression and self hatred.

Feminism strives to make the world better for everyone, women and men alike. But it's a tough process and one that can be painful for everyone. Overall the aim is positive though, IMO and will in time lead to less depression and silence among men.

However, that is not how MRAs, or even ordinary people, will read it I think. They will see it as evidence that "feminism has gone too far" and because of that I think it should go.

As a side note, while I think there are good intentions behind the campaign I think the ideas behind it are naive. It's a good starting point but much more needs to be done to understand the mechanism of suicide. It's not enough to say "talk to someone, someone's listening" etc. It's something, definitely, but much more is needed.

PetulaGordino Thu 08-Jan-15 10:12:40

I agree Cailin but as you say it should be framed accurately in such articles to avoid that sort of MRA response

I haven't seen the poster campaign myself, but IME te site itself is pretty good, though I admit I am no expert on this

LadyBlaBlah Thu 08-Jan-15 11:12:01

It's interesting though where a campaign like this might go......if it gains momentum because the male suicide rates truly are a reflection of the patriarchy gone bad. When you work through the arguments over time, there is no end point where any man can blame them on feminism. It's not feminists who are saying they want men going around beating everyone up and being saviours, being an emotional devoid person, and generally 'manning up'.

Indeed any feminist who used the phrase 'man up' would be growled at or worse.

I now it's not a perfect campaign, but it sure is great to see questioning of male stereotypes.

I feel heartened.

tegetega Thu 08-Jan-15 23:00:12

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

PetulaGordino Fri 09-Jan-15 04:45:33

Is suicide amongst men a joke to you tegetega?

thedancingbear Fri 09-Jan-15 08:59:44

Jesus, tegetega, would you rather this campaign didn't exist and more men killed themselves?

The reference to feminism here does puzzle me though. Being charitable, I don't get a clear sense that they are trying to say that it has a negative impact on men's mental health. I just can't see what they're driving at all.

YonicSleighdriver Fri 09-Jan-15 09:02:23

Tege was busy last night...

thedancingbear Fri 09-Jan-15 09:07:47

Ah yes. I see now. All just after pub closing time, too. Stay classy mate.

BiggerYellowTaxi Sat 10-Jan-15 08:01:19

I am very supportive of the campaign as when men try to kill themselves they are usually very successful due to choosing violent methods. However, comparing the rates of suicide between men and women is not straight forward. Women tend to choose less violent methods such as overdose which are not as effective as the methods typically chosen by men. So less successful suicide numbers for women in no way indicates that there is less mental distress in women than men but that the way men and women express this distress is different. So I'm not sure it is fair to say that men are "faring" worse than women but that the outcome of their distress is more likely to be fatal, which is of course a problem that needs solving.

As to the first line, I think it is actually factually correct as pointed out by cailindana. I wish they'd expounded on what they meant further because it is, unfortunately, open to interpretation.

projectbabyweight Mon 12-Jan-15 14:00:29

Thanks for making that important point, Taxi.

TheDisapprovingBrit Thu 22-Jan-15 16:29:38

I've just read the whole article, and I can't see anywhere where is says feminism is part of the problem. It says that the role of men is being transformed by feminism, but isn't that kind of the point?

PhaedraIsMyName Fri 23-Jan-15 00:40:13

I agree Disappointing It started off by referring to a number of factors which have transformed men's roles. It doesn't blame feminism.

PetulaGordino Fri 23-Jan-15 06:39:03

I don't think it is intending to "blame" feminism and I agree wth Cailin (as I find I do on many things). But for those MRAs who do want to blame feminism for all the world's ills, I think the wording is unclear enough to play into their hands, which is unhelpful generally

I am a big supporter of the CALM zone

Magnetic1 Sat 24-Jan-15 09:32:51

"Yes, feminists are telling men they shouldn't talk about their feelings and be more macho"

Unfortunately there's some truth to this. "Male tears" anyone?

YonicScrewdriver Sat 24-Jan-15 09:55:45

Which feminist said that, magnetic?

cailindana Sat 24-Jan-15 09:56:48

I don't get the reference to "male tears" either magnetic, where does it come from?

PetulaGordino Sat 24-Jan-15 10:03:05

Many feminists I know work in jobs that support vulnerable and distressed men. I don't understand the "male tears" thing either

Bifauxnen Sat 24-Jan-15 16:52:18

Male tears -

Have to laugh at the woman-haters attempts to change the definition on urban dictionary to mean semen though. How dare women have some shared humour that's not male approved.

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