Thursday, July 19, 2012

Insight on preventing military suicide from a study on black women?

So I came across an article a short while back about a study that aims to see how black women's social culture of social supports could offer a some insight in the prevention of military suicides. Don't get me wrong I like the idea of helping out people who feel suicidal. But I wonder if it's necessary.

Similar to the military, in the civilian world most suicides are committed by men. I think it's pretty clear that one social oppression that works heavily against men is that men are prevented from forming systems of support and we are socialized to deny ourselves this support.

It's all tied up in the gender role of being a man. By this script we are told that don't need emotional support, that we aren't supposed to have emotional support, that we don't deserve emotional support. Of course this is all a nicely laid out plan to convince us to ignore the things that ail us so that we can continue to be useful to the system that runs things (and the people that benefit from men cutting themselves short on this support). Because what good is a work horse that actually stops for a break? That time is better spent being productive right?

I'm sure some good will come from this study and I hope it goes well (and I'll even try to remember to look for the finished results). But I think its pretty clear. We as men have to build up our systems of support for ourselves so that when we are in that dark place, that place where we think there is nowhere to turn to for help, that place that whispers faintly "You'd be better off dead", we can actually reach out for help.