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WOMEN’S MONTH and The Lunacy of Patriarchy: Where Men Choose Death Over Shame and Women Choose Life. 

Dr. Malik Vazi, CEO

Dr. Malik Vazi, CEO

South Africa is going through its annual ritual of celebrating August as a Women’s month. In all this, one thing that remains stubborn to die, is patriarchy and its toxic mixture of human suffering, shame, pain and male suicides in patriarchal societies. 

There is no denying that almost universally, women suffer more from mental conditions such as anxieties and general mood disorders than men, while men are more likely to have substance use disorders more than the fairest sex. So, some form of psychological injury is experienced by everyone irrespective of biologically linked gender roles.  It is also accepted that women are more likely to attempt suicide while men are multiple times more likely to complete suicide.

While we all die at the end, is it not amazing that despite all the trappings of a boy’s club in a boy’s world, men live 6 or so years lesser than women even in absence of war? Indeed there are many reasons why longer life expectancy favours women more than men, despite the level playing field at birth, with 50:50 for boys and girls. Suicides by men in more traditional societies where patriarchy is worshipped, is an interesting albeit controversial choice this women’s month.

Patriarchy is designed to advantage men over women on the basis of biological gender/sex. It teaches society that:

  • Men are born winners, conquerors of the universe, protectors of their families and resourceful providers to their families.
  • Men are born physically and emotionally strong they never cry, never show weakness of any kind, and must see vulnerability as a weakness.
  • Women are to be seen as weaker guests in a man’s world, their main role is to make the life of man more pleasurable, meaningful, with bearing and raising his children being the most honoured role for any worthy woman.
  • Women have no lives or dreams of their own other than being good mothers and exemplary to all future mothers. They live for others not themselves.
  • Boys have a right to be drunk naked on the streets at night and the worst to happen to them is being laughed at while girls have no such right. If she just dares, shame and worse, rape and death is what she invites.

At the end, men are deeply harmed when they do not do well in these roles and cannot provide for their families or worse for them, their women earn more than they do. This leads to a deep sense of self doubt, sense of failure and poor mental health. They do not seek help because of shame and opt for suicide over embracing vulnerability and seek help. That should be enough to show men that patriarchy is mass suicide and should be dismantled immediately.

Women on the other side are used to being shamed and being seen as weak. This makes it relatively easier for them to seek help and choose life over the dagger of shame that leads to suicide.  Mental Health First Aid training helps increase mental health awareness and helping behaviours, including knowledge about suicide prevention techniques.

Dr. Malik Vazi, CEO.