NewsSouth Korean councillor blasted for blaming women for male suicides

South Korean councillor blasted for blaming women for male suicides

A politician from South Korea accuses women
A politician from South Korea accuses women
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10 July 2024 17:49

A Seoul city councillor faced massive criticism. Kim Ki-duk stated that the increase in the number of suicides among men in South Korea is due to the actions of women, who are becoming increasingly dominant in society.

The issue of mental health and taking care of it among men still seems to be emerging. The long-touted mantra that a man has to be strong and not cry has been taking a toll on teenagers and men worldwide. Asking for help in the fight for a better tomorrow is often seen as a sign of weakness, while poor mental health is like a broken leg - it requires medical intervention to return to full strength.

Are women to blame for men's suicides?

The South Korean politician has faced extreme criticism. Seoul councillor Kim Ki-duk analysed data on the number of suicide attempts on the bridges over the Han River in Seoul. Official reports published by the city's council revealed an increase in the number of suicide attempts from 430 in 2018 to 1,040 in 2023, and the percentage of men among those attempting to take their own lives increased from 67% to 77%.

According to the councillor, the increased percentage of suicide attempts among men is related to the growing influence of women in South Korea. The politician stated that the country recently "started to transform into a female-dominated society" and that this might be "partially responsible for the rise in suicide attempts among men."

Experts disagree with the councillor

Song In Han, a professor of mental health at Yonsei University in Seoul, said in an interview with the BBC: "It is dangerous and unreasonable to make such claims without sufficient evidence". The scientist emphasised that worldwide, more men than women take their own lives. As an example, he cited the United Kingdom, where suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50 years old.

The politician was accused by many of misogyny and building divisions between women and men. Yuri Kim, director of the Korean Women's Union Trade, said in an interview with the "BBC": - Such comments encapsulate just how pervasive misogyny is in South Korea. Blaming women for entering the workforce will only prolong the imbalances in our society.

Kim Ki-duk tried to explain his report. In a statement to the "BBC," he claimed he did not intend to criticise a female-dominated society but merely expressed his opinion on some of its consequences.

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