Emma Watson is Wrong About Male Suicide
Emma Watson is Wrong About Male Suicide
"I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man. In fact, in the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I've seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either." - Emma Watson
The resolution leaves Emma Watson’s knowledge of this in doubt. The resolution is not attempting to accuse Emma Watson of being a man hater. Only that if she were actually aware it would be man hating. The resolution is leaning towards the issue being more likely that Emma Watson is unaware of the facts.
Round 1 is for accepting, and defining any needed terms.
Man hating: The act of hating men, or masculine attributes of men.
Suicide: The act of ending, or attempting to end one's own life.
Emasculate: Depriving a man of his male identity, or forcing feminine ideals onto a man.
Age: 18 or older
Debates: 5 or more
Since Round 1 is for definitions/framework, let's just be clear about the resolution. The "full" version actually contains *three* propositions, all of which Pro has the burden to prove:
(1) The following statement made by Emma Watson is "wrong": "men [are] unable to ask for help [for mental illness] for fear it would make them less of a man."
(2) The following statement is "wrong": male suicide rates are high because men feel too emasculated to seek help.
(3) Arguing in favor of propositions 1 or 2 constitutes "man hating."
If Pro fails to carry the burden to prove *any* of these three propositions, Pro loses.
I’d like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.
My opponent says that he objects to the insertion of [mental illness] for [suicide] in the first proposition he has to prove. However, let's look at what Emma Watson actually said. She said, "I"ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man." Since the topic is about whether Emma Watson is wrong, we have to look to her actual words. She said men can't seek help for *mental illness.* It doesn't even make sense to say that someone would seek help for "suicide." Suicide isn't really what you are seeking help for when you go to a therapist; you are seeking help for the underlying thoughts or illness that is causing suicidal ideation.
According to a study by Cole (2013) , "Endorsement of masculine norms . . . were associated with less willingness to engage in professional help-seeking as well as friends and family help-seeking when depressed."  Furthermore, the study found that "men view depression as a feminine disorder."  Men attempt to "prove their masculinity" by "engaging in rigid denial of distress and avoidance of psychological help when depressed." 
According to a study by the American College Health Association, "The number one cause of all suicides . . . is untreated depression." 
== Rebuttal ==
My opponent's argument is essentially that the rate of male suicide is not "high" because if you include *attempted* suicide, women *might* be just as likely to *try* to kill themselves as men (even though men are much more successful at accomplishing their suicides).
First, it is wrong for my opponent to conflate *attempted* suicide and successful *suicide.* Women attempt to use less lethal forms of suicide (like taking too many pills instead of shooting themselves) because women are more likely to use suicide as a "cry for help," rather than a way to end their lives.  The very real gender differences in the *methods* used demonstrates that many women attempt suicide because they *want* help, they just don't know how to ask for it. In contrast, men often just want to end their lives because they don't see seeking help as an option. Robin Williams' suicide is a prototypical example: he slit his wrists *and* hung himself. He wanted to die; he didn't want help.
The disparity in the *success* of male vs. female suicide attempts absolutely comes from the difference between male and female help-seeking, so it doesn't prove my opponent's point that Emma Watson is wrong.
Second, let's look at the rates in absolute terms. Annually in the U.S., there are about 40,000 suicides and an additional 713,000 attempted suicides. My opponent concedes that men are up to *10 times* more likely to kill themselves than women, whereas women are three times more likely to only attempt suicide than men. Thus, approximately 36,000 men kill themselves each year compared to only 4,000 women. In contrast, approximately 535,000 women *attempt* suicide per year, compared to 178,000 men *attempt* suicide per year.
So you can see that in absolute terms, women are actually far more likely to try to kill themselves (if you include successful suicides) than men are, but suicide is much more lethal in men. These absolute numbers show (once again) why it's wrong of my opponent to conflate *attempted* and *successful* suicides. Only 4,000 women die per year from suicide, compared to 36,000 men. Suicide is a leading cause of death for men, but you can't say the same for women. Therefore, it wasn't wrong of Emma Watson to say that we should be worried about the male suicide rate because it is "high."
Third, something doesn't become "not high" in absolute terms just because something else is also high. You wouldn't say that the number of traffic fatalities in this country wasn't "high" just because the number of heart attacks is also a large number. Therefore, the female suicide rate has no bearing on whether the male suicide rate is "high." Emma Watson would not be technically "wrong" that the male suicide rate was "high" even if the female rate was comparable.
My opponent claims it would be "man hating" if you knew all of the statistics about male suicide to still suggest that men should seek help. However, you can see from the above statistics that it's true: men are less likely to seek help than women, so one solution to the male suicide rate is to confront gender norms and tell men that it doesn't make them "less of a man" to seek help for depression.
My opponent claims that there are "warning signs" for suicide that are easily detectable by others and that if we could just recognize these warning signs, there would not be any suicides. However, a lot of suicides happen now that no one saw coming (e.g. Robbin Williams). The warning signs are a lot easier to see *after the fact,* than before the fact. Hindsight is 20/20. A *better* solution to the high male suicide rate is to confront gender norms and tell men that seeking treatment isn't feminine. Merely hoping that family and friends recognize the warning signs before it is too late is *not* a real solution.
In fact, it's not a solution at all. Socially isolated people are more likely to attempt suicide.  It's possible that a majorly depressed person doesn't have anyone close enough to them on a daily basis that it's even possible for someone to recognize the warning signs.
And even if someone *did* recognize the warning signs, what would they do? They'd try to send that person to *therapy.* The problem is that therapy doesn't work unless you *want* to go. You can't be dragged into therapy against your will. So if men don't want to seek professional help, recognizing warning signs won't do *anything.* Family and friends can play a constant game of "keep the scissors away from Johnny," but at the end of the day, Johnny won't truly get better unless he goes to therapy (and perhaps gets drug intervention).
So my opponent's solution -- of merely recognizing the warning signs -- is no solution at all. Emma Watson is correct that we have to fight gender norms if we want the male suicide rate to go down. What she said is not remotely "wrong," so my opponent utterly fails to meet the BOP as to *any* of the three propositions he had to prove.
 http://digitalcommons.unl.edu... [page 117]
 same source [page 120]
I have not conflated any part of the definition of suicide. I took the time to define suicide from the very first round. My opponent failed, address the issue in the first round when the definition was given as “The act of ending, or attempting to end one's own life.” This was done to reduce any confusion. Had my opponent taken the time to read the definitions she wouldn’t be confused, or accusing me of conflating anything this far into the debate. Any objection should have been raised in round 1. Ms. Watson’s claim is also about the inequality in male suicide. She made no attempt to differentiate the financial managers who’d ruined many lives and opted to jump out a window, or the old man who’d rather die quickly then slowly of cancer, or of the college student who just got dumped. She generalized all of them as being victims of absurd societal notion of what men should be.
My opponent says something nonsensical about definitions. However, my argument was that Emma Watson *never actually said* that men don"t seek help for "suicide," she said that they don"t seek help for "depression." So the proposition my opponent has to prove is that men are *just as likely* as women to seek help for depression.
I never contested the definition of "suicide."
== Rebuttal ==
R1) Robin Williams
My opponent claims that Robin Williams proves that there are obvious warning signs that people can use to prevent suicide. However, people were *shocked* at Robin Williams"s death. My opponent claims that Robin Williams"s suicide was *not* surprising to "anyone involved," presumably meaning that Robin Williams"s family knew he had Parkinson"s and suffered from depression. However, this simply proves my point: even seeing those warning signs, no one in Robin Williams"s family was able to recognize that he was a suicide risk and stop him. If it was *so obvious* that Williams"s was going to commit suicide, my opponent is suggesting that no one in his family cared about him enough to stop him. That is obviously not true. The bigger issue was that Williams"s was living with largely untreated depression because as a man and as a celebrity, he didn"t want to face the stigma of going to therapy. Men are actually better at hiding their depression than women. According to Scientific American, "men are also more likely to be depressed for a longer period of time and to have their depression go undetected than are women." 
My opponent suggests that it would border on criminal negligence for a doctor not to ensure that a Parkinson"s patient is in psychotherapy because Parkinson"s causes decreased dopamine, but not *every* Parkinson"s patient is depressed nor does every Parkinson"s patient commit suicide. Parkinson"s patients are merely at an increased statistical likelihood of depression.
It"s simply not that easy to tell who is going to kill themselves and who isn"t. People know their own brains better than anyone else, so the *best option* to prevent suicide is for people to seek treatment for themselves, but the studies I provided last round prove that men *do* seek help much less often than women.
My opponent talks about how men don"t need to turn into women in order to seek treatment. He says (in regards to Robin Williams), "It was not the patients fault for not being woman enough." My opponent, through his use of language, reifies the same stereotypes that Emma Watson was critiquing, specifically that seeking treatment somehow makes you a woman -- or womanly. The idea that gender is binary and that "men must act like men" and "women must act like women" is the very *problem* in our society that causes men to be afraid to seek treatment for what they perceive as a "woman"s disease" (according to my source from last round). Vote my opponent down to reject his binary view of gender and embrace Emma Watson"s view of a society that does not care whether men are acting masculinely or femininely.
R2) Bad statistics?, good statistics?
Hospitalizations for suicide attempts is a good proxy for the total number of attempted suicides. My opponent never explains why these numbers are bad. He merely reiterates that men are four times more likely than women to (successfully) commit suicide and says that this does not constitute a "meaningful gap" in the suicide rates between men and women. However, 4 times more suicides *is* an *enormous* gap. If I told you that women were four times more likely to die in car crashes than men, you would want to know what it is about women"s driving that causes them to die so much more often. Likewise, with men killing themselves four times more often than women, you want to know *why* this gap exists. And the answer is that men are far *less* likely to seek treatment for their depression.
In addition, my opponent argues that if you account for repeated suicide attempts, the gap narrows. However, the "suicide rate" is the total number of people who successfully kill themselves per year. It *does* include repeated attempts where the person was "successful" on their last try. So this argument holds no weight. As my opponent said in Round 2, men kill themselves at a rate that is between four and ten times higher than that of women.
So Emma Watson was not wrong. Men are not only less likely to seek treatment, but are more likely to kill themselves.
R3) Cry for help
My opponent claims that maybe women use pills more often because they "care how their body is found." That"s a silly argument because people who commit suicide either don"t care about or have vastly discounted the impact their suicide will have on loved ones. If they cared about what loved ones would feel after they passed, they wouldn"t kill themselves at all. Furthermore, my source said that women are more likely to attempt suicide as a cry for help, rather than a legitimate attempt to end their lives, which explains much of these statistics. I think most people realize that taking 50 Tylenol is less likely to kill you than putting a gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger.
Regardless, it"s not my burden to explain the gap between successful male and female suicide. It"s my opponent"s burden to prove either that (a) the gap doesn"t exist, or (b) the gap is not remotely caused by men being less likely to seek therapy. My opponent has utterly failed to do either. In fact, he doesn"t even contest that men are less likely to seek treatment (and has dropped this argument). Since this is one of the things he has to prove, he automatically loses.
R4) Man hating
My opponent essentially drops all my arguments here. And if anything, my opponent is engaging in man-hating by trying to impose his rigid view of masculinity upon men (as explained above, when my opponent implies that men would "become women" if they sought help more readily and were more open with how they were feeling). The burden that gender norms impose on men is enormous. They can"t cry without feeling like they are doing something "wrong" in society"s eyes, even when tragic things happen (like the loss of a parent). They can"t seek treatment for depression because that would be unmanly (as this debate explains). They can"t step down from any fight, even if they have to risk their life for a stupid reason. These gender norms are crushing and dangerous. My opponent should lose for perpetuating them alone.
But obviously, Emma Watson doesn"t hate men. She just wants men to stop killing themselves at a rate that is so much higher than women. If anything, she loves men and doesn"t want to see them suffer (by not seeking treatment) due to the imposition of gender norms upon them.
Understanding the Math:
Let's not forget what we're debating here. Pro has to prove *three things,* and he hasn't done so.
1) . So Pro had to prove that men *seek treatment* just as often as women. In Round 2, I provided a study *proving* that men less likely to seek treatment for mental illnesses. This proves Emma Watson's statement true. Pro has *never* contested this study. Pro agreed that if he failed to prove *any* of the three propositions, he lost.
2) I provided a study saying that the *biggest risk factor* for suicide is *untreated depression.* So if men seek treatment less often than women, we should *expect* the male suicide rate to be higher than the female suicide rate. And that's precisely what we see. Pro has never contested either study nor has questioned my chain of logic here. He merely plays *defense* and tries to prove that the gender gap in suicide rate can be explained away (in part) by other things. But Pro has the BOP here, not me. He can't win merely by playing defense, trying to chip away (piece by piece) at the gender gap in suicide rates. He had to prove that *none* of the gender gap is attributable to men being unwilling to seek treatment due to gender norms. And I have proven that this clearly plays a role.
3) However, I hope I have shown that there is -- at least -- enough doubt about the cause of the higher male suicide rate that someone who suggests that one of the major problems it that men don't seek help (due to gender roles, such as men having to be "strong" and seeing depression as a "female" disease). As long as a raise a reasonable doubt here, I prove that it's not man-hating to suggest what Emma Watson did.
== Rebuttal ==
Pro makes a ton of new arguments here and provides a bunch of new statistics, so you'll have to excuse me if I have to introduce new evidence to respond to him (in the last round). It's not unfair, he merely chose to make his strongest case in the last round, so he's forcing me to put new responses here.
R1) The "lemmings" argument
This argument doesn't make a whole lot of sense. At best, it's an analogy that attempts to show why attempts are the same as actual suicides. But they aren't. The male (successful) suicide rate is far higher than the female one. My opponent can't obscure that will lemmings analogies.
R2) Cry for help
I'm sorry, I got lazy and linked a wiki article for the proposition that one explanation for why women use less-lethal methods of suicide is that they are doing it as a cry for help. Here's a better source: George E. Murphy, M.D., an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine, says, "An attempted suicide is not really an attempt at suicide in about 95 percent of cases. It is a different phenomenon. It's most often an effort to bring someone's attention, dramatically, to a problem that the individual feels needs to be solved. . . women tend to use methods that allow for second thoughts or rescue. Murphy says that when people intend to survive, they choose a slowly effective, or ineffective, means such as an overdose of sleeping pills. That contrasts to the all-or-nothing means like gunshots or hanging used by actual suicides."  Murphy concludes that since women sometimes *do* use more lethal methods, "women, when they intend to do it, can be just as effective as men in committing suicide. But they aren't so inclined." 
Thus, Murphy offers the best explanation for why women are more likely to use pills than men: they are using them more as a cry for help than as an actual attempt to end their own lives.
My opponent clarifies that acetaminophen can be quite deadly. I agree. However, it's *not* fast acting. An overdose of Tylenol can be treated as late as *8 hours* after the person took the overdose.  It's still possible to die from it, if you *conceal* from family and friends that you took the overdose. But a lot of women *don't* conceal that they took the overdose, which is why so many fall within the statistics for *attempted* suicide and not *successful* suicide. This just further proves my point that women are more likely to use suicide as a cry for help, not as an attempt to end their lives.
R3) Gun ownership is higher among men
This is my opponent's only remotely strong argument in this debate, and it's a brand new one, so you'll have to give me some leeway to respond to it, even though this is the last round.
I have two key responses. First, my opponent's *own source* says that *married* men are almost *twice* as likely as unmarried men to have firearms. So women are likely to *live* in a household that contains a gun, even if the gun was not purchased in their names. They could still easily commit suicide using a gun (either their husband or father's gun or by purchasing one for themselves). Second, and most importantly, in countries (like the UK) where gun ownership is illegal, the leading (and most lethal) cause of suicide is hanging. In Europe, 54.3% of men 35.6% resort to hanging. So in England, where Emma Watson is from, there are still large gender differences in lethality. Men are more likely to resort to hanging, women are more likely to resort to pills. Both genders have equal access to a *rope.* My opponent has some silly remark that men have easier access to neckties, so they can hang themselves more easily, but that's just silly. So the fact that the gender gap in suicide rates exists in countries where firearms are *banned* completely disproves my opponent's argument.
R4) Robin Williams
This is kind of just a distraction, given that one person is not going to prove anything for either side. I simply used Williams as an example because he used *two* methods of suicide (hanging and wrist slitting) to ensure he died. My opponent is the one who tries to stake the debate on proving that Robin Williams's death was preventable through other means, which doesn't even matter. The debate is about whether men are less likely to seek help. I linked an article that indicated that Williams was reluctant to seek help. He had sought help for substance abuse, but not for depression.
My opponent's claim that treatment for depression is "standard" for Parkinson's *does not appear* anywhere in his source. Depression only occurs in 40 percent of Parkinson's patients  and is not constant throughout their diagnosis, so it doesn't make sense to force *all* Parkinson's patients to be treated for depression.
And if anything, Robin Williams proves my point through the study I linked that says that men are *better* at and *more likely* to hide their depression from their loved ones, which is a further symptom of their shame (stemming from gender norms).
== Conclusion ==
I have proven the first proposition easily: that men *are* less likely to seek treatment for depression. The second proposition is also easily proven: one reason that men are more likely to commit suicide is because they are less likely to seek treatment. And the last proposition is the easiest of all to prove: the statistics *do* support Emma Watson's position (or at least aren't strong enough to oppose it), so her comments cannot be considered man-hating because they represent a valid conclusion based on the data.
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