We are double blind to the issue, we've our fingers in our ears when suicide is mentioned, and this wanton deafness pops up when it comes to our attitudes towards men being weak. Better to blank both issues, most particularly when the two combine. And so we have a society where suicide accounts for the lives of more men aged 20-49 than any other single cause. Bigger than road deaths. I write this having watched Newsnight bemoan the 68 deaths a year from illegal highs, or around one death a week. By comparison 12 UK male deaths a day should warrant a series.
What needs to happen, as with any dysfunctional family, is more conversation, and a bit less grumpy-teenager-grunting from both sides. Those women who identify as feminists need to avoid being dismissive of those who don't. It's time to realise that a lack of engagement is often to do with your failures, not theirs.
A recent study has found that, even in a year deemed 'female heavy', women are still only playing 30% of given speaking roles. And that does not mean integral, central characters who dominate talk time, that includes any line spoken in all of the top 100 US films. Women's voices are still stuck in the silent movie era - the majority are on mute.
This is why the 'Year of the Male' campaign by the CALM charity is so important. It promises to be about men and their issues, while being life affirming.
Having spent most of my formative years getting riled up over the fact that my ovaries reduce my pay packet in comparison to my male peers, it's hard to get turned on watching something which is grounded in the idea that women exist for the sexual gratification of men. However, as much as I'd like to claim that I selflessly stopped watching porn because I'm a committed feminist, that's not strictly true.
FGM needs to be put on political centre stage. It needs the hashtags, the likes, the virals to bring the silent suffering of millions out in public discourse. Until such time 140 million girls and women will continue to be told that their genitals have been cut and mutilated to make them "clean" and "beautiful".