An award-winning Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, says men have a higher rate of dying by suicide as opposed to women.
The ‘Americanah’ author attributed the situation to patriarchy, which she says is both a blessing and a curse to men.
She said men are trained to suppress emotions, not to show vulnerability or ask for help.
Adichie made the comments while giving a speech at Hubspot’s 2018 Inbound Conference.
“Both men and women suffer from the illnesses that lead to suicide but it is men that have a much higher rate of dying by suicide,” she said.
“Why? Because men are socialized to suppress so many human parts of themselves, men are socialized not to ask for help, men are socialized to be afraid of fear, men are socialized not to show vulnerability.
“From the moment we tell a little boy that ‘boys don’t cry’ or we tell a hurting teenager to ‘man up’ we are creating an adult man who will be cheated of the full range of his emotions.
“So, while men benefit from patriarchy, they also suffer from it.”
Adichie also touched on gender equality, saying there is no difference between men and women.
Women, she said, should not be viewed differently or given special treatment.
“There is nothing a woman should be because she is a woman, and there is nothing a man should be because he is a man,” the ‘Purple Hibiscus’ author said.
“Women are not special, women are human, women are flawed just like men… If we keep saying women are special, then we judge them at a higher and unfair standard.”
Adichie recently drew criticism for saying she’s opposed to acts of chivalry such as men opening doors for women.