Skip to main content

Queer Suicide in NZ

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, but here goes. A new video has been released to promote LGBT equality in New Zealand. It carries the charming title WTF, which according to project director Sam Shore, "it can mean anything you want." But of course viewing this brief video leaves you in no doubt that the F-bomb is what is intended, which is interesting because in my experience that word suggests and promotes sexual violence and disrespect like few others. But I'm sure that is just me being a prude.


So here is my problem, if this is an anti-bullying campaign then I have no problem with it, but the video's argument is constructed in a rather disconcerting way. Firstly we are told NZ has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, this is kind of true, we come in at 29th on the WHO list, behind countries like Japan, Switzerland, North Korea and South Africa. Then we are told that in NZ there were 558 suicides last year. I can't verify this the govt website only has stats for 2010 at present but it sounds like the right ball park. We are then immediately informed that LGBT are four time more likely to attempt suicide than others. So what is implied is that LGBT people are committing suicide left right and center and because of NZ's inequality towards LGBT our suicide rate is super high. Now even one suicide due to bullying would be enough to take action, but why present the data in such a confusing and manipulative way?

So here are my questions:
1. What is the breakdown for likely causes of those 558 suicides, sexuality, poverty, substance abuse, family breakup or something else? If we are concerned about suicide then lets be concerned about suicide not use it as a guilt trip for other issues.

2. The reason for the high correlation between LGBT and attempted suicide (notice I'm only using the video's words there) is assumed to be bullying and I've no doubt there will be anecdotal evidence to support this, but is it also possible that the correlation exists for other reasons. Without proper data and unbiased research it is impossible to say. So is anyone doing that research?

3. In my experience with bullying (both personal and professional) the problem is usually not with the victim (e.g. because they are gay, Christian, fat, etc) but with the the bully who themselves suffer from low self esteem and have usually been victims of discrimination and relational violence themselves.So who is working with the bullies?

4. Does the high level of sexualisation among our youth of whatever orientation lead to depression, anxiety, suicide and bullying because young people lacking the emotional and spiritual resources to cope with their sexuality are being forced to make decisions and define themselves according to the social constructs promoted by the mass media before they are ready? And again how would anyone know if it was?

Please, let me know what you think.

Comments

  1. Those are excellent questions, especially no. 4.

    By the way, to open with a statement like, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, but here goes" sounds like you are afraid of retribution...or of being bullied!

    ReplyDelete
  2. No, I am neither afraid of bullying or retribution, i am big and ugly enough not to have to worry about such things, i am more afraid of saying something stupid, something my size doesn't protect me from! :-)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

ANZABS 2018 program and abstracts

ANZABS CONFERENCE 2018
6-7 December, 2018


Venue: Wesley Hall, Trinity Methodist College,

202A St Johns Rd, Meadowbank, Auckland 1072

Thursday 6 December
9.30 am – REGISTRATION
10.00-10.10 – mihi
10.10-11.00 – Keynote speaker: Robert Myles – Fishing for Eyewitnesses in the Fourth Gospel
11.00-11.30 – Morning tea
11.30-12.00 – Lyndon Drake – Economic Capital in the Hebrew Bible
12.00-12.30 – Anne Aalbers – Resurrection and Celibacy: Two Sides of the Same Coin?
12.30-1.00 – Jonathan Robinson – "And he was with the beasts," (Mark 1:13): Ambiguity,
Interpretation and Mark as a Jewish Author
1.00-2.00 – Lunch
2.00-2.30 – Ben Hudson – Ethical Exhortation and the Decalogue in Ephesians
2.30-3.00 – Csilla Saysell – The Servant as 'a covenant of/for people' in Deutero-Isaiah
3.00-3.30 – Afternoon tea
3.30-4.00 – Jacqueline Lloyd – Did Jesus minister in Gaulanitis?
4.00-4.30 – Mark Keown – Jesus as the New Joshua
4.30 – AGM
Friday 7 December
9.30-10.00 – Ben Ong – Pākehā Readin…

Updated Current Research and Book Reviews

So, my PhD must be going well because I have just spent the morning updating my blog pages for Current Research and brand spanking new Book Reviews page. But it is not just procrastination, it is good to stop and and get an overview.

I had totally forgotten about half the book reviews I had done on this blog, they go back to 2009! I am still working on writing the sort of reviews I really enjoy reading, but now that I'm regularly doing reviews for journals it is great to also review books on this blog where I have stylistic freedom and no space limitations. I had always hoped this blog would be a good source of free books, but while it was a source of free books they were not good ones. Reviewing for journals (as a PhD student) has been much better and is helping me keep my broader education going even as I delve deep into my PhD subject. Looking at my old book reviews helps me realise how far I have come. Hopefully, much growth as a blogger, scholar and human being (perhaps not i…

How to use Google Docs and Translate to make a Quick Rough Translation of a Modern Language Document (for FREE)

We all know that there is no substitute for knowing the language and that Google translate can make amusing mistakes. However, the ability to quickly make rough translations saves a great deal of time and also allows you to (carefully) engage in language literature that doesn't come up frequently enough to be worth learning, but has that one article you really want to read.

1. Make a good quality PDF scan of the document with one page per scan. (this may mean twice the number of scan pages, but it will save you time in the long run, trust me) I use a piece of paper to blank the page I don't want to copy in each scan. Ensure the scans are straight and all on the same orientation.

2. Save the resulting PDF in Google Drive.

3. Right click on the PDF in Google Drive and [open with] [Google Docs]. This will open a new window in your browser and will take some time - now is a good time to recite some verb conjugations. This is because Google's OCR is turning the scan into text b…