Brett Kavanaugh was Donald Trump’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court.

Recently, a friend showed me a sobering graph about the gender disparity in suicide rates between men and women. While women tend to attempt suicide more often than men (and have suicidal thoughts more frequently), men are more “successful” in performing the act. And if you limit the study to Western countries, men are three to four times more likely to commit suicide than women. There are many reasons for the stark gender difference, but one thing is clear: men are in crisis mode, and this crisis begins in early adolescence and continues into old age.

I’m no stranger to suicide, and I don’t need to go into more detail than in previous columns because, frankly, those aren’t my stories to tell. Even the dead have a right to privacy, although the law does not recognize this part of humanity. For example, you can’t defame a deceased person (meaning you might want to save your hostile emails and slanderous comments online until I sprout daisies because my estate won’t be able to sue at that time. )

But I have a special understanding of this unique form of despair that is impervious to the most powerful energy on earth: hope. And I’m not surprised that men are more likely than my sisters to fall prey to it.

Years ago Christina Hoff Somers wrote a book called “The War On Boys”. It was a welcome response to volumes dedicated to exposing the horrific state of girls in society, the Ophelies who were drowning in their own despair. The years of the second and third feminist waves were devoted to examining the particular problems that women face in school, work, love and at all levels of their lives. The men were either ignored, ridiculed or, in the worst case, demonized. I remember the disturbing trend of sitcoms in the 70s and 80s that portrayed the father figure not as a trusted, honored householder, but as a barely tolerated jester. It was as if Hollywood had to completely dismantle the solid and respectable models of the golden age of television shown in Father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver, My Three Sons and other similar beloved programs.

I can only imagine the impact this had on young men, who saw themselves portrayed as fools, or on the other end, as manipulative predators. Virtually every episode of Law and Order SVU features male villains, stalking their innocent female victims. And while Elliot was usually on the side of the angels, he struggled with a violent temper while his partner Olivia was essentially canonized. The fact that she herself is the product of rape is no coincidence.

Guys I knew generally swallowed media malpractice with as much grace as possible. But as Christina Hoff Somers demonstrated, the “kids weren’t doing well.” Statistics showed more than two decades ago that boys were struggling in school while girls were thriving. This is partly because women are more able to express their feelings of anger or anger, and are taught that it’s okay to talk (it’s no surprise that we have several shows with women sitting around a table and…talking, talking, talking) while the boys learn to shut up and suck. If they dared to express any kind of anger or upset, they grappled with the label of “toxic masculinity.

This all came to a head with Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearings. I think those of us who watched those hearings in real time are still traumatized by what was done to this man. The fact that it was finally confirmed (thanks in large part to a woman who realized that due process wasn’t just something the sisters could destroy with their screams and tears) doesn’t change the fact that a man was destined for destruction. , entirely based on fabrications. Based, let’s be honest, on lies.

I thought about it as I watched women, and some bewildered men, complain about the discourtesy of Ketanji Brown Jackson during his own confirmation hearings. I was listening to a podcast the other day in which a woman who doesn’t even deserve to be named talked about the heavy “burden” that Brown Jackson had to bear, the disrespect of senators. She called it an “albatross” around the candidate’s neck.

To say that I find it laughable is to say that Padre Pio had a bad paper cut. In other words, it’s the understatement of the century. Brett Kavanaugh has been attacked, vilified, vilified and abused in ways no candidate before or since has experienced. His reputation was cast and he became less than human. I suspect he himself considered ending his life during those dark days three years ago.

And yet, we worry about the impact of some tough interrogations on a judge who deserves to be fully vetted. His policies and priorities are under the microscope, not his character.

When I saw the statistics on male suicide, I realized that the pendulum had swung too far in the wrong direction. I have often dealt with victims of abuse in my immigration practice, and while many were women, a significant number were men. The very first battered spousal petition I ever filed was on behalf of a man who had been threatened with deportation by his US citizen wife, a woman who joked about how she could lie about him mistreated her, and no one would believe him if he defended himself.

I thought of this man when I watched the Kavanaugh hearings, and I thought of this man when I read this graphic which, to be honest, freaked me out. A society that does not provide safety nets for all of its troubled children, regardless of gender, is a society on the verge of extinction.

March 31 has been dubbed the International Day of Trans Visibility. We say Black Lives Matter. The whole month of March was dedicated to women’s history. June is Gay Pride Month. There are lists of people we want to honor and protect.

Judging by the disturbing statistics on suicide, there is an even larger group of people who are, quite literally, dying for some attention.

Christine Flowers is a lawyer. His column appears on Sunday and Thursday. Email him at [email protected]