Monday, May 08, 2006

CM is for Cuban Men

Recommended ReadingIf you know a Male Suicide victim, it is very likely (about a 66% chance) that this person who killed themselves was also a victim of divorce. This is not a reflection on the 'instability' of men, but rather a reflection of how "The courts in the United States are in a position now whereby money is given to the woman, [and] the man is forced to pay alimony, child support. The man is also asked, in some cases, to vacate the house. [...] If a man loses custody of the children and the woman keeps those children, there are situations whereby she may not allow the man to see the children, and that causes some depression," (Augustine Kposowa speaking to CBS News, 2000)

Well today, we have word via Babalu Blog that men wear divorce even more painfully in Cuba. Babalu Blog refers us to Wall Street Cafe which tells us that 2.6 men kill themselves for every woman. The message of Wall Street Cafe and Babalu is political - they blame communism for the plight of Cuban men - and I am sure that they are at least partly right. - Men, who are supposed to support the family, are put in a difficult to impossible situation in a country where captialism, the ability to work harder to achieve greater income, is illegal.

According to the Basic Health Indicators of a 2005 report by the OPS, Cuba had an18,1 rate of suicides in each 100.000 inhabitants during the 2000-2005 period, far from the second place occupied by Uruguay with 15,9 and very far from countries like Peru with 2,3 and Guatemala with 1.9.

Cubans suicides index for 2005 in 26.4 for the men and 9.8 for the women. In absolute numbers, the greatest amount of suicides which take place in Cuba affects the 25 – 34 age group, followed by the 35-44 group.

“By the hopelessness, the social atmosphere without horizons, a sort of collective depression that impels to escape via the suicide route”, assured to the New Herald a sociologist Cuban investigator who works for the ministry of Public Health.

Is there a divorce factor too? What is divorce like in Cuba?

Well, first of all, Cuba has a high divorce rate, 3.54 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants - (the US has 4.1 divorces per 1,000). Although the rate per individual sounds lower than the US, the rate per marriage is higher - About 70% of marriages end in divorce.

But divorce itself should not lead to increased suicide, if men are treated fairly and allowed access to their children. The word on the street though, is that Cuban men are not - they lose their houses, their assets are split 50/50 with their ex, and their incomes are nipped down about 10% per child. Add to that that divorces can be had for as little as 5 pesos by a notary public, with no hassle, and you have a situation where women can put already hard-pressed men into a hopeless situation.

This may have led to an interesting twist - Cuban women are complaining that their men are only interested with women with good jobs - i.e. women who would bring something to a marriage, and who might have something to lose in a divorce (hat tip La Neuva Cuba):

Still single, she[Maricel Acebo] does have complaints about men. Too many care only about money, she said. "The men say, 'What do you do?' And if you say you're a housewife, they shrink back and won't talk to you. But if you say you work for a good company, then it's, 'Yeah, that's the woman I want,' " said Ms. Acebo, a night security guard who earns $7.69 per month in a country where the average monthly salary is $12.

Somehow, men waking up to the fact that their wife MUST work so that they don't get destroyed financially in a divorce and focusing on that financial aspect seems darkly amusing. Turnabout IS fair play, no?

My best to you in your struggles


Drilling a bit deeper: from Dominican Today: Anguish Drives Cubans to suicide

Related posts:

On Suicide:
S is for Suicide - Revisited
S is for Slavery
B is for Bravery
R is for Relentless Persuit
D is for Dynamite
O is for Over the Edge

On The Evil that is done to Men in Divorce:
Why Alimony is Wrong
Other Ways Alimony is Like Slavery
Further Bankruptcy Rights Revoked for Men - Making Divorce Even More Like Debt Servitude
P is for Paternity - or how to catch yourself a slave
D is for Divorce - 'the financial haircut club for men'
D is for Dance of Death - a bit on Perry Manley and others

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