Politician Blames Male Suicides on South Korea’s Women

International Women’s Day March in Seoul

Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

In light of South Korea’s increasingly popular 4B movement — a feminist way of life in which women opt out of the patriarchy altogether — some politicians have taken to blaming the women of Seoul for men’s plummeting mental health. According to the BBC Tuesday, Seoul City councilor Kim Ki-duck has argued in a new report that the country’s “change into a female-dominant society” might “partly be responsible for an increase in male suicide attempts.” The councilor went on to imply that as women have joined the workforce in growing numbers, men have been left with lesser odds of finding a job and finding a woman to marry.

Councillor Kim reportedly came to this conclusion after setting about to analyze the number of suicide attempts made along Seoul’s Han river. As published on the city council’s website, the number of suicides there had climbed from 430 in 2018 to 1,035 in 2023, while the percentage of those attempts who were men rose from 67% to 77%. Despite Kim’s confidence on the matter, suicide prevention experts told the BBC that aside from being outwardly misogynistic, it is “dangerous and unwise to make claims like this without sufficient evidence.” Song In Han, a mental health professor at Seoul’s Yonsei University, also noted that more men die by suicide globally than women, with suicide the largest cause of death for men in the UK under 50.

In response to the BBC’s request for comment, Kim insisted he had “not intended to be critical of the female-dominated society,” and was simply relaying his opinion. Despite Kim’s personal resistance, the 4B movement continues to flourish, awakening women not just in South Korea, but around the globe to a life absent of men.

In the U.S., the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline can be reached at 988 (call or text) or (chat).

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