‘Don’t call me up’

Ugh, here we go again. I’ve spent too much time looking too deep into a message which probably isn’t even relevant. I’m kidding, this is an issue which lies within lots of forms of entertainment in modern-day society. It’s unfortunate and it’s a taboo subject, but it’s one that has had lots of media attention within the last 6 or so months.

Men’s mental health has been spoken about a lot recently. It has been revealed that on average, 84 men will lose their lives to suicide each week in the UK. It is the biggest killer of men under the age of forty. When I first heard about this, I was rather shocked. Men are represented and labelled to be these strong beings who can lift weights and be successful. However, we don’t realise that with these labels comes lots of responsibility and stress. Most men wish not to talk about it because it’s seen to make them weak and vulnerable. It’s completely understandable that they would feel this way, but it’s a shame. Everyone should be able to talk about how they feel without having to worry about what someone with very little relevance in their life might think.

Thanks to the Men’s mental health campaigns and media attention, there has been an increase in men seeking counselling, but the numbers are still too high. Despite the fact that things are good, they need to get better. Let’s look at an underlying issue.

I was listening to ‘don’t call me up’ by Mabel a few days ago. I really like the song and I added it to my playlist as I usually would with a song that I like. However, as I was watching the music video, I began to notice a flaw in the narrative.

It is clear that the female protagonist has just broken up with her boyfriend and she is quite clearly over it, she isn’t phased by it. That’s good, she’s a strong independent female. Great! Despite this representation, the audience sees the male to bee attempting to call Mabel so they can discuss where their relationship stands. He is continuing to be loyal to his former partner despite the circumstances, but she isn’t talking to him. He has no idea where he stands in the situation and in the relationship and he was trying to work it out but she was shutting him down.

Bear in mind that there is a lack of suggestion that he was cheating, violent or a bad partner. Mabel’s actions of shutting him out and telling him to not call her through the use of her music could have had a detrimental impact on his mental health. Imagine not knowing where you stand in your relationship. Your partner won’t talk to you about it and you’re trying everything you can to do something about it, but they’re being a brick wall. How is this going to be any help to you whatsoever? Exactly, it’s not. You’ll probably begin to feel isolated and lonely and that isn’t okay.

Obviously, this doesn’t just apply to men nor is it only prominent in this music video in particular. There are many more artists that have used this technique to describe their feelings but enough is enough. Let’s think about the bigger picture.

The next time you’re in a similar situation, no matter how angry or upset you or your other half is, talk about it, you could save a life.

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response which is too complex to put into words.

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