Angels of Darkness: Rethinking suicidal ideation from a gender perspective

Proceedings of ‏The 3rd International Conference on Modern Approach in Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2021


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Angels of Darkness: Rethinking suicidal ideation from a gender perspective

Dolores Alemany-Martínez



The prevalence of suicidal ideation in young women might be linked to some distinguishable features that are strikingly common among them. Going further than the medical diagnosis of a certain mental disposition since teenagehood, this research tries to understand the importance of gender in relation to the presence of common predictors in their creative writing output. The corpus for study was based on selected written production by Amy Levy (1861-1889), Annemarie Schwarzenbach (1908-1942) and Alejandra Pizarnick (1936-1972). The authors were chosen as representative female writers marked by suicide attempts. Whether short fiction or poetry and having lived in different times and cultural backgrounds, the psyches of the women present in this research show astonishing resemblance. Similarities can be traced and identified regarding tabooed sexual orientation, maternity as a stigma, a constant fear of social disapproval, a sense of incompleteness and the inner dialogue around different voices of the individual. The findings support the view that suicide is gendered. Understanding the relevance of gender in suicide will help understand the undelying interpretations of women’s suicidality in a wider perspective. This contemporary epidemiology needs to be clearly described and identified to be made visible in order to be eradicated not by individual strive but through social catharsis.

Keywords: women literature; creative writing; suicidal ideation; gender.