Here is what thinking aloud looks like when you LIKE men and masculinity

17 Sep

 

manflu

 

manflu2

Trigger warning: evolutionary psychology and the benefit of the doubt

 

I saw these two images posted on my Facebook feed and although I’ve seen them before, this particular trope always pisses me off, so today I am go to ramble out a theory that I admittedly have not thought about really carefully, but I want to demonstrate how my thought process works and how I am influenced by a positive view of men and masculinity. I generally begin with the assumption that there is always a good reason for why men act the way they do. I don’t start from a position of mocking or derision or just plain disrespect.

 

Manflu is a thing in my house, absolutely. What feels to me like an irritation hits my husband like a fullblown episode of pneumonia and the plague combined. I take an Advil and keep going, and he is in bed feverish and moaning. At no point do I think he is exploiting me or pretending or weak or being childish – he is sick.

 

So here is my pet theory for why illnesses hit men and women very differently. For most of human history, we have not had skyscrapers and bullet trains and smart phones. Life was, as Thomas Hobbes puts it, “nasty, brutish and short”. Women, for the most part, stuck close to home tending to domestic work, and the dangerous work like hunting or building or extracting resources or manufacturing was left to men. Both of these roles are vitally important. When a woman gets hits with a cold or flu virus, her work is necessary, but not particularly demanding.  Cooking, cleaning, keeping the baby fed and warm and watching the older children – it can all be done under the duress of a fever and bodily weakness. It won’t be done up to usual snuff, because she is sick and weak and feeling like shit, so don’t expect gourmet meals and a floor you can eat off of, but her work still gets done, as it must.

 

That is how it works in my house to this day. I get through these little bouts of illness without a huge amount of fuss or stress.

 

barn

But when men get hit with the same virus, that bodily weakness has much bigger implications. Men generally do the rough work as part of a team – hunting, barn raising, collecting giant rocks to make the foundation of a house. A man who is weakened in any way puts the whole team at risk.  His body is programmed to react much more dramatically to that weakness and to send him to bed where he can recover without putting anyone else at risk.

 

There is no risk in the modern world, for the most part, but our brains still react as if we are back on the savannah, avoiding lions and patching up our grass huts.

 

Is any of this plausible? I think so, but then again, I have just come up with this idea now.

 

My point, which I know all the trolls will miss entirely, is that when you like men and care about them and don’t think of them as assholes avoiding their responsibility, it is not that hard to explain their actions and behaviours in a positive way. You can let men be men and still be able to empathize with how they experience the world, without in any way disparaging or taking something away from women.

 

That seems to be the main conversation that has shifted in our culture. Men and women are different, and it’s really not that big of a deal. Those differences complement each other and turning the experience of a virus into a competition is just a shitty, mean-spirited, asshole thing to do.

 

So to the women who posted those manflu photos? Stop being such assholes and go take care of your man. He’s not doing anything wrong.

 

Woman Taking Care of Ill Man Lying in Bed

 

He’s sick.

 

Stop being such a bitch about it.

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

 

 

 

98 Responses to “Here is what thinking aloud looks like when you LIKE men and masculinity”

  1. Magnus September 17, 2014 at 13:16 #

    Two thoughts:
    1. on the concept of hard work + sick. Doing hard labour while you have something “brewing” generally isn’t a good idea. So if you have a stressful job, or a hard physical one, you will most likely agitate the illness. At least this is my own experience from when I am hit with a cold.

    2. I think the “man flu” meme, as with a lot of other memes that are negative towards us men are linked to women wanting to feel superior in any way or form they can. Making fun of the “sick baby” would indeed make you feel superior.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ulf T September 17, 2014 at 13:16 #

    A related issue, perhaps, is that at least in Sweden, women take out more sick days than men in just about all jobs – often about twice as much. Yet when it comes to serious accidents, workplace injuries and death, men are over-represented by about the same ratio.

    The problem with workplace injury can of course be explained by the fact that men dominate in dangerous and physically strenuous jobs. But how does one explain how these superwomen, who press on even as their male counterparts go down for the count, still have so much more sick leave even at normal desk jobs?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. John September 17, 2014 at 13:19 #

    Thanks JB, once again.

    You have hit the nail on the head.

    I don’t care if a woman is a feminist and/or a brain surgeon and/or a collector of garbage. “Just stop being such a bitch about it.”

    Now when a woman tells me she is a feminist, I will just politely ask “But you aren’t a bitch about it are you?”

    And she will fall silent, if only for that magical half second, as she realises that that’s all feminism is. The opportunity to be a bitch.

    Like

  4. Ulf T September 17, 2014 at 13:23 #

    Correction: when it comes to workplace deaths, the ratio is much greater, of course – at least ca 10x.

    Like

  5. ar10308 September 17, 2014 at 13:24 #

    I’ve also noticed a significant difference in the way men and women deal with being sick.

    I’ve always attributed the difference to frequency of being of being sick. The more often you feel under the weather, the better you cope with it. And women get sick for 2-5 days every single month, so they are very used to it. It’s just a woman’s burden.

    Contrast a man who may get sick once per year, it is going to hit him a lot harder. Like Kryptonite to Superman, it will reduce an unstoppable man to a bed ridden weakling. If a man’s normal work capacity is 100 and a woman’s is 77 (hehe), and sickness drops them both to 25, then a man loses 50% more work capacity from being sick than a woman does.

    Also, ever had muscle/body soreness from a fever with a lot more muscle and body to be sore and carry around?

    Like

  6. That_Susan September 17, 2014 at 13:32 #

    Well, some of the working moms I know have to take a lot of sick days to care for their sick children — but I think that’s evening out a bit more as it’s no longer so unusual for dads to take off to care for sick kids.

    Like

  7. judgybitch September 17, 2014 at 13:32 #

    Excellent observations. There is a reason sickness hits men harder.

    Like

  8. Greg September 17, 2014 at 13:41 #

    So, it’s okay to show your man that you love and appreciate him by caring for him in his moment of weakness? Wow. The mansick memes that certainly explain why, for some women, their Prince Charming so easily turned into what they call an aluminum foil asshole. I’m thankful there are still some real women who know how to love their man and aren’t afraid to do so.

    Like

  9. Liam September 17, 2014 at 13:42 #

    I’ve always wondered if there’s any correlation with circumcision. I’ve read studies which have shown that baby mice exposed to trauma (pain) in the first weeks of life have a much lower pain tolerance, life long.

    So, take a population, do random, often unanesthetized surgery on them I’m the first week of life, then mock them life long for not being as strong as women in their reaction to pain.

    Like

  10. Richard Ford September 17, 2014 at 13:42 #

    I do not suffer from Man Flu as such but did go down with the Swine Flu when it was around. My initial response was to ignore it and push through until I could no longer do so. I then told my company I would not be in and stopped answering the phone for three days. This annoyed them greatly but if I had possessed the strength to answer the phone I would have been working. My employer was annoyed because of the suddenness of the change. One day I was (apparently) well and the next I was at deaths door. They did not believe me fully as a result. If I had talked about it more in advance or come to work with pills and potions my illness would have been more believable to them. Maybe this has something to do with the Man Flu meme?

    Like

  11. That_Susan September 17, 2014 at 13:51 #

    I think you may have a point there — but it may also have something to do with our moms. As I got into my teen years, it seemed like my mom stopped being so coddling towards me when I was sick and sort of expected me to “woman up” — while she continued being very nurturing towards my brother. But maybe it’s just that he was so much more independent than I was and his rare illnesses gave her the opportunity to be his mommy again. She didn’t seem to have that same hunger to “mommy” me.

    I still remember how offended my husband was with my mom, back when we were engaged and I got into a car accident that didn’t cause serious injuries but did cause extensive tissue pain and swelling for a couple of days. She told him I was being manipulative and wasn’t really in as much pain as I seemed to be. I guess she assumed that because she was a woman and I was a woman, she knew exactly how I was feeling, and maybe she had never been in that much pain, I don’t know. Maybe some people want caregivers to be “just like mom” but I think that would be an nightmare now that I’m an adult, even though she did quite beautifully when I was little.

    I still remember the first (and I think only) time my brother tried heavy drinking and got so sick his friends had to bring him home. She stayed up all night with him so she could support him every time he threw up, because she was afraid he’d choke on his vomit. She even woke me up at one point because she thought we could do the job in shifts, but I didn’t cope so well with being woken out of a dead sleep back then, and grumbled enough that she sent me back to bed. Waking up through the night is easy for me now that I have two children, but I guess I still had some of that evil bitchy feminist lurking in me back then. 🙂

    At any rate, that was the same summer that I stayed out in the sun too long and got a horrendous sunburn. She just yelled at me for being so irresponsible, and accused me of planning it in order to get out of helping her with something she needed help with that day. 🙂

    Like

  12. PeppermintPanda September 17, 2014 at 13:52 #

    I have a different explanation. Looking at the following report http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=4241746, women are 50% more likely to take a sick day which implies to me that men are generally sicker when they acknowledge being sick.

    I am a little on the extreme end of the spectrum but I average 1 sick day every 2 years, while many women I know are ‘sick’ almost every month. Now, it isn’t that I have a super immune system or anything, I just don’t make a big deal out of having the sniffles or having a head cold. When I take a sick day, I am sick.

    Like

  13. patriarchal landmine September 17, 2014 at 13:55 #

    women hate and reject men who show weakness, even if the weakness is unavoidable and genuine.

    this is because sociopathy is a female trait.

    in general, I have never heard more whining about illness than the kind that comes from a woman. every little malady they have is treated like the end of the world. so not only do I not trust their opinions on male illnesses, I can no longer respect them for their double standard about illness.

    Like

  14. Paul Murray September 17, 2014 at 13:58 #

    Ask any triage nurse about how seriously you treat it when a middle-aged man finally actually comes to the hospital (often because his wife makes him do it, God bless her) complaining of pain.

    Like

  15. Ulf T September 17, 2014 at 13:59 #

    In Sweden, that’s a special category called VAB (Vård av barn, or “care for [sick] children”). You can claim up to 120 days of VAB per child and year, and get reimbursed 80% of your salary, up to a set limit.

    But it does seem as if many women use sick days as a way to better ‘balance’ their work and family lives, whereas men have a tendency to instead use flex time and catch up later.

    Like

  16. wqjcv September 17, 2014 at 14:16 #

    Is there any evidence that men are more severely affected by the flu than women?

    Like

  17. The young bloke September 17, 2014 at 14:22 #

    Actually it’s been proven that testosterone is an immunosuppressor.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/man-flu-is-no-myth-say-scientists-with-manly-men-more-susceptible-9024306.html

    Like

  18. Master Beta September 17, 2014 at 14:24 #

    Right. I’m calling bullshit:
    I don’t think there’s any truth to the man flu at all. Illness doesn’t “hit men harder” than women. Just because your husband gets more ill than you, doesn’t mean it’s a general difference between genders. I know plenty of women who get ill often, and very badly. I know plenty of men that I can’t remember being ill.

    I’m almost 30, and I have NEVER had “the flu”, and the only things I’ve been to the doctor for in my adult life are neck pains and a shoulder injury. I’m beginning to think that what other people call the flu is what I call the sniffles, and they’re all just giant pansies. Except it’s far more likely that I’m just healthier than most, probably largely down to dietary choices.
    It’s not just me of course, my last boss (a male) went over 10 years without taking a single day off sick, and I never saw him so much as cough in over 3 years. But another male I worked with at the same company would take about 20 days off sick each year.

    I simply don’t believe there is any noticeable gender difference between the way people handle/react to illness, and I think any statistics on the matter confirm this. In fact, I think you’ll find that young men take considerably less days off sick and visit the doctor considerably less than any other demographic.

    Also, your evo-psych theory makes one pretty crucial oversight:
    Paleolithic humans were ill considerably less often than modern humans. The large cities we live in today are perfect conditions for viruses to flourish. It’s entirely possible that a group of paleolithic hunter gatherers might never have contracted a single cold/flu. Not to mention that those with week immune systems would die young leaving only adults with strong immune systems.
    Ergo, illness isn’t a very strong selection pressure on adult populations of animals, nor on early adult humans – the key word being adult. This is especially true with humans in fact, because our childhood is so long. Any adult paleolithic human has already contracted, survived, and become immune to every disease he/she is likely to encounter in his/her lifetime. The one exception to this being infections of course.

    Like

  19. emmatheemo September 17, 2014 at 14:28 #

    I bet it’s at least partially explained by women’s greater preoccupation with their health. They go to the doctor more often as it is, and not just when a crisis appears. It would make sense, since women prefer better life/work balance and less hardship in general.

    Like

  20. That_Susan September 17, 2014 at 14:30 #

    Maybe this is partly why many women can cope with illness better — we feel more comfortable talking about our problems to EVERYONE on a day-to-day basis. We can be weak whenever we want, with whomever we want. Whereas I imagine you don’t ever hear men “whining” because men aren’t so likely to seek sympathy from other men. They only feel comfortable being weak with a very few people, and basically only when they are sick.

    So while we women are continually letting our stress go with whoever will listen and sympathize, men are kind of stuck with having to reach the point of total collapse.

    Like

  21. moseszd September 17, 2014 at 14:38 #

    I think it’s a perception issue. In the general population men take FAR fewer sick days than women. (Women take 50% more ‘trivial sick days’ as I would call them.)

    http://www.sciencecodex.com/women_take_almost_50_percent_more_short_term_sick_leave_than_men

    So, men tend to go to work until it’s overwhelming. Then they collapse. And, honestly, many of them don’t handle it well because, as a man, you’re somehow supposed to be immune and soldier through all this crap and you have Failed.

    And yet, despite soldiering on far more than women, they get mocked for it. Silly crap like ‘man flu.’ And they’re ‘just big babies, really.’

    Yet, in reality, Mr. Man has. more-than-likely, gone to work, mildly sick, and sucked-it-up without a word. While Ms. Woman has stayed home and/or gone to the doctor for something trivial that no self-respecting man would even acknowledge.

    Like

  22. moseszd September 17, 2014 at 14:39 #

    Not that I’m aware of. But there is evidence that men take far less ‘short-term’ sick leave than women.

    They also take fewer anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications than women. They see the doctor less. They do far less ‘mental health’ therapy.

    Like

  23. That_Susan September 17, 2014 at 14:42 #

    JB did an awesome job of lifting men up without putting women down.

    Like

  24. moseszd September 17, 2014 at 14:46 #

    No. It’s a myth made up by people who make careers out of bashing men/excusing women. The fact is study after study, including one of which I linked in a post I made below (I often work bottom-to-top in blog posting) have clearly shown women take more sick-leave than men.

    Like

  25. That_Susan September 17, 2014 at 14:57 #

    But just because women take more sick leave, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re seeking extra sympathy and coddling from their husbands. The “man flu” stereotype is related to anecdotal observations made by many women regarding how their men BEHAVE while sick — not how often men get sick or take sick leave. Maybe we women are more inclined to notice a sickness coming on, and do whatever little things we need to do to take care of ourselves and prevent a major illness.

    Like

  26. javaloco September 17, 2014 at 15:27 #

    Personally, I think JB hits it at least partly.

    Big BUTS, though.

    1) Is it possible that what the women here see is actually the big one, and that men simply attempt to power through the little ones?
    2) I think it is a bit more likely that the natural nurturing instinct collides with, I dunno, feminine imperative. Sort of like matter and antimatter. Maybe he has a sniffle. She says, “oh, let me take care of that. Go to bed.” Possibly thinking, “I wish he or someone would do that for me.” Which leads to “he’s such a pussy, I am going to post a meme!”

    Like

  27. Zelcorpion September 17, 2014 at 15:30 #

    Years ago before the Red Pill I watched a little documentary about this very topic. They studied pain resistance and pain perception among men and women. What they found was that men are by far more resistant against pain, BUT strangely as soon as a woman is around, whom they can expect some sympathy from, they SHOW a lot more pain and give different ratings than as if they are surrounded only by a male doctor or other men.

    Now the reason is actually not – as some feminists assume – that women can endure more pain. No – they did tests where you simply cannot fake anything and men were by far more enduring.

    No – they found that somehow men are hardwired to show their pain when there is a female around who will pamper them and help them heal. The authors of the study said that in all likelihood this kind of behavior evolved out of hundreds of thousands of years of human development, where a sick man would endanger the survival of the tribe. If any big animal or enemy tribe would attack, they were helpless. Therefore it was paramount for primitive mankind that all men were returned to health as quickly as possible. It was simply a matter of pure survival.

    And frankly it makes perfect sense, since women could take 2-3 weeks to recuperate without endangering the tribe – tending to her home duties at decreased efficacy. A weakened men going hunting or fighting enemies is a dead man – and a dead man sometimes meant the death of his family too.

    Like

  28. jeremy September 17, 2014 at 15:43 #

    JB, thanks for raising this issue – it certainly pisses me off whenever I hear it discussed among women or on facebook.

    Interestingly, pain studies done at the University of Toronto have shown conclusively that women (on average) have lower pain thresholds and tolerances than men. So much for the myth of the stronger female.

    This issue relates to the premise that (most) women have no sympathy for the male experience. Women believe that they are oppressed and have it worse than men, and so if they ever hear men complaining about it, their knee-jerk reaction is “poor baby, you have it so bad…..I have it much worse!”

    This is to the point where I read an article, written by a woman after her husband’s vasectomy. She and her female friend threw their husbands a vasectomy party (the day after the surgery), serving nuts and meatballs and other such foods, thinking it was pretty much hilarious. And when their husbands complained of pain, they laughed and joked about how it’s nothing compared to labour pain. I wonder how those women would have responded if their husbands had a labour party the day after their children were born, and joked about how labour pain is nothing compared to their kidney stone surgery.

    Regarding colds/flu, if a man acts like he is in pain, assume that he IS. Just because the virus did not affect you as badly does not mean that he is faking/exaggerating.

    I have been self-employed for 10 years and taken exactly ZERO sick days. When I am sick, I continue working (unless I am so sick that I actually can’t work). So if I end up sick in bed, you’d better believe that I’m not exaggerating.

    Like

  29. LostSailor September 17, 2014 at 15:50 #

    I generally only take sick days when I have a fever: my rule is if it hit 102, I’m staying home. Colds are dealt with using OTC drugs and stubbornness.

    This is a particularly dangerous time here in NYC. All the kiddies are back in school, passing around and incubating their little kiddie diseases, and then spreading them on every available public surface, especially public transport. By the end of September/early October there is inevitably a rash of colds and fevers. Damn those little monsters.

    But, the thing is, when I’m sick, I don’t want to be pampered or “taken care of.” I just want to be left the hell alone. Bring me some soup if you want, but then go away so I can suffer the joys of recurring cycles of sweating with fever, followed by bone crushing chills and shakes. Fun times…

    But a sammich when I’m feeling better would be appreciated…

    Like

  30. Minesweeper September 17, 2014 at 15:51 #

    Also estrogen is in fact a fantastic detox-er of poisons in the body, and the womans body is designed around removing toxin’s. Not only could men not carry a baby even if it was implanted in us, the toxins it would produce would easily kill us both.

    Which is why in certain illneses you see a way more incidence of males over females getting the illness. Particularly long term conditions – like ALS, autisim (whatever the cause) etc…

    There is also no doubt about it, males and females succumb to different rates.

    When a female has a period she is detoxing for that month, when a man has an illness thats his detox period, as she detoxes in advance of an illness she will recover far quicker, He on the other hand has to complete both at once.

    Also as well, everyone wants to see men strong as they are the last line of defence. If the men disappeared tomorrow, modern civilisation would be done by the next weekend.

    Its a fear tactic as well, in short women are terrified in their core subconsciously when they see men they are attached to or depend upon sick.It’s only then they realise just how much this one individual does for them.

    Like

  31. Minesweeper September 17, 2014 at 15:53 #

    * succumb to illness at different rates.

    Like

  32. valhar2000 September 17, 2014 at 16:18 #

    My hypothesis is that “Man Flu” has no basis whatsoever in fact: it’s completely made up. Nowadays, mocking men is fashionable, so women do that, and since to them it feels rights, then it is right.

    Like

  33. Master Beta September 17, 2014 at 16:19 #

    I fail to see how he “put women down” if that’s what your suggesting.

    JB didn’t lift men up either. She put men down by taking a demonstrably false and harmful myth about men as a given.
    If someone said that women are inherently inferior to men, but here are some good things about women, you wouldn’t call that lifting women up would you?
    If you take $100 away from someone, then give them $50 back, you are not being charitable, you have stolen $50.

    I would like to see the evidence that illness “hits men and women very differently”, before it is taken as universal fact.

    Like

  34. zodak September 17, 2014 at 16:47 #

    i used to get sick but when i noticed more than 1 girlfriend complain about me being sick, i then would force myself to not rest. even when i was going through chemo, i took care of my ex girlfriend. now my current girlfriend takes care of me when i get sick

    Like

  35. emmatheemo September 17, 2014 at 17:10 #

    I haven’t noticed the man flu in my life, so I doubt how much it really happens. I know testosterone is supposed to supress the immune system somewhat, but it’s not good to have an overactive immune system anyway (allergies, autoimmune diseases..). And no men in my life did this man flu thing.

    I suspect it’s how some people already noted – it seems like there is a man flu, because men only start lying around in bed and moaning when they are REALLY sick.

    Like

  36. Master Beta September 17, 2014 at 17:15 #

    “anecdotal observations ”

    Well I’m convinced……………..

    Like

  37. Grant Dossetto (@GrantDossetto) September 17, 2014 at 17:26 #

    Men and women just process pain differently. I can’t imagine having a baby. Put me on a football field though and I will go through the equivalent of ten or more car crashes in a couple hours and won’t bitch about it at all. Load me with hundred pound sacks of grain to stock the shelves for eight hours, have me pour cement, ask my brother what it took to go through Marine Corps officer training. You get the gist. Most women can’t handle that. If the flu shits all over me while I am doing that I’ll feel like crap.

    It doesn’t hurt that men aren’t afraid to voice their discomfort either. If women complained when they were sick then they couldn’t meme man flu bullshit.

    Like

  38. Grant Dossetto (@GrantDossetto) September 17, 2014 at 17:38 #

    Also, how many men carry aspirin with them? How many women don’t? We don’t give girls crap for that.

    Like

  39. Flaming Man of Iron September 17, 2014 at 17:42 #

    I think there are a few things going that need to be analyzed. I know of at least two guys in my social circle, who when they get sick, turn into giant pansies, according to their wives. I hear about this from my own wife.

    But how they go about it are two different things:

    Guy 1: He wants to lay on the couch with a blanket, a hotpack etc and have his wife dote on him.

    Guy 2: He moans and talks about how he might have cancer, or contracted ebola, and truly has a full blown hypochondriac reaction.

    Neither wife is impressed.

    But, what’s going on here are two different things. I suspect with guy 1, the only time his mother would be affectionate with him was when he was sick. He has been socialized to expect displays of love, caring and affection when he is sick.

    Guy 2 on the other hand, just can’t contain his paranoia about how he might get worse.

    Wife 2 of guy 2 is significantly less impressed with her husband. His behavior is so above and beyond reasonable it’s actually damaging to their relationship.

    So, some guys want to be pampered, and others are just, well, hysterical.

    I’ve occasionally been sick, but do not go moping around moaning and groaning how sick I am and demanding constant sympathy. That behavior is what I think at the root of women talking about “man flus”. But it gets amplified by cultural misandry.

    Like

  40. caprizchka September 17, 2014 at 17:59 #

    I agree with emmatheemo’s analysis but that may be because I come from a long line of and appear to be a magnet for hypochondriac females. While their stoic males don’t stop working and doing things unless they’re so sick they don’t have a choice, there doesn’t seem to be any gratitude. Ms. Entitled can’t even handle life outside a narrow range of temperatures. She’s always too cold/too hot and otherwise incapable of adapting to the temperature. Guess who is sent outdoors while she either warms her little tootsies or collapses in front of the air conditioner accordingly? Why on earth would that make him get sick? To a narcissist his illness is just one more imposition.

    I’ve seen plenty of women provision for their own illnesses but not even bother doing the same for the men. Of course that could be some sort of perverse adaptation from feminism–the need to mine sympathy for themselves and then jealousy when they’re *not* victim of the year.

    So many women have become invested in the notion of their own frailty and need for protection (because they’re such “good girls” in terms of obeying authority figures outside the home), that they might not notice when their man passes out while engaging in heavy labor out in the elements. Of course this may be why my line is dying off and that’s probably a blessing for humanity.

    Meanwhile it would seem that women of my acquaintance go around demanding compliance with health authorities, trumpeting their own compliance, seeking validation for their compliance, while meanwhile not exactly appearing to be a picture of health. They seem to do this in order to attempt to persuade me to lend them my vigorous man because we’re “rich” in health if not in materialism (and her man had the poor taste to fail to provision her sufficiently by her standards). Of course they don’t actually want to *pay* for that help they feel entitled too–that would cut into their hypochondriac provisioning.

    It is my own theory that a variety of hormones are in play many of which respond to group pressure. Poor thyroid activity seems to go along with low testosterone, which, perversely, is regularly demonized by the “authorities”. Whereas women make less testosterone than men that doesn’t mean that lower testosterone women are somehow “more feminine” than other women, if “feminine” means to be “caring”. Quite the opposite in my observation.

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  41. Ike Ashley September 17, 2014 at 18:02 #

    When my girlfriend is sick, STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES. I typically go on fluid duty. Soups, Gatorade, tea, you name it. I take care of my lady. When I’m sick, STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES, my girlfriend typically goes on fluid duty. Soups, Gatorade etc etc. Gender doesn’t matter. Some people just want to keep working till they pass out and some people want to stay at home when they get sick.

    Like

  42. caprizchka September 17, 2014 at 18:09 #

    I think that you and I are on the same page (please see my comment) and as a young man your higher testosterone protects you. What possible reason would old men have for demonizing testosterone (and pandering to women on the subject)? How about that they have less of it.

    Like

  43. caprizchka September 17, 2014 at 18:18 #

    My observation of FtM’s (women taking testosterone because they believe themselves to be transgendered) is that they get sick less than their more “feminine” female partners.

    Like

  44. That_Susan September 17, 2014 at 18:34 #

    This comment of his seemed just a wee bit disparaging to me: “Yet, in reality, Mr. Man has. more-than-likely, gone to work, mildly sick, and sucked-it-up without a word. While Ms. Woman has stayed home and/or gone to the doctor for something trivial that no self-respecting man would even acknowledge.”

    As far as feeling like JB took $100 and gave you $50, maybe that’s just how we all feel about generalizations. It’s kind of like the generalizations about women on their periods. While I had some difficulties adjusting to my periods as a teen, I’d pretty well made that adjustment by young adulthood and can’t EVER recall taking a day off from work for “female problems.”

    I actually identify pretty closely with the poster who said he got sick enough to miss work about once every two years. But I do think it’s true that, in general, my sex pays closer attention to the small stuff. I seriously would never carry aspirin with me and hate taking any kind of medicine. My husband did hang on to the pain meds they gave me after the episiotomy I had when birthing my first daughter, because he knew he’d never have access to anything that strong again without a prescription, so at least they weren’t wasted. 🙂

    One very general observation I’ve made (anecdotal, because I know you’re so impressed by those :)), is that men don’t seem to have the same grasp of “normal childhood illnesses” being a normal part of childhood. When we’ve been woken by a child puking in the middle of the night, I’ve had to reassure my child while simultaneously reassuring my dear husband that it’s just normal for children to have illnesses. It’s how they build up their immune systems. It’s actually easier if I can manage the situation without him even waking up, because sickness throws him into a state of alarm. 🙂

    I think this is probably related to evolution, too. It just seems that it’s a lot easier for me to accept that as long as I’m doing everything I can to help my sick child, I can just relax and take things as they come. There’s only so much you can prepare for. In contrast, it’s a lot harder for my husband to let go and accept that there are some things out of our control.

    Like

  45. Sean September 17, 2014 at 18:40 #

    JB thank you. That’s one of the nicest things I have any woman publicly say about any man or manhood in a long time.
    I am genuinely sick of listening and reading from feminist commentators that “male masculine bad ” “female feminine good “.As for this lark about man flu,well it is just downright nasty.
    Thank you for all the good work you do in defence of men in the face of these downright fascist feminist manhaters.

    Like

  46. insanitybytes22 September 17, 2014 at 18:45 #

    I have a theory about manflu actually, I think it has more to do with women and our biology than it does with men. I don’t think men are actually sicker nor do I think they whine more. I think women tend to perceive it that way. I think it is us that make a mountain out of a molehill. Evolutionary speaking, we are rather dependent on men and when they get sick or injured, it’s distressing, it’s directly related to our own survival. When they express any discomfort, it’s evidence of their vulnerability, which then resonates through us and becomes amplified. I hear a woman complain, I think she’s venting, relieving stress, a man saying the exact same thing, I tend to assume he’s dying. His illness is simply more distressing to me and the closer the relationship, the more intensified my distress is.

    Like

  47. Richard Olsen September 17, 2014 at 19:38 #

    You mean like this little nugget here?
    http://www.marksandspencer.com/plain-lazy-pure-cotton-pyjama-shorts-set/p/p22288123

    I’ve got to admit, I do call it man flu myself. I like to think it takes the power away from the virus that’s hitting me at the moment if I can make light of it. However, looking at that particular pyjama set, I can certainly see now, that the correlation between man flu and being plain lazy is there. It’s hurtful and it’s spiteful and a tad bit sexist.

    Can you imagine if they sold a petticoat that had “Virgin – frigid bitch” printed on it? The feminist brigade would’ve burnt every M&S store to the ground. Yet men, they just have to put up with being called lazy, when they’re just sick.

    Like

  48. jmquinnn September 17, 2014 at 20:28 #

    Once again, it’s science…

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/scientists-confirm-man-flu-exists/story-fneuzlbd-1226561786289

    Like

  49. guru September 17, 2014 at 20:43 #

    I admit it. When I am sick even mildly, I am a whiny little bitch. Its fine to have a laugh about it, its all in good fun. I am of course an epic slayer of spiders, which terrorize my wife to the point of complete incapacity. Its fine to have a laugh about that too. We are different and our various idiosyncrasies will appear silly like all idiosyncrasies; Its fine to have a laugh, its not fine to be a mean-spirited evil cunt/asshole.

    Like

  50. The Real Peterman September 17, 2014 at 22:30 #

    I just think that our culture laughs at men who show.weakness, so we don’t show it unless it’s really bad.

    Like

  51. The Real Peterman September 17, 2014 at 22:31 #

    Soind like you have a good thing going 🙂

    Like

  52. Shane September 18, 2014 at 01:12 #

    I read this piece this morning and thought about it all day.

    Men don’t get sicker than women, they get shamed for getting sick in the first place. Hey ladies, when you say “He never shares his feelings with me.” I think, no shit. You’ve probably told him in no uncertain terms that any weakness on his part is unattractive to you and he does not get to complain. Ever. That’s what this Man Flu bullshit is all about. Shaming men for weakness, even something as minor as a cold.

    Now, about the way women perceive illness is different too. When there’s an illness in our house, my reaction is pretty pragmatic and logical. 1. Get the fuck away from me and 2. Go to bed. But Mom has to Mom. She has to fuss and concoct potions to ward off evil spirits and hold beside exorcisms to make sure they patient will make it. It’s full on nurture mode. So, when Mom gets sick, she gets a dose of my reaction and when I get sick, I get hers. Hers is far more labour intensive, but I didn’t ask for it. So it appears I’m whining when really she’s the one projecting her over the top nurturing and saying I’m a big baby. No, I’m sick. Leave me alone and I’ll sleep it off.

    No I don’t think the strength of illness is different between the genders. It’s just one is allowed to be sick and the other one isn’t.

    Like

  53. RS September 18, 2014 at 04:23 #

    I was thinking the same thing. I don’t sick all the often– twice a year maybe. But my husband gets sick far less frequently. I think, in 20 years at his job, he’s has missed two days because of illness. He has to be near death’s door to call in sick. My colds are usually mild irritations but they do pop up with a certain regularity. My husband’s are rare but a lot rougher.

    Like

  54. RS September 18, 2014 at 04:36 #

    That’s how my husband is. He just wants to sleep. He really isn’t a baby at all. My dad though…;) I kid, I kid.

    Like

  55. Terry September 18, 2014 at 07:04 #

    I’ve never understood this idea of mocking men when they’re feeling sick and admit it.

    If men don’t admit they’re sick or seek treatment, the typical admonishment is ~”You see, men don’t look after themselves, they should seek treatment instead of waiting for their condition to get worse”. Actually, go to any doctor’s waiting room and you’re likely to see at least twice as many females in the waiting room as there are males.

    I also notice that it’s usually women who are complaining that it’s “too hot”, “too cold”, “too draughty” or whatever (which is no big deal, but it’s common.) So, “man flu”, I see this as just another feminist-inspired anti-male message.

    Like

  56. Brave New Man September 18, 2014 at 09:16 #

    Pain threshold is deifferent in women and men. Not that a flu causes a great deal of pain, but perhaps men do have a biological advantage to make the body attack the virus in a more intense way, causing the symptoms to worsen and therefore feeling much worse than a woman. Recovery, however, may be quicker for men due to this. Again, it could all be bs and we just like to stay in bed and be papered by our women eheh

    Like

  57. Spaniard September 18, 2014 at 12:35 #

    If you do not show, you are not “in touch with your emotions”, you have to “develope your female side” and be “more sensitive”.

    Like

  58. Spaniard September 18, 2014 at 12:53 #

    Men working in the plantation all day long…
    Women cheating at home with the delivery boy or reading Cosmo or painting their nails..

    What would you expect?

    In Russia most men do not live longer than 50.

    Like

  59. totenhenchen September 18, 2014 at 13:45 #

    It’s common knowledge that men are far less likely to seek medical treatment for any ailment, no matter how serious. It is, therefore, reasonable to conclude that the men depicted in these memes are genuinely incapacitated by whatever bug they caught and that the women mocking them for it are obnoxious, hard-hearted cunts.

    “Where are all the good men?” they ask.

    “You don’t deserve them,” I answer.

    Like

  60. That_Susan September 18, 2014 at 14:10 #

    I think the bottom line is that we all experience many things differently. Our different perceptions may be related to biology, gender, experience, culture, or any number or combination of different factors.

    Years ago, I had the experience of working in a situation where I was one of the few white people. I was excited about going home to watch “Gone With the Wind” on TV one night, and discovered that — gasp! — my colleagues saw this movie in a completely different light than I did. When I watched it again, I suddenly started noticing things that hadn’t stood out to me before, such as Scarlett and her friends napping during the heat of the day before the big party, while being fanned off by a bunch of little slave children, who obviously didn’t get to take a nap.

    A big part of loving and respecting someone is being willing to take them seriously, even when their perceptions differ drastically from our own. And a loving woman should be every bit as willing to respect her man’s viewpoint as he is to respect hers.

    Like

  61. Spaniard September 18, 2014 at 14:26 #

    I have been a “john” all my life and never -thanks God and thanks to that ladies who are so clean- I had a veneral disease.
    I saw some of my carouseler female friends getting clamidea. One of them got infertile due to that.
    Not to talk about herpes and craps.
    And they never have slept with gigolós. Just regular men around.

    Like

  62. Sam Wheeler-Brown September 18, 2014 at 14:39 #

    JB you make some interesting points in there. I hadn’t considered how historical, cultural expectations and roles could be dictating our responses. I will also just point out that the part of the brain that reacts to illness and causes one to feel ill is in fact considerably larger in the male brain than in the female. For no other reason than purely the number of neurons involved, men do feel more ill than women, even if their symptoms are roughly the same. I am thoroughly enjoying reading your articles, keep up the good work! 🙂

    Like

  63. Saralynn September 18, 2014 at 15:15 #

    http://www.radiolab.org/story/205334-fetal-consequences/
    Whenever “Man Flu” comes up I think about this radio lab podcast. At the end they state that for every pregnancy a woman experiences there are fetal antibodies that remain in her system. And while they don’t specify, they mention that whether these antibodies help a woman fight off infection or contribute to autoimmune diseases depends on if the pregnancy went to term, ended in miscarriage or abortion. Something to consider when a your husband/boyfriend suffers more from a cold than you do. (Anecdotally speaking as the 6th of 7 I can recall my mom being really sick twice in 24 years, she just never gets sick. She’s also been banned from donating blood because a recepient of her blood had a bad reaction from the extra antibodies from all her kids.)

    Like

  64. lisa September 18, 2014 at 15:25 #

    My poor husband has been sick all morning. He rarely vomits so, I know it’s serious. I love taking care of him.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. That_Susan September 18, 2014 at 15:40 #

    You go girl! I’m so glad when other women take pride in being caretakers. This is such a valuable vocation, whether we’re doing it for our families or as a profession, and I’m saddened and angered by the low esteem that caretaking work is often held in.

    With this in mind, men who feel called to a caregiving career are often looked down on or viewed with suspicion, as if they’re just using their life’s work as an avenue for abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. lisa September 18, 2014 at 16:20 #

    It’s generally a team effort getting the boys off to school in the morning. He stayed home for a period of time and managed the house and kid’s. The flack we received was ridiculous. People need to mind their own business.

    Like

  67. That_Susan September 18, 2014 at 16:27 #

    My husband is at home full time right now too. 🙂

    Like

  68. nrjnigel September 18, 2014 at 17:06 #

    I think this is important. It is simply fact that men’s shorter lives are in part a result of much poorer outcomes in health. A large part of thi is down to much later diagnosis for men in almost all serious illnesses . Consequently men don’t get treated early/quickly enough. If men acted on symptoms earlier and sought help earlier then many fewer would die from treatable diseases that currently have much higher survival and recovery rates for women. “Manflu” and other shaming socialisations have a role to play in this denial of “weakness”.

    Like

  69. Reggie September 18, 2014 at 17:48 #

    When she is sick, I ask her if she wants something and she usually wants/needs something. The only way she knows I’m sick is that I say “I’m sick!” I still have an appetite, sense of humour and very strong resilient body. I don’t ask for anything but she insists that I lie down and offers me lots of fluids much to my annoyance (lovingly). I really just want to sleep or watch TV without interruption. She likes to be taken care of and I do that without thinking of her as an asshole (I usually have more animosity toward her for disturbing me when I am sick).

    Like

  70. wdodman September 18, 2014 at 17:54 #

    Mrs Reggie is terrified of Crickets and Grasshoppers. I don’t kill lesser creatures unless they are dangerous or I am gong to eat them so I usually just move them out of the house.

    Like

  71. Reggie September 18, 2014 at 18:02 #

    This! This is the man flu explained. We just want to go to sleep and get over it. She wants to bring us shit and perform her exorcisms. Usually we do to her like we want her to do to us so she usually asks more but she brings more than we ask for.

    Like

  72. JShaft September 18, 2014 at 20:51 #

    *polite applause* Well said, sir, well said.

    Like

  73. Whitney September 18, 2014 at 21:43 #

    Interesting hypothesis. You got my “hmmm” noise for that

    Like

  74. Zane September 19, 2014 at 02:29 #

    Interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised if the physical shut down men experience during an illness is indeed part of a survival mechanism, but I’d like to expand on your theory a bit, and suggest that this shut down is also necessary for a man’s mental health.

    Throughout history, perceived weakness in men has been universally disdained, and it’s tropes like the ones you mention (“Can I bring you anything else, your balls maybe?”), which prove very little has changed for men in that regard. However, the pressure of always having to be the strong, silent protector and provider (the adult), takes its toll, and a minor illness gives men a much-needed respite from this pressure, because it’s one of the few times when it’s acceptable for him to show weakness. It’s also one of the few times he can receive affection or pampering from loved ones. Growing up, I can remember occasionally faking or exaggerating an illness just so I would receive affection from my mother. From a young age I was expected to be tough, that showing emotion was a weakness, and to that end I received very little positive attention—except when I got sick. Then it was perfectly okay for my mother to dote on me, and I get a sense that she overdid it because she too felt like I was being emotionally starved, and it was only when I became ill that she had license to try and compensate for it. What I remember most about those fake illnesses though, is that upon recovery I felt both physically and emotionally healed.

    I’m sure there is also a mental health component to physical illness for women, but women do not usually lack for emotional support systems in daily life, whereas in my experience men typically need to become sick before they will receive the same kind of support.

    Like

  75. Magnus September 19, 2014 at 09:04 #

    then there should be a correlation between countries that do Male Genital Cutting on a large scale, and how many “man flu” outbreaks you get (or at least the meme)

    But I live in Norway, where only boys of religious parents (muslim/Jewish) get cut, and even here the meme is alive and kicking.

    That said this is no proof that we adopted the meme from the US, who are generally cut more often.
    Or that the severity of a “man flu” is higher in countries with extended mutilating of male genitalia.

    Like

  76. Magnus September 19, 2014 at 09:06 #

    I think so, yes.

    I also think the reaction of your employer is one of those burdens men face more than women. Men are expected to push through and being sick is weakness, and men aren’t allowed to be weak.

    Like

  77. Master Beta September 19, 2014 at 10:53 #

    My parents were both very relaxed about my illnesses. My Brother and his wife are also both very relaxed about illnesses. A couple I know very well are such that the wife is a bit paranoid about illnesses, but the husband is extremely relaxed, the opposite of what you’re describing.

    You’re trying to find gender patterns where there are none. Your husband’s behavior with regards to your child’s illnesses is not the typical behavior of all men and I don’t understand why you think it is.

    Like

  78. Spaniard September 19, 2014 at 11:20 #

    Good men deserve bad girls.
    Not “good women”. Cuz “good women” are hidden agenda.
    Bad girls are reliable.

    Like

  79. Goober September 19, 2014 at 16:42 #

    That’s a theory I posted on here about a year ago when you posted about manflu before.

    A woman with a cold can still tend the kids, pick berries, dig roots, and tan hides without isking her life or anyone else’s.

    A man with a cold could get someone killed when his spear isn’t there on time to stop the mammoth from charging.

    To me, it’s simple evolutionary biology. These are the things that were built into us to help keep us alive.

    I also posited that women tend to go through a low-grade flu bug every month with their cycle and so might be a littl more used to feelin under the weather than men.

    Like

  80. Ferrum September 19, 2014 at 20:14 #

    I think you just nailed it, madam. Every time I’ve been sick around a woman, they immediately launch into a spiel about how I need to lay down, drink juices, rest, take pills…. on and on and on and on. Yes, I’m sick, but I’ll get over it.

    When I do lay down to rest, I’m interrupted every five minutes by the lady coming in to check on me. I didn’t call for her. Didn’t ring any bells or holler for aid. Nope. I was just laying there, relaxing, trying to sleep, minding my own business. She chose to check up on me. She chose to make me soup. She chose to make me a glass of fresh-squeezed juice. She chose – and then she wants to suggest that I’m somehow a wimp because of it?

    I would also posit that it’s wrong to say that women get the same virus that men do, or react in the same way.

    Men are built rather sturdy and tend to most of the outside work. This is how it’s always been. We are rather robust creatures as a result.

    What that means is that we usually don’t even notice the little infections that will put a woman in bed. Sure, a woman can take a pill and trudge on, but that’s exactly the same thing that men do all the time. It’s just that nobody notices it because we don’t make a scene out of it.

    However, working outside, doing the grueling tasks that men are known for, places the body under a tremendous amount of stress. That’s why men die sooner than women. It’s not just the workplace deaths that bring the average down. It’s the lifetime of physical strain that takes a toll.

    So, when we do get hit with something that’s nasty, our bodies are already stressed and it doesn’t take much to put us down for the count.

    Basically, we get hit harder because we’ve already strained our bodies.

    I have no doubt that Judgy’s hypothesis is correct in that there could be a safety factor in the equation. Men that stayed home from work were more likely to survive because they didn’t get into workplace accidents as a result of their impaired vision, sneezing, stumbling, etc. Therefore, the idea of just taking a long nap was bred into our genetics. Better that than stumbling at the wrong time when hunting Wooly Mammoths!

    Liked by 1 person

  81. womble September 20, 2014 at 02:29 #

    If you have a look at the number of sick days taken by men and women you’ll find that women take substantially more sick days than men.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10660612/Women-are-almost-42-per-cent-more-likely-to-take-sick-days-than-men.html

    The numbers vary, but it’s somewhere around the 40%-50% mark. It’s worth noting that these numbers take no account of occupation. i.e. Even though men generally work longer hours, in more physically demanding and stressful jobs, they still take substantially fewer sick days than women.

    I’m not aware of any infectious diseases that specifically target one sex more than another.

    The belief that women “solider on” through illness while men scurry away to their beds at the first sniffle, is little more than an urban myth. The reality is that most men who feel sick will still get up and go to work. Often they don’t tell their partners that they feel ill because they don’t want to worry them, or because they don’t want any sympathy, or because they think they won’t get any anyway.

    When men do tell people that they’re sick, it means they’re so seriously ill that they can’t hide it.

    As others have mentioned, many women seem to have an adverse reaction to illness in their male partner. Having their partner express physical weakness is extremely distressing, and I would suppose that for many women it’s much comforting to believe that he’s faking, than to actually consider the possibility that their male partner, their breadwinner, their protector, could possibly be weak and helpless, even for a moment.

    Like

  82. Craig September 20, 2014 at 04:35 #

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4090272.htm

    It’s Testosterone, the higher the Testosterone the worse the man flu. Alas I suffer man flu, real bad. Healthy men with normal or high Testosterone levels have lower immunity, Testosterone is an immune suppressant . So yeah we men get hit hard.

    Women though have a strong immune system and just plough on through, yet suffer more allergic reactions due to auto immune disease, which can be caused by an over active immune system. Consequently men are less likely to have auto immune reactions.

    Worst man flu I had…Which I caught up in one of the ADF’s exercise arena’s. Day before you go home too, always the way.

    I remember waking up next to my wife in the early hours, thinking I pissed myself once. Me, “Hey baby I’m real sorry I think I pissed myself.”, She touched me, “Eeeeewww! Oh I think it’s sweat.”. Took 3 towels one for me, one to wipe down the bed, and another to lie on to absorb… That happened 3 nights in a row. I rekon it was some bush virus like, Ross river or Dengue virus.

    Cheers.

    Like

  83. Wilma September 20, 2014 at 07:05 #

    Anyone with a background in HR will tell you that women are far more expensive employees because of sick leave. And not just for pregnancy and maternity leave. But also for disability.

    My female friends have always promoted self indulgence, only my male mentors have ever recommended such a thing as touching it out.

    I absolutely don’t believe in man flu. Every man I know takes far less sick time off work, spends less time in bed when sick. My dad would stay home for a day, sleep flu off and go back to work in a day. My mom would moan and groan for a week. Made her children deliver soup etc for her recovery.

    My husband the same. My sick leave was much greater. But, when my husband did take sick time it was because of pneumonia, which he recovered from more quickly than i did.

    So my take away is that women resent men taking any time to care for themselves as that is a female privilege. So main difference is inperception of weakness.

    Also, many creatures avoid showing signs of sickness because that is when the predators get them.

    Like

  84. Wilma September 20, 2014 at 07:10 #

    Key thing is these are the wives reports. I can’t think of any women I have known who aren’t bigoted and prepared to put down men and really do resent when they need to help a man rather then the man being of utility to themselves. Even the not declared feminists. I guess this is where the gynocentric hypothesis comes from.

    Like

  85. Mark Currie Waldie September 20, 2014 at 19:15 #

    Dar JB:

    Thank you for the exercise of your just and loving heart.

    In recollection of reality, I notice that women take off huge blocks of time at work compared to men. They use of their sick days and girl-made long weekends are normal. Recall the work of Warren Farrell who established that women take off blocks of time of 6 months or greater 50 times as often as men.

    I could go on.

    The threshold for, “illness” for women is much lower than that of men as is the EVIDENCE. As such, the thesis that a women’s cold is a man’s pneumonia is the antithesis of truth. The evidence is forthcoming.

    Thank you for your wonderful heart and its repeated state of exercise. JB, thank you for being you. 🙂

    Mark Waldie, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. 🙂

    Like

  86. That_Susan September 20, 2014 at 21:52 #

    There’s one thing I’m wondering about. Many of us women find it fairly easy to joke about how bitchy we can feel at a certain time of the month — and yes, there’s scientific evidence of actual physical stuff going on, stuff we have to deal with that men don’t — and yet many of us are still capable of acknowledging how bitchy we can be and laughing at ourselves, and of not getting too offended if our husbands allude to it.

    There was even a hilarious commercial on Saturday Night Live at one time about a medication a woman could take so she could experience symptoms like water retention at ANY time of the month when she wanted an excuse for being a bitch. Do you think there are just as many men capable of laughing about the man-flu stereotype, as there are women capable of laughing about the bitch stereotype?

    Of course, it’s hard to picture a parody of a man asking his wife, “Can you bring you anything, dear — coffee, tea, your OVARIES?” So I guess the parodies of women and men are never going to be exactly the same. 🙂

    And just for the record, I don’t make fun of my husband for being sick and he doesn’t make fun of me, either.

    Like

  87. Southern Man September 21, 2014 at 16:23 #

    Yeah, that’s pretty much what I came to say. I once got a glimpse at HR’s “sick day” report; in my workplace (about 50/50 male/female) women were the overwhelming offenders. My take is that an illness that keeps a woman at home doesn’t much hinder the guys, and for a guy to be sick enough to actually stay in bed is pretty rare. I think it’s happened to me perhaps twice in the last fifteen years, but my wife (and, later, girlfriends) typically took off at least one or two days a month to stay home in bed. On a couple of occasions they were annoyed that I didn’t take a sick day as well to stay home and pamper them.

    Like

  88. inexorablefate September 23, 2014 at 13:16 #

    Interesting theory, JB. Seems plausible to me. We may no longer be avoiding lions on the savannah, but genetic wiring can’t be changed over a few decades of rampant man-hating. evolutionary psychology (and biology) play a huge role in who we are, and ‘fairness’ has nothing to do with. A few decades of bitching can’t rewrite human nature, no more than a few kind words about men can change an ideology based in man-hating misinformation and nonsensical tantrums.

    Also, I’ll bet the tendency of men (real men, not the whining she-men of modernity) to avoid complaining about every little trifle has something to do with this self-righteous mockery of ‘man-flu’. Men don’t like bitching every time they stub their toe, so when something does effect us enough to put us in bed for a few days, women (of the dispassionately deluded variety, not awakened women of your ilk) take faux-empowered glee in pointing out our perceived weakness. A man could spend three years working his ass off without complaint or pause, but when he does need to take a few days off, the women in his life flock to his bedside and shout: “See, you are weak, you are being a baby, you’re not really sick!” in some transparent display of childish projection.

    First time commenter here, by the way. In fact, this is my first internet comment ever, despite being in my 30’s. I never saw the point, until I stumbled upon your awesome little website. This is a place worth having a conversation with like-minded people who are tired of being denigrated by a world so backwards it can watch itself shit.
    Thanks

    Like

  89. Goober September 23, 2014 at 16:04 #

    I think that there is a little bit of all of what you said going on here. My view on the thing is skewed a bit because I’m the proud owner of a terrible immune system that I further wreck by taking biologic meds for my psoriasis and arthritis. So when my wife gets the sniffles, I end up in bed for the day.

    So maybe I’m the wrong guy to be participating in this discussion, because in my house at least, the “women are more healthy than men and don’t react to being sick as violently” meme is 100% true.

    Like

  90. Louie Cipher September 24, 2014 at 05:57 #

    It’s a good hypothesis, I’ll grant you that. But I got a better one…

    In the genetic code, women have two ginormous fucking X’s; this is why women cluster to the average in any and all bell curves (gives it that penile shape). Women, on average, are pretty average. You see what happens, is those two big X’s, back each other up, which prevents a fuck ton of deviation in the code; they also bolster each other during illness.

    Men however, have one big X, which tells him that he’s a human of a particular stock; and he has a tiny y which does little more than flicks the man switch during puberty. This weakness in the code allows for variation and mutation; giving men a mamarian bell curve, A-cup… maybe a B-cup. It also weakens our defenses for pathogens; but don’t worry, it only takes a few men to keep the species alive, hoe-hum…

    Compounding this… basic detail, is that males internal organs are considerably flimsier than female’s are.

    But put that aside for a moment…

    Men on average, take fewer sick days than women do. That alone… that alone should close the argument. But let’s expound upon that shall we. Boys get minimal respect for being sick, and they quite frankly don’t wanna be sick, they wanna be playing; so the answer is clear, just don’t be sick. So as we grow up to be men, we have already learned to refuse to acknowledge a cold when we have one; we can muscle through a cold, that’s fuck all. If we were the pansies those pictures made us out to be, we wouldn’t be able to hold a job. In short, when we’re sick, we’re fucking sick. And never mind the danger we might pose to our comrades if we could manage to drag our asses off to work; it’s in those CUNTS best interest, that their manchildren get better ASAP, because he is most likely, bringing in the big check.

    Fucking bitches, it’s your fucking job to baby us when we’re down, it’s part of the FUCKING contract. Morther up… or take your bills and FUCK OFF!!!

    Yeah… that’s about the sum of it.

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  91. K September 24, 2014 at 11:59 #

    Feminism is turning into female sexism.

    Like

  92. querinca September 24, 2014 at 12:39 #

    While I totally appreciate your compassion, I would say that your case is simply ‘your case’. Individuals all react differently from various illnesses. I haven’t collected tons of scientific data to come up with this (I have worked as a health professional for a few years before going into engineering) but I have seen many people in health and in sickness. I would say that the base constitution (auto-imune system) of a person is a greater factor here than the gender.
    Cheers!

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  93. Raymond September 24, 2014 at 16:35 #

    I’m not sure the idea of manflu stands up to rigorous scientific investigation. In fact, as far as I know there’s been no investigation. I do have to say that some women’s opinions, especially when negative about men, get repeated as fact. the idea of manful being one of them. Nevertheless thanks for looking at it in a positive light.

    Like

  94. Emelio Lizardo September 24, 2014 at 17:58 #

    Sorry but your theory makes no sense, medically or evolutionarily.

    There is another possible explanation, the XY chromosomes. In the female both genes are expressed and a weak gene is compensated by a stronger one. Females average out on everything. This is why the intelligence bell curves for males and females differ.

    Men will have more extreme responses because they either get the ‘good’ genes or the ‘bad’ ones. So man will either be extremely susceptible or largely immune to a particular infection. There’s nothing that can be done about this.

    Like

  95. Anthony September 25, 2014 at 12:02 #

    “yet many of us are still capable of acknowledging how bitchy we can be and laughing at ourselves, and of not getting too offended if our husbands allude to it.”
    Its heavily implied here that you think merit is deserved for your acknowledgment. It isnt.
    Its quite perplexing how your brain draws a correlation between the baseless man flu meme and legitimate mockery of women who use their periods as excuses for shitty, second class behaviour. The latter SHOULD be mocked. The man flu meme is ridiculous and if my mother or girlfriend/cousin/sis used it, I’d tell them to shut their mouth and go away. Didnt mean to offend you, but if i did, oh well.

    Like

  96. Ndoki October 13, 2014 at 01:29 #

    I’ll be honest, I like it when I have somebody to take care of me, but in our household generally if one of us gets something, the other will in time. It’s because of this that we each take turns coddling and caring to each other, and it also means that if one of us gets too needy, eventually the other one will have full allowance to be as well.

    On the other hand a few times I’ve gotten something that appeared as “just a cold” to my spouse, only to have her bedridden for days after she gets it, usually with a lot of moaning about “it didn’t seem so bad when YOU had it!”. I chalk this up to very good acting coupled with a high pain tolerance, but there are times I’d rather just curl up and sleep through the weekend, and my body is DEFINITELY telling me to.

    Either way though, I love that theory.

    Like

  97. cary October 17, 2014 at 04:41 #

    Here’s another theory re man-flu which unfortunately I have to self-debunk at the end. I’ve followed sports all my life and when I was growing up I noticed that I often read about such and such a player or athlete missing a game or event because they had come down with the flu. I wondered how it was that these super fit blokes could come down so readily with illness, and then it occurred to me that of course, when you’re investing so much of your bodily energy into hard physical activity day in day out, then naturally your immune system’s going to struggle when hit with a virus. I would be interested to know how many men who seem to come down harder and more often with viruses do hard physical labour for a living or who do a lot of strenuous work around the house. But then I guess I probably don’t realise how physically exhausting shopping, watching Oprah and photoshopping internet posters can be, so I dunno, maybe the feminists have a point with this whole man-flu stuff

    Like

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  1. Here is what thinking aloud looks like when you LIKE men and masculinity | Manosphere.com - September 17, 2014

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