Author Archives: MBGriggs

The Weaker Sex?

Mary Beth Griggs

The headline of Michelle Robert’s article on the BBCWhy men are the weaker sex” was definitely enough to grab my attention.

The article points out that men apparently are more likely to die sooner, be overweight, get cancer, have a heart attack or commit suicide.  It continues by saying that almost all of these things could be prevented if men were less likely to over-smoke, over-drink, over-eat, and were more likely to actually go to the doctor or ask for help.

It’s the classic “men never stop to ask for directions” cliché, except the consequences have the potential to be deadly.

Poor men. I was really starting to feel bad for them, until I got halfway down the page and found out that the onus was not on men to do a better job of taking care of themselves, and consult with medical experts, but it was society’s fault for being too feminized.

Yes… it turns out that the Health care system is just geared towards women, leaving men helpless to do anything about it. And why? If you watch the video at the top of the article you will see one man, acting as an expert, talking about how health care was geared towards women because it was open during business hours, and women don’t work like men do. “One issue is that the health system is not working for them. Services are not very male friendly.” Said Peter Baker of the Men’s Health Forum.

Hm. Let that float around in your head for a while.

It then had a quote from another ‘expert’ from a suicide-prevention group that said that it was women’s fault again. Ms. Nicola Peckett dominated the last 170 words of the story, saying things like; “It’s not simply just that men are not seeking help. We need to look deeper than this.” “Could it be because our society favours girls or that we expect too much of our men?” and “There is anecdotal evidence that traditional male jobs are disappearing and more feminine skill roles are taking their place.

“We also know that men who lose their employment can feel emasculated.

“And because they tend to bottle up their feelings and don’t like to talk about things, problems can spiral out of control.”

So essentially, women are able to access health services because they are staying at home, BUT, they are also stealing men’s jobs and emasculating them, and society is favoring women, but expecting too much of men, who just can’t talk about it.

While it may be true that there are societal pressures on men to be all manly and not show pain- (see Dana Jennings great Op-Ed on the subject) blaming women for the poor health of men is beyond belief. There are no studies to back up the assertion, though apparently people at Peckett’s organization are gathering researchers to look into the subject.

It is not women’s fault that men are being idiots about their health. Just because women tend to bother exercising, eating well, and going to the doctor, doesn’t mean that men can’t do the same thing. There’s no reason for any of those things to have a gender bias, and ZERO reason for men to blame women for what is essentially their health problem.