Tue, 11 Oct 2005

Masculinity a health hazard

An eye-catching headline from The Age today: Masculinity a health hazard. Not that it's anything terribly new when you think about it: men die an average of 7 years earlier than women, young men have 4 times the accidental death rate of young women, and so on. The causes are also predictable: masculinity encourages us work too hard for too long, take too many risks, shun personal relationships and avoid the doctor at all costs.

The call to action should then sound reasonable enough, right? "What we need to confront is the outdated belief that men are impregnable, that risking life and limb is OK, that medical check-ups, diets and keep-fit regimes are to be avoided as unnecessary, that a man's job is never more than bringing home the bacon, and that their families do not need them as much as mothers. Instead, men should be as sure as women that they must live, and live healthy lives, for all their sakes."

Hear hear. Hopefully I've managed to do this in my own life (well, except the part about medical check-ups...but I'm working on it). Meaning I should live longer, right? I can alread hear people chuckling at that suggestion :-)

Unfortunately, masculinity also encourages us to ignore other people's advice, especially when it challenges our masculinity.