The Man Flu: "Five to Twelve" by Edmund Cooper

Five to Twelve (Coronet Books) - EDMUND COOPER

There are undoubtedly many factors that influence the trends revealed by some statistics - social roles, required sustenance levels, lifestyle, physical conflict, sacrifice, etc, as well as the fact that we already know that men have lower life expectancy. Men and women are different, but equal. It's a sad state of affairs when the idea that men die younger is wheeled out with smugness as some kind of victory, complete with a picture of a jubilant old woman (are we supposed to assume that she is specifically laughing about the death of her husband or a close male relative?). I fully and completely acknowledge that women have been, and are being, subjected to terrible treatment due simply to their gender - however I don't think the way to address that issue is to put the boot on the other foot and start kicking the other way instead. (Is the notion that your own husbands, brothers, sons, are going to die statistically younger really something to be triumphalist about? Does that make them weak?) As nice as it may be to get some payback, and I'm not saying that towards a lot of men it isn't deserved, the real problem in our society is that men and women are taught to be opposing sides and are pitted against each other; we are stuck in a conflict of men vs women. It's true that men have traditionally had the upper hand, but (some variants of) feminism seeks only to level the scores, or to give women the upper hand. What really needs to happen is that we end the ridiculous rivalry and work together to make life better for everyone. Let's end the gender pay gap, stop women being treated like objects, end the shaming of women, have women properly represented in our legislature. 



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