One of the great lies of feminism is that women’s health is more fragile than men’s health. This lie is used to justify excessive privileges in spending on women’s health problems by governments. Governments spend extra money on women’s health because they chase votes rather than focus on the best interests of the entire nation. Barack Obama’s recent “Life of Julia” election campaign is a perfect example of politicians literally bribing women to vote for them. No political party has ever offered the same deal for men. Why governments don’t pander to men’s interests to win votes instead of women’s interests is an important question. The best explanation that I’ve heard of is that men simply aren’t socialised to ask for something they want, whereas women are used to asking for things, and receiving them. From shopping centres designed almost exclusively with women in mind, to (un)equal opportunity programs and occupational health and safety programs that were only introduced for the benefit of women as a form of affirmative action for women in the workplace. Why women can’t simply compete for jobs in the same manner that men do is never questioned because of this delusional belief that women have it harder in life.
This article, and others to follow it, will spell out in no uncertain terms how and why the feminists are wrong about women having it harder than men. This article is focused exclusively on health, specifically the better health that women enjoy thanks to generous state intervention purely on their behalf as well a general societal preoccupation with the health and well being of women. You probably are aware that women live on average not just a little longer than men, but, depending on what country you come from, women typically on average live 4 to 7 years longer than men in all Western countries.
First let’s dispel some common myths about the sex discrepancy between men and women:
One myth is that men and women have about the same mortality rate throughout life, but after retirement men just start dropping like flies.
Another myth, which usually ties in with the first, is that men are somehow less genetically strong as women so they die more often at birth and have more fragile health.
There are a number of problems with these myths. The first problem being that male mortality rates are higher than female mortality rates only after childhood. The graph below shows the mortality rates calculated for males (blue) versus females (red) from 2010 in Australia. At birth the mortality rates of males are virtually identical to women’s, then around the age of 2 they start to vary a little, keep in mind that at this range of the scale small variations can look big because it is a logarithmic scale. These small differences aren’t as significant as the range higher up the Y axis. Yet around the age of 12 the mortality rate for boys starts climbing sharply two years before it starts to climb for girls. It then stabilises at a level around the age of 16 that women won’t match until they reach their late 30s. Then his trend of men dying at a faster rate than women continues throughout life. Again, the logarithmic scale of this graph makes the enormity of this difference harder to see.
A graph demonstrating the male “privilege” to die earlier than females.
The second myth though could still be true, if men are dying at a faster rate throughout life compared to women, then the men might be dying because of their genetic weakness. The best way to disprove this myth is to look at what is killing the men. If they are dying from renal failure, cardio-vascular disease or haemophilia then it’s quite likely they are genetically weaker than women. But if they are dying mostly from external causes, such as neglect, murder, suicide, accidents or warfare, then the genetic weakness hypothesis becomes invalid.
Infant mortality rates are slightly higher for males than females, and although the difference is higher for males in Australia, it is important to note that there are more males conceived than females. Roughly, there are 105 male babies born to every 100 female babies born, this increased frequently of males, approximately an extra 25 per 1,000 births, more than compensates for the increased risk of infant mortality for males over females, approximately 0.5 per 1,000 births. To put this into real numbers this means that for every 1,000 girls born, 3 will die and for every 1,000 boys born, 3.5 will die, but there will be an extra 50 boys born on top of these 2,000 births.
So higher mortality at birth isn’t a significant factor in males’ poorer health situation in life. Even the 5% higher rate of male births does not explain the 57.68% higher mortality rate of males (82.34 / 100,000) to females (47.49 / 100,000) in Australia. Since 51.2% of live births are boys, how do males end up accounting for 49.8% of the total population of Australia? In 2010 females outnumbered males by 90,000. However, when immigrants are taken into account, despite 67% of immigrants being male, that’s approximately 80,000 new males above the number of female immigrants per year, this extra influx of external males is not enough to compensate for the high mortality rate of men. Leaving Australia with 11.12 million males to 11.21 million females in 2010. Importing higher levels of male immigrants is also cheaper for the government when replacing the dying males than to actually pay for health programs that would actually keep the native male population alive.
So why are all the men dying? There are two types of categories of deaths, the first is external causes (non-natural) and internal causes (natural). However, separating these two groups is problematic as men denied medical treatment by the state would count as an internal cause. But let’s examine the key causes of external deaths first.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, suicide accounts for 1.6% of all deaths. However, these deaths are not equal, in 2010 only 545 women committed suicide, compared to 1,816 men. This figure has been consistent for the last 15 years, however, before the Port Arthur Gun Laws were introduced male suicide was much higher and female suicide was about the same rate as it has been for the last 100+ years. Male suicide didn’t actually become so high until the early 1970s, coincidentally at the same time no fault divorce and the family court were created in Australia. However, this is still not the whole story, deaths from external causes in Australia account for 6% of deaths annually and of these deaths 69% were males. Most of these deaths were from traffic accidents, these deaths are often quite likely to be suicides, it is impossible to determine. Did they get drunk and have an accident, or did they get drunk to make it easier to drive off the road into a tree? Sometimes it is argued that young men take more risks, however, depression in males is linked with risk-taking behaviour which again suggests they could be suffering from undiagnosed depression that is literally driving them to take life-endangering risks. At this point the argument becomes a chicken and the egg scenario and without deep insight into each individual case it’s impossible to say one way or the other. But far more men are committing suicide or dying from uncessary risks than women.
Violent assaults rarely result in death, but when they do it kills twice as many men than women. Men are also more than twice as likely to be poisoned than women. Murder is rare in Australia with only 266 murders committed between 2006-2007, however, again men were twice as likely to be murdered than women. In fact the only statistical measure that indicated a higher mortality rate for women over men was for accidental falls at 52%, however the median age of fall victims was 85.9 years old, at an age when women vastly out number the number of men still living.
My hypothesis for explaining why male mortality rates is so high compared to female mortality rates is that we simply do not value male health and well-being as much as female health and well-being. Furthermore that we have a culture that considers men’s ill health to be their own fault, while female ill health is just a tragedy and women are automatically deserving of compassion that men are deemed unworthy of receiving.
Evidence of this sexual favouritism towards women’s health can be seen in how cancer research is funded: In Australia during 2010, 3,235 men died of prostate cancer, compared to 2,840 women who died from breast cancer. 26 men also died from breast cancer, no women died from prostate cancer of course. The Australian government figures on research money directed towards treating breast cancer couldn’t be accessed at the time of writing, but the US government’s spending could be: in 2010 $631.2 million was spent on breast cancer research, (with an additional $1.3 billion for treatments in 2003, more recent figures not yet available) while only $300.5 million was spent on prostate cancer research. A common myth is that breast cancer affects more people than prostate cancer when in fact 1 in 8 women get breast cancer in their lifetimes compared to 1 in 6 men getting prostate cancer. Even adding the 1 in 110 men who develop breast cancer doesn’t negate the point out that prostate cancer is a more prevalent health problem.
Another issue for the men is the social panic over the increasing levels of female genital mutilation in Australia (we’re importing Arabs and Africans, what did we think was going to happen? They’d just stop their customs of human genital maiming at the border?) while at the same time completely ignoring the carnage and harm being caused to men through male circumcision, or as I like to call it: male genital mutilation. Men with mutilated penises often experience difficulty enjoying their sex lives or function effectively sexually. They can be under stimulated, impotent, emotionally to scarred to feel comfortable naked. All traumatic things for men to go through, but are completely ignored by society. Generally if you bring up the topic of female genital mutilation you’ll get a sympathetic audience, but bring up male genital mutilation and you’ll get told to shut up because you’re making people feel uncomfortable even though they’re usually the ones who didn’t get part of their body cut off them. Over 100 baby boys are killed each year in the USA alone due to complications resulting from circumcision, yet most people still believe it is merely a harmless snip. A harmless snip through 4,000 nerve endings that destroys a man’s ability to enjoy sex even if his urge to have sex is still intact. Yes women, you can be assured that you do enjoy sex far more than your circumcised partner.
When considering internal causes of death, or “natural causes” men develop cardio-vascular, cerebro-vascular and renal diseases far earlier than women do, in fact the same is true for almost every health indicator. The fact that men have it worse than women for almost every single health indicator should be driving public health policies to be focused more on men than women. However, the contrary is true. Despite historical data stretching back over 100 years indicating that women have always had better health and well-being compared to men in Australia, we still have an irrational obsession with female health and well-being. Where is the compassion for men? Where is the concern for men? Any talk of compassion for men is usually ignored or shot down with comments like, “but men do it to themselves”, “men are genetically weaker than women” or “men are stronger than women and can take it,” however, none of these responses make any sense. If men were stronger, they wouldn’t be dying so easily, if they were genetically weaker, they wouldn’t have the same mortality as girls until the age of 12, and finally if men do it to themselves, then presumably women do it to themselves too and don’t need all the extra funding for their health issues either. Furthermore, if women live 4-7 years longer than men, then why do men and women retire at the same age? In fact the only exceptions to the non-sex specific retirement age policy of most countries are the UK, Austria and Switzerland, but instead of making retirement at a higher age level for women, they make it lower by 5, 3 and 2 years respectively. That’s right, women live longer, but they’re given far more time to enjoy their retirement than men do. This sounds like privilege; however, it is not male privilege, but rather female privilege.
A recent example of this has been the HPV vaccine program which targetted immunisations only for women. Each year in the USA the Human Papillo Virus (HPV) has been implicated in 6,200 cancers involving women and 7,500 cancers involving men. It kills more men than women and it spreads both through vaginal and anal sex. In Australia the government decided they would only immunise one sex to reduce the cost of the vaccination program. So they immunised only the women. Even though more men die from it, even though it wouldn’t protect homosexual men, even though there are less men than women in Australia so it would be cheaper to immunise the men, even though men earn more money and pay more taxes so the increase in their life span would maintain higher government revenues and last of all, even though this would be a waste of time because the HPV would continue to be persistent in the homosexual/bisexual male community and it would eventually mutate rendering the vaccine a waste of time and money. Women, you clearly have some privilege over government spending that defies not simply rationality but greed. The next time one of your sons, brothers, fathers or male friends is dying from anal or penile cancer caused by HPV, remember which sex got offered the vaccine. You’re not a victim class, you’re a privileged upper class when it comes to health.
I could keep going on with more examples such as better funding for screenings from breast cancer, the $1.3 billion annually going to subsidise the treatment of breast cancer in women (but not in men) in the USA so that women don’t have to pay as expensive health insurance, while men are expected to pay the full cost of their prostate cancer treatment (and the women’s breast cancer treatment through their taxes). I could talk about the 30 million men being tricked into circumcision because of a faked study suggesting it offered protection again HIV infection. I could go into detail about how men suffer more stress from being treated to a higher standard of behaviour to women in all situations in life from the family to the workplace and how they have no respite from feminist demands that they “man up” to prove themselves at the cost of their physical and psychological health. I could, but I would need another four or five thousand words to just do these topics justice. So I will have to trust that if you’re interested enough in these health issues facing men, that is to say, that you give a damn about the well-being of men, that you’ll at least examine these issues yourself.
Feminism is wrong about which sex has it harder when it comes to health. Men are the real victims of biased public health programs designed to help women at the expense of men. But this section has only explored a few areas where feminism has created a false perception of which sex needs greater attention to their health issues. It should be clear that men have no special privileges when it comes to health. However, women’s health, both physically and psychologically, is taken very seriously, is far better funded, and women are privileged with longer healthier lives when compared to men because of the social and political privileges that are exclusive to women. Hence health is a men’s rights issue that needs to be addressed.
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