Tis the season for happiness, cheer, and...the flu. Most of us are sniffling every other minute right now, going through tissues at an alarming rate, and feeling slightly light-headed from blowing our noses so often. The flu isn’t fun, especially if there’s no one around to take care of us. As a grown up, getting the flu is the worst because you have to fend for yourself, but there’s something worse than us women getting the flu...our men getting the flu.
I’ve never seen a woman in labor before, but I have a pretty good idea of how they act just by looking at my man when he is sick. How can a touch of the flu reduce these macho-I-can-open-your-pickle-jar species into whiny needy babies who can barely walk two steps to pee? I’ve never been called “mommy” by my man, but I’m afraid it might happen this winter.
How ironic is it that even in this day and age, women are still perceived as the weaker species? Meanwhile, when we have the flu and stay home, we still get five loads of laundry done and vacuum the whole house while we’re supposed to be on bed rest. We probably even manage to make dinner and send out a few emails.
Well, it seems that men might not be exaggerating their symptoms. There was a recent study published on the “man flu,” and apparently the symptoms they experience are far worse than what women experience. Side note: This study was led by a man and it was published in a not so prestigious journal, so if you’re a man, keep your “I told you so” to yourself for now.
It started when one of the study’s authors, Kyle Sue, got fed up of being told that he was exaggerating his symptoms. So he did the only rational thing he could think of — man up and bear the flu like women do. Oh, wait, no, that’s not it.
No, what Sue actually did was initiate a study on man flu to prove that men are always right. “Tired of being accused of over-reacting, I searched the available evidence to determine whether men really experience worse symptoms and whether this could have any evolutionary basis.” Because, you know, scientific studies are always correct.
“After combing through the data”, Sue came to the conclusion that men “may not be exaggerating symptoms but have weaker immune responses to viral respiratory viruses, leading to greater morbidity and mortality than seen in women.” I’m assuming the data involved answers from men rating their pain level nine out of 10 every time.
First off, I have to have heart because my man gets sick every winter and drags it out for a whole week. I have two options: be nice and roll my eyes when he isn’t looking or kill him. And well, I kind of like him when he’s not sick.
More importantly, it’s hard to take this study seriously because it was published in the same journal that publishes papers on how we can stop zombies in case of an outbreak. Plus, this study was led by men. If you really want us to believe you, we need to see a woman try and figure this one out.
Plus, the solutions Sue adds recommends to make men feel better during the flu are hard to take seriously. Sue suggests that “perhaps now is the time for male-friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort.” Can you hear the swish of women’s eyebrows raising after reading this suggestion?
Look, it’s clear which species can endure real pain. We’ve known this from day one on this earth, when the first woman sneezed out her baby out of a tiny hole. And yes, of course I’m bringing up childbirth — that’s the definition of real pain.
So maybe the next time you see us doing laundry or cooking when we’re sick, you can give us a break. If you’re going to act like proper patients when you have the flu and expect us to be nice and comforting, then you have to do the same for us. At least give us that.
Because in case you were wondering, we like being nursed back to health as much as you do. So, if we’re sticking together, then let’s enjoy all the perks of being in a relationship and baby each other when we’re sick. That’s one of the reasons why we end up in relationships anyway, no?