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Yesterday's scare with Govoner Calorie Chris Christie of NJ finding himself "short of breath" to the point he had to have himself taken to a nearby hospital and tested for an entire day.

When describing his "asthma" scare later to reporters, Christie aped a line I've heard countless men use when talking about their bodies and their their health:  "I've got kids and I to be there for" (in Christie's case four).  As if men needed a reason to live, and that reason can't be their own precious bodies and wonderful minds.

You see, in our culture, men are nothing more than machines - there to fight, produce, fix, inseminate, and support.  You'll never hear a woman feel she must justify her endless visits to a panoply of doctors; for a woman, she doing it for her, and she is lauded for it.

Our sick culture's misandry reduces men to the depressing level of simply machines to the point that most men can't say they want to take care of themselves.  Period.  It's always got to be tied to his kids, as if a man without kids is less a man because he's not on the hook and being used.

Let's change this subtle (and more often, not so subtle) degradation of men.  Men have value as individuals - not just as fathers, providers, and any one of the hundreds of ways they can be used and their lives and humanity sucked out of them.

Men must learn from women on this.  It's not for the kids - it's for YOU.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So you're saying I need to be more selfish. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mote Dai

    Can do!

  •  I feel compelled (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CentralMass, Melanie in IA

    to question your standing to speak for all men.  Surely if a man came on here and told all women how to act and what to do "for their own good", he would be flamed to a cinder.  Just sayin'.

    That said, I think you're wrong anyway.   In fact, men are all too often criticized for being selfish and sub par parents.  We can't give life, so we don't have that special bond blah blah blah that women do.  Frankly, I love my kids & would do anything for them; but my health is my own.  

    Yeah, a lot of men say what you say; but IMO that's more of an end of life attitude, not a life long paradigm.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 04:49:21 AM PDT

  •  are you serious? (12+ / 0-)

    "You'll never hear a woman feel she must justify her endless visits to a panoply of doctors; for a woman, she doing it for her, and she is lauded for it."

    Women all over this country - still providing the vast majority of child care by every measure I have ever seen - routinely forego any attention to themselves "for the kids".  Yes, we do "hear about it". All the freaking time.

    Christie's issues likely stem from his weight. A man of his stature can afford a gym AND a nanny. What an odd person to feel sorry for...

  •  No, I think women do this more (5+ / 0-)

    specifically, I've heard so many stories, and heard it first-hand once or twice, about abused women who  never left the abuser until the kids were hurt.

    It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

    by sayitaintso on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 04:50:35 AM PDT

  •  bah (8+ / 0-)

    I haven't been to a doctor in 10 years.  My husband's medical bills are too high for us to afford it.

  •  Perhaps you shouldn't post so early (4+ / 0-)

    in the morning? Or have a few cups of coffee before clicking on "new diary"?

    This is nonsense.

  •  respectfully disagree (6+ / 0-)

    In my breast cancer support group, I heard women say the same thing over and over--that they had to fight hard and stay alive because they had young children. They chose treatments that only increased their immediate survival odds by a couple percentage points, even when those treatments caused horrendous side effects, and carried a risk of causing more lethal cancers years down the road. They just wanted to get their children launched.
    That said, I opened this diary because I thought you were talking about the House Tea Party Republicans, mostly men, who say they are being obstructionist for their children and grandchildren, when they are really taking care of themselves. I was prepared to defend men, and I find myself defending women.
    I think your diary carries an implicit criticism of women? Or am I being defensive?

    To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

    by kareylou on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 04:59:26 AM PDT

  •  I think it's hormonal, at least in part. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb608, slinkerwink

    As long as I was liivng as a male, I seldom had a routine physical, and paid not attention to specific health problems of middle-aged people.

    Shortly after I started female hormones, I had veneers put on my broken front teeth, started having 6 month physicals, and got my first colonoscopy (7 years too late). Since I've been living full time as Betty, I take better care of myself.

    I know it can be misleading to extrapolate from one data point, but my own experience suggests it may be hormonal.

    For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to

    by Kimball Cross on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 05:01:04 AM PDT

  •  Here's a nice Third Rail you've hit on... (4+ / 0-)

    As a father of two little kids, I often feel like Christie says he's feels. Busting arse for the family and the employer with maybe an hour a day to myself.

    On the other hand, that's the role I'm expected to play and any deviation results in fighting with the spouse and general societal scorn, so just keep your mouth closed and do what you do.

    He probably shouldn't have said anything and this diary is going to get your tail flamed off.

    " 'You Rock?!?' (But been through less gravel.) My mystique suggests battle. And, what have You?" -Common

    by malharden on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 05:02:21 AM PDT

  •  Here is what made me defensive: (6+ / 0-)
    You'll never hear a woman feel she must justify her endless visits to a panoply of doctors; for a woman, she doing it for her, and she is lauded for it.

    All the women waiting in line at the Wise health fair might take exception to that statement.
    I myself could not begin to afford endless visits to a panoply of doctors; even while being treated for breast cancer I have had to be very judicious, as I am underinsured. Single and self-employed.

    So these women who endlessly visit doctors and are lauded? Heck, just women who are lauded? I don't know them.

    To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

    by kareylou on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 05:02:39 AM PDT

  •  ??!!?@#!?!! (7+ / 0-)

    Sexism,it's what's for breakfast.

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 05:09:03 AM PDT

  •  Is it still Thursday (7+ / 0-)

    where you live?

    Just askin'

    Beware the Spinning Vase of Death!!!

    by AnnetteK on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 05:14:04 AM PDT

  •  well... yes and no. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    malharden, the mom in the middle

    the first thing that I thought upon reading your title was "well thats how men are socialized in this country."  I know I've had that thought when I suspected a serious illness or injury.

    but I was raised by a woman who thought the same way:  that she'd better stay healthy as long as she could for my sake.

    so I think it's less gendered now.

    "I'm Black and I'm proud, I'm ready, I'm hype, plus I'm amped/ most of my heroes don't appear on no stamp!" ~Carlton Ridenhour

    by mallyroyal on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 05:30:49 AM PDT

  •  Who's Preventing Men from Taking Care (5+ / 0-)

    of themselves?  Don't they have the same two legs as women and 10 fingers?  Can't they use them to phone for an appointment and walk  to the MD's office?

    God knows no one is denying them health care options like women are denied!

    Women certainly are not suppressing men's access to health care.  And it's ridiculous to suppose other men are.

    The men you're worried about just aren't going to the doctor.  Most of the men of my acquaintance have to be nagged to seek medical help.  Christ -- they often need some woman (wife/mother/gf) to make the damned appointment for them and see that they keep it!

    I blame individual men for not being adult in this regard.  And no one else.

    This diary is specious claptrap.  There's no degradation of men in this example.  No misandry.  If men are being "used" and their "lives and humanity are being sucked out of them" regarding taking care of themselves, then they're the "suckers."

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 05:33:42 AM PDT

  •  Good in theory... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My wife is a "strong" woman, she works, makes more than me, better education, and all that.  While all of this seems to reflect a changing and more modern America, I think my wife and I have come to a silent agreement that some aspects of our marriage are going to be more along the lines of a historically tradittional arrangement.  

    In other words I will be the one to sacrifice my physical and mental health if such a sacrifice is needed.  I don't mind it either.

    I personally think there is a certain level of honor in taking that role.  I enjoy my life and things like that but in my family it is pretty clear that the male is the leader and part of being the leader is making a different set of sacrifices that aren't suited for my wife.  Not that she wouldn't or couldn't but we both agree that I am the first choice.  

    In the end we know we have to be around for ourselves but since there is no need to hunt for food anymore we have found other ways to put ourselves in harms way for the "good" of our families.  In other words, it's a part of what makes us men.

    I don't think the diary is sexist or dumb, there is value to gender roles, theres value to mixing up gender roles as well, I just prefer my set up.

    Who shot ya? Seperate the weak from the ob-solete Hard to creep them Brooklyn streets It's on ____, f**k all that bickering beef I can hear sweat trickling down your cheek

    by mim5677 on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 05:40:27 AM PDT

  •  It's not that I feel "like a machine"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, the mom in the middle

    ... it's that if I were to TRULY live in the spur-of-the-moment, with no responsibilities to speak of, I'd be dining on chocolate ice cream every night.

    So when I say I'm eating healthier for my kids, the implication is that I'm giving up a little bit of immediate-but-fleeting satisfaction (a pint of Ben & Jerry's) for more meaningful long-term satisfaction (being able to walk my daughter down the aisle, being able to see both my kids graduate, being able to keep up with my kids should they want to participate in sports).

    This isn't a reflection of misandry in our culture. It's a statement of how much I love my kids.

    And while Chris Christie can generally go fuck himself with a splintered broom handle and some turpentine lube, I imagine he loves his kids too.

    Corporate Dog

    We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

    by Corporate Dog on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 06:38:29 AM PDT

  •  Early Morning Spark (0+ / 0-)

    The diariest's premise may have been true a generation or more ago.  I think men today are aware of health issues that can shorten their life and try to live a healthier lifestyle.  

    Men expected to work until they dropped in their tracks and to work hurt or sick.  Women were expected to bear children until they dropped in their tracks, even if hurt or sick.  Some religious sects still promote that expectation for women.  The neoliberals want all of us to work until we drop in our tracks.  Only the oligarchs get exempted.

    Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

    by arlene on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 06:45:15 AM PDT

  •  In the current climate, there is perhaps another (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the mom in the middle, tardis10

    reason why few men (or women or children) go to the doctor when they should.

    Hint: it's not because they have been socialized not to value themselves.

    grieving citizen of the murdered Republic, unrepentant rebel against the Empire.

    by khereva on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 07:08:35 AM PDT

  •  Load of BS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I sat in pain, through pneumonia, sepsis, etc... because I didn't want to waste money on me that could of gone to my kids. Yet first twinge my husband has I take him to the doctors. On top of it, I have 2 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of shorts,4 shirts, 2 dress outfits to go to job interviews, and 3 pairs of jeans. None of them new except for one pair of new to me hand me down jeans. Why you ask?????? Because my kids need the clothes more than me......... I haven't had a hair cut, I go without my insulin, strips, advair, so I can make  sure my kids don't go hungry. So DON'T YOU EVER SAY WOMEN DON'T not TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES FOR THEIR KIDS. I don't know what women you hang around with, but most sacrifice for their children, and sacrifice big. Know why I have a limited DNR, SO MY KIDS WILL NOT BE SADDLED WITH MORE OF MY DEBT IF I GET IN A CRASH.

  •  judging from this guy's diaries (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the mom in the middle

    I'm confident in concluding this is one of those Nice Guys (tm) you hear about on the 'tubes. Pretending to be a "mom" means he's lying out of the gate, and can't be trusted to tell the truth in anything else.

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    Funny, there was just a study about this in women. I think you maybe got the gender wrong.

    The findings released today from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index show that women ages 45 to 64 have the lowest well-being of any age group or gender.

    Fire Rick Snyder Weathering Michigan's recessions since the '70s.

    by jennifree2bme on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 08:48:06 AM PDT

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