Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Red Flag of "Man Flu"

I had a very nasty cold towards the end of the month that took me out of commission for a day. As a result I heard a male colleague tell me a story about one of the senior female managers in The Bank. Seems she had asked some guy how he had been, and he’d related an honest tale of feeling like shit with a cold while carrying on working, and she had said “Sounds like you’re taking it like a man”, to which he had said “Thank you” and she had replied “I didn’t meant that as a compliment”.

Man flu.

I hear that phrase and such stories very differently now. My first reaction now was “There’s a reason that woman is single”. She is, and there is.

When women say “Man flu” - and they all do - they may be doing so for a number of reasons, and none reflect well on them. Invent one that makes them look good and let me know…

… I’m waiting…

Okay. Got the reason you think makes them look good? Hold that thought for a moment.

It really doesn’t matter what’s going on in her head when she says ‘Man flu’. It only matters what men hear when she says it. (That’s how to make communication work: you need to understand the other person well enough to be able to say the words that they will interpret as meaning what you mean. Women are lousy communicators: they assume that men should “understand them”.) Some men hear contempt. They hear her being a smarty-pants. They hear her doing grrl-power, they hear “women good, men bad”. They hear another silly girl prattling. Some, of course, think: “What a strong woman, yes, she’s right, men are such pathetic whingers”.

(If you’re a man and thought that, you’re a gender traitor. If you’re a woman and thought it, see the final paragraph.)

Men do not talk sneeringly about “woman flu”. Or any other female condition. The female manager’s remark was a charmless, cheap put-down. I really don’t care, and neither should you, why she said it.

So the next time a woman says “man-flu”, keep her on the “might bang” list if she’s there, but strike her off the “possible partner” list. She has no respect for you or any other man.

Last desperate defence? “Lighten up, it’s just a joke”?

Like a pie in the face: funny only to the person throwing it and the people watching. Spiteful.

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