Vicky Mochama: The voice of Metro News.
Men are rebranding their activities — and women are helping
Because it’s 2017 (a.k.a. the future) and I am a feminist, I can get anything a man can get, including the 'manflu'.
|Report an Error|
Share via Email
In the fight for equality, we haven’t yet levelled the playing field when it comes to being sick. Until now.
When my body started heating up with a fever, I didn’t realize I was making a feminist breakthrough. (I mostly realized I didn’t have any medicine in the house.)
I don’t just have any regular flu. I have manflu.
Manflu is when men have colds and have a lot of feelings about it, she says derisively. Actually, it’s a pejorative used to describe how men behave when facing a mild illness like the common cold. There’s an Internet meme that shows a woman in the middle of giving birth juxtaposed next to a man in bed with a thermometer in his mouth. The caption reads, “During labour, the pain is so great that a woman can almost imagine what a man feels like when he has a fever.”
I know I’m afflicted with manflu because I have sent several all-caps texts to friends and family. At 1 a.m. in our family group chat, I may have sent a message about feeling like there are a thousand knives in my throat. I have claimed such despondency that my mother delivered a week’s worth of food to my house. I lost my voice for two days and wrote, “I feel so powerless” on my bedroom mirror. No one of any gender has ever had a case of the flu this bad.
Because it’s 2017 (a.k.a. the future) and I am a feminist, I can get anything a man can get. Including the flu virus and the attendant dramatics about it.
Feminism — if you squint hard at the fine print — says women can now do things that men have been doing for ages. For example: wearing pants. We do that now. We also still wear skirts but that is because modern skirts have pockets — another feminist breakthrough.
But just as we’re scaling the heights of gendered oppression, men are rebranding their special activities. You’ve seen it all over the place. Take a regular bar of soap and put it in a black box. Now it’s ‘guy soap.’ That delicious light-with-hints-of-pear blush wine? Stick a motorcycle on the label, dudes: we’re drinking brosé.
Being the wonderful creatures we are, women are helping with this branding effort. When a man explains a woman’s expertise back to her, we don’t call it patronizing, condescending and wholly unnecessary. We call it mansplaining. There are more variations: manterrupting (when men interrupt), manspreading (when men spread their legs), manboxing (OK, I made this one up but it means when a man is a box). Naturally, the next step in the fight for equality will be when women take over being systematically rude.
I’ve done my part by contracting manflu. I did it for the cause.