Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Who really benefits from the 'man flu' jibes?

Happy new year everyone. Apologies for the lack of posts but yes, I've had 'flu. Was it 'man flu'? I don't think so and I'm sure my girlfriend who also had it - worse than me - would agree.

However, the suspicion remains that men make a lot of fuss about nothing. Do we? Frankly I couldn't care less. What does worry me is that men already visit the doctors less than women and the fear of looking like whinging malingerers might deter them further. Our snap survey on the latest Boots advert suggests that many of you agree - although perhaps not for the same reasons.

Much excitement in many news outlets including the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail about a survey suggesting South Korean men 'overrate' the symptoms of a cold. Maybe - but the key point may be found in the final buried paragraphs where the researchers suggest Korean men might get more colds than women because they tend to be the main bread winners, and hence 'may experience higher levels of work-related strerrors'.

The Mail then quotes Dr Olivia Carlton, president of the Society of Occupational Medicine who describea the findings were a wake-up call for employers and Dr John Hobson, editor of the scientific journal Occupational Medicine who says men with colds 'may be under work-related stress, which is something that an employer or manager may be able to do something about.'

Indeed, conspiracy theorists might suggest the whole 'man flu' business is an employers' ruse to get us all into the office when the real issue at this time of economic difficulty is stress at work.

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