Man Guilt

There is a guilt that comes with being a man.  Not only do women have a tougher time than me, but I get a strong impression that I’m a member of the gender that is blame for her hardships.

In fairness though, I didn’t ask for it.  It was my parents’ fault.  Actually, it was my Dad's fault.  He gave me his ‘Y’ chromosome rather than his ‘X’ chromosome.

You see! Men are the ones to blame - again.  Women get it tough, and it’s the man’s fault.

Hence, I have this guilt about being luckier than 50% of the Australian population because I am male.  Well actually, that would be guilt about being among the minority gender because there are more women than men!  And the preponderance of women to men grows with age.

Why are there more women than men?

Because women tend to live longer.  About 5 years on average in Australia, but the result is observed widely in the world (see figure).

And so men are the lucky ones again - men get to choose from more potential partners than do women.

Hang on though.  If women are living longer on average than men, does that not count as being luckier than men?

If I was given the choice of living five more years or getting more choice of partners, I think I would go for the five extra years thank you very much.

In fact, I'd choose five more years of life over more chance of a boardroom seat which are typically occupied by men rather than women.

Hey, maybe the boardroom is the problem?  Maybe while members of the board might be winners in the money and social status stakes, they lose out on the life stakes. 

Seems dubious given that most men - just like most women - never make it to the boardroom.  That is, what happens in the distant stratosphere of the corporate world is unlikely to explain what is happening at the population level.

However, it certainly is true that where you work can kill you.  Every year, a number of people die while working.  

But get this, those unfortunates who die working, 95% of them are men!  This result is true of most nations, not just Australia.

Maybe men make poor work choices.  I mean, it is their choice to work in dangerous professions, right? 

But wait, if men make choices to work in dangerous professions, and women want the right to make the same choices as men, why are they not lining up to take up a 50% share of the jobs that are downright dangerous? 

I obviously do not want anyone to die, but if there have to be jobs that lead to deaths, should we not have equal representation in those jobs so that women share an equal burden with men?

Hmm, maybe it’s not so clear cut.  I live a shorter life than she does, and I get a higher chance of dying on the job than she does.

However, as a man, I may have a better chance of gaining a coveted seat in the boardroom.  A rather miniscule better chance it must be admitted as those boardroom seats are downright scarce altogether.

In review then, the picture is unclear.  I am doubtful about whether I am luckier than women in an overall sense.  I am pretty sure I am not to blame.  But I am certain that I have more guilt about my gender than she does!