Wednesday, December 21, 2005

OHSU board nominee bows out after joke falls flat

I don’t know former Senator Neil Bryant of Oregon, but I do imagine what was going through his mind when he wrote white/male under disability on his gubernatorial appointment form recently while being considered for appointment to the OHSU board.

Please, just for a moment, join me in considering what he could have been thinking. We are told we have the ‘male privilege’, yet when we look around, we don’t see it, feel it or benefit by it anymore.

Men work longer hours, at more hazardous jobs, with longer, more brutal commutes. We commit suicide more frequently, are handed longer jail terms, and serve more of those terms once convicted. The expectation is still, in this era of equality, that we will earn more money, open doors, practice deference, and take care of ourselves last, after our families.

Men, generally, don’t mind that so much. When we vocalize about our lot in life, that there are fewer “programs” for us, less spending on dedicated men’s health research even though we die years earlier, that our children are ripped away in divorce and that when we get hurt or laid off, and have difficulty supporting them, we are thrown in jail, we are called bitter or resentful.

Imagine, just for a moment, that those things were running through the good Senator’s mind when he made that comment. I see, and I hope you do too, that his response was not so off the wall.

I am reminded of what my friend Glenn Sacks says, “when I am beseeched to ‘take it like a man’, I generally find that it is not to my advantage to do so." The Senator may have been just speaking his, and many other men’s, subconscious truth.


Blogger Iguana said...

Great post.

12/26/2005 09:03:00 PM  

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