Men’s Health: Don’t laugh, this is serious…

by |August 24, 2011

A timely reminder of the dangers of man-flu, from a man who, after three days, rose again.

(Question from Toni W, your female editor: How did you get that huge rock away from the front of your cave?)

One of the strangest and least understood varieties of the flu virus is the man-flu. For many years, men who were unlucky enough to contract the illness were thought to have had a bog-standard flu. Their complaints, their miseries went unheeded. They were told, in no uncertain terms, to ‘buck up.’ Wives, lovers, mothers, sisters, female friends and work colleagues alike treated their suffering menfolk with a cruel levity. We now know how wrong these women were. Shame, womenfolk, shame.

Recent studies have revealed what men with the dreaded illness have always felt to be true. Namely, their suffering bore no resemblance to the inconsequential suffering of their womenfolk. Women with the flu, it was noted, could, and often did, manage to get on with their day. They would complete chores, meet deadlines, go to work, drive, get amorous, in short, seem utterly unaffected by the virus they were carrying. While men with the flu were totally incapacitated.

Scientists have discovered a reason for this. Man-flu is a potent strain of the flu virus which women cannot contract. I quote at length from a recently published paper on the subject:

“Like most recessive sex-linked, X chromosome disorders, man-flu is more likely to occur in males than females. This is because females have two X chromosomes while males have only one, so the defective gene is guaranteed to manifest in any male who carries it. Because females have two X chromosomes and man-flu is rare, the chance of a female having two defective copies of the gene is very low, so females are almost exclusively asymptomatic carriers of the disorder. Female carriers can inherit the defective gene from either their mother or father, or it may be a new mutation. Only under rare circumstances do females contract man-flu – none have been known to survive.

(Ed.’s comment: cite your reference please! Nature? The New Scientist?)

These findings come too late for many sufferers of man-flu. For though the virus is not fatal and men do eventually recover, men who suffered while the world was ignorant of the true nature of the virus will always bear the psychological scars inflicted by the taunts and cruelties of their womenfolk.

(Ed.’s comment: Phu-leese. Try 27 hours of labour!)

Some women may dispute these findings, but I say to them, look into your hearts, what have men to gain from trying deceive you? Your cruel jests? Your disdain? Your laughter? Your rolling eyes? Your half-hearted expressions of concern? Your disbelieving shakes of the head? Those snatches of conversation overheard wherein their pain is the subject of shared feminine mirth?

Share your experiences of man-flu with me. I’m happy to hear from the sufferer and from those who treated the sufferer cruelly. Confess your sins, womenfolk, it will make you feel better.

(Ed.’s comment: Feeling better? Don’t bother coming back into the office!)


UPDATE: Since posting this piece new evidence has come to light – video evidence


Books to buy your ailing lad…

Diagnosis Male

by Troy Harvey

A series of laugh-out-loud funny tales about Troy Harvey’s visits to various doctors for a variety of ailments.

From hypnotherapists to psychologists and GPs, men will relate, and women will enjoy getting a man’s perspective on health matters.

It’s a known fact that males don′t like going to the doctor’s. Whether it’s the discomfort of having a stranger & get intimate with you, or just sitting in a waiting room that’s infested with germs – most men will go to extreme lengths to put off the inevitable.

That’s because when we are finally made to go – usually under pressure from someone just trying to stop us complaining – the little things we convince ourselves are nothing serious become blown out of proportion.

Indigestion becomes a heart attack.

Knee pain becomes MS.

A small itch becomes a flesh-eating virus.

The possibilities are endless – and in Troy Harvey’s case, hilarious …

Click here to read an extract from this book.

Buy your copy here

Trust Me, I’m Dr. Ozzy: Advice from Rock’s Ultimate Survivor

by Ozzy Osbourne

By rights, Ozzy Osbourne should not be alive. He spent forty years on a hell-raising, bat-biting, ant-snorting*, drink and drug-fuelled bender. He broke his neck going two miles an hour on a quad bike and died twice in a chemically induced coma.

And yet – at 62 years old – he is healthier and happier than ever. He is a walking medical miracle. So who better to offer the public medical advice and support? In May 2010 the Sunday Times invited ‘Dr’ Ozzy to be their new Agony Uncle.

Since then he has answered questions ranging from dog depression to snoring to third nipples…and has also tackled more serious questions with his trademark humour and hard-won wisdom. The column has become such a phenomenon that Dr Ozzy has now decided to gather together all his advice into one handy guide. Ozzy’s motto is that if he can survive and enjoy a happy and healthy life – then *anyone* can.

And enjoy a very good laugh along the way.

* Yes. You read that right.

Click here to read an extract from this book.

Pre-order your copy here

The Male Brain

by Louann Brizendine

From the author of the groundbreaking, international bestseller The Female Brain comes the eagerly awaited follow-up which demystifies the intricacies of the male brain.

Did you know that the male brain:

* is a lean, mean problem-solving machine that uses analytical brain structures, not emotional ones, to find solutions

* thrives under competition, instinctively plays rough, and is obsessed with rank and hierarchy

* has an area for sexual pursuit that is 2.5 times larger than that of the female brain, consuming him with sexual fantasies about female body parts; and much, much more.

As Dr Louann Brizendine’s impeccably researched, irresistible guide follows the male brain through every phase of life, from infancy to adulthood, it unlocks many secrets and offers fascinating insights into a range of subjects, including emotional intimacy, anger, aggression and winning.

It also provides answers to many baffling questions and exposes the often shocking gulf that exists between the sexes.

Buy your copy here

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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  • August 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    This is very timely, as I have a husband at home with manflu right now. As he said to me this morning when he finally got up at 11am “You have NO idea how bad I feel. None. I bet you’ve NEVER felt this bad.”

    NB. After giving birth to our first child I spent a week in ICU and had 13 blood transfusions. He has been reminded of this fact.

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