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Posts Tagged 'The Sexes'

What Silvio Berlusconi, Hugh Hefner, Rodney Hide, Brian Edwards and 20 Other (named) well-known Kiwi men have in common – and it ain’t pretty!

 

I recently contributed a chapter to a book called Loving All Of It – Eminent New Zealanders Write About Growing Old. Gordon McLauchlan edited this collection of essays by 11 women and 21 men, all over the age of 65. It’s a wonderful book, full of humour and the insight into the twists and turns, the ironies and contradictions  of life that perhaps only old age can bring. Or maybe ‘getting older’, for whatever year appears on their birth certificates, none of these writers has reached ‘old age’, none of them is old. Invite any six to a dinner party and you would be guaranteed a wonderful evening of stimulating conversation, passionate debate, brilliant storytelling, side-splitting humour and, quite possibly, the heated exchange of opposing views. What defines these 32 Supergold card-holders is that they are gloriously alive.

A quite different view of aging was provided by Sunday Star Times columnist Rosermary McLeod yesterday. In a piece entitled In Praise of Older Men? Not Likely she offers as reality a caricature of older men, so sick and jaundiced that one can only wonder what life experiences have drawn her to these conclusions.

Her concentration is on the physical unattractiveness of older men, their geriatric self-delusion in imagining themselves still appealing to younger women, their pathetic attempts to retain or revive their fading libidos. Equating ‘older men’ with ‘dirty old men’, McLeod chooses as representative of the species: 74-year-old Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 84-year-old Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner and, one might have thought prematurely, 51-year-old New Zealand politician, Rodney Hide.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Women Are The Weaker Sex – Yeah Right!

Strongwoman by Jed Dougherty

 Browsing through some old papers I came across a piece I’d written some years ago about women being the weaker sex. It had been sparked by a fascinating article I’d read in The Weekend Australian about why men die younger than women. And we do – about eight years younger on average, which is a lot, and a problem not only for us men, but for our generally younger partners who find themselves widowed and alone in their late 50’s or early 60’s, with lots of living still to do. 

Why males die younger than females remains a mystery, though there is some evidence that men, and not women, are the true “weaker sex”. 

According to the article, baby boys spend more time in hospital than baby girls. They fall face-down in the bath and don’t get up more often than their little sisters.  They get burned more often than their sisters. Pre-school boys get  poisoned more often than pre-school girls. Teenage boys spend more time in hospital than teenage girls.  Adult males report more disabilities and handicaps than women and are admitted more often to hospital than their female counterparts. They have more heart-disease, more cancer and more strokes – more injuries, more shootings, more drownings, more road accidents.  

It’s a sorry picture. On any given day, a man is 60 percent more likely to die than a woman of the same age. Between 15 and 39, twice as likely. In his early twenties, three times as likely. 

So what are the reasons? Well, here are four of the commoner explanations:  Read the rest of this entry »

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