Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Men Living Longer: Women and minorities hardest hit?

The New York Time's opinion page has one of those Onion-like titles that really makes you shake your head just hoping it's a parody: "Is America Ready for More Old Men?" (via Instapundit):

A recent Times article noted that the number of men age 65 and older increased by 21 percent from 2000 to 2010, nearly double the 11.2 percent growth rate for women in that age group.

What are the implications -- the benefits and the costs -- of having more men around longer? While most experts say it may be only a blip, some demographers say that a surprisingly rapid rise in the number of men could cost society even more in retirement costs, since they earned more than women and would collect more, and they would add to the long-term care problem.


But it's not a parody, it's dead serious and a bunch of "experts" pose a debate about how men dying as quickly and efficiently without bothering women is the best outcome--oops, I mean the debate asks, "How might this narrowing gap change society and male-female relationships?"

Opinions seemed to focus much on the negative aspects of men's longer life on women. For example Stephanie Coontz, author of A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s says " .... a woman trapped in an unhappy marriage might not find her husband’s extended lifespan very beneficial. Among unhappy couples, even a few extra minutes a day with one’s spouse raises blood pressure and lowers immune functioning. So imagine the toll that extra years can take."

Another paragon of compassion, Susan Jacoby, author of Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age seems to think men's sole purpose in life is to care for women. The man's death is a "price to be be paid by a woman." His life is not important in and of itself. Only women seem to have that autonomy. She says, "When a husband dies, the price for women -- and society -- is both economic and emotional. Women will likely face their closing, sickest years without a partner to help care for them. That’s one reason nursing home residents are overwhelmingly female." Note no mention of the huge cost to keep women in nursing homes. Most older men are dead. I guess this is better in her mind.

As they say, living well is the best revenge. If I were male, I would strive to live as long as I could and collect as much of the Social Security benefits and other entitlements as possible. After all, men in the past have been putting into the system for years only to die and give their benefits up--usually to older women. Now perhaps the tables are turning and more men will be collecting. It's only fair.


19 Comments:

Blogger DADvocate said...

I enjoy the irony that the feminist philosophy is at least partially responsible for the closing of the longevity gap. With man women working, mangaging single parent households, and generally trying to cope without help from a male partner (or any partner), they're experiencing the levels of physical and mental stress that for years was largely restricted to men which increases the odds of death at an earlier age.

Many men, such as myself, are adjusting to not having a permanent or live-in partner and enjoying being in control of thier time and life, which makes life more fun.

But, as Helen points out, it's all about the women and how it affects them. Perhaps, Congress needs to pass a law that the average male life expectancy can't be more than 95% that of women and that men will be culled out accordingly.

1:32 PM, August 10, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:16 PM, August 10, 2011  
Blogger Ern said...

Perhaps, Congress needs to pass a law that the average male life expectancy can't be more than 95% that of women and that men will be culled out accordingly.

How many members of Congress (in either house) do you think actually understand the concept of 95%?

3:20 PM, August 10, 2011  
Blogger Todd said...

What is truly astounding to me is that these people can express an opinion like that and not have the first clue as to how it sounds to others.

An old (but reliable) trick is to take any statement about any gender or race and replace the target with another. If you can not take the second as easily as the first, you are biased. For example:

.... a woman trapped in an unhappy marriage might not find her husband’s extended lifespan very beneficial.

verses

.... a man trapped in an unhappy marriage might not find his wife’s extended lifespan very beneficial.

See how easy that is?

3:34 PM, August 10, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...

Todd,

Unfortunately, the same people who bad-mouth men without a thought are the same ones who don't give a damn about men's lives, rights or feelings. If a woman is unhappy (a liberal woman in particular), it's a big deal. They do not value men's lives, see them as expendable or only useful as a utility product for females. They don't have the ability to empathize with men which is what it would take to get them to change their behavior. It will probably not happen by appealing to their empathy (they may not have any when it comes to the male species) but to make their bad behavior have consequences. Then and only then, will behavior change.

3:48 PM, August 10, 2011  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

Among unhappy couples, even a few extra minutes a day with one’s spouse raises blood pressure and lowers immune functioning. So imagine the toll that extra years can take.

Maybe he's staying alive just to spite the old harridan? who can tell? maybe it puts a smile on his face!

4:20 PM, August 10, 2011  
Blogger Larry J said...

They seem to think that men should work hard all our lives in order to provide a comfortable retirement for our widows. It’s amusing to see how our deaths are such a burden on our wives (unless they’re in unhappy marriages, of course). Our deaths are pretty inconvenient to us, too.

What they fail to see is that if more men live longer, there wouldn’t be so many lonely women in nursing homes. As it is, men are often outnumbered by 3-1 or more in retirement communities.

6:09 PM, August 10, 2011  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

I could not read even the excerpts Dr. Helen quoted without repeatedly saying, "Are you f--'in kidding me?" These thoughtless cretins have gone beyond the ability to be parodied.

6:23 PM, August 10, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

Helen said: "They don't have the ability to empathize with men which is what it would take to get them to change their behavior. It will probably not happen by appealing to their empathy (they may not have any when it comes to the male species) but to make their bad behavior have consequences. Then and only then, will behavior change."

I don't see that ever happening. Men will gladly confront other men and call them onto the carpet. Women almost never confront each other that I have seen in my 50 years. Women form social networks and are predisposed toward social congruency (despite that nasty female rivalry from high school). Men form dominance hierarchies, and so men who misbehave get walloped by other men one way or another. And men cannot criticize teh wimminz or they're sexist pigs.

Women, when they see bad behavior in another woman, silently shake their head and remain composed. A woman pays a social price when she launches into another woman, so I can't fault them that much.

If anyone can shame misbehaving women, it's older, socially accomplished women who have been there, done that, and are above routine criticism.

Let's play a game: Think of an individual (man or woman) who should and could successfully write in a letter to the editor of this publication, pointing out the philosophical vulgarity of its tone toward men and thus exposing the writer to deserved shame. Any thoughts? I can't think of anyone.

10:29 PM, August 10, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

NB: One other thing. The readership of the NYT may very well be overwhelmingly female, and so this male-is-not-even-human bullshit was...wait for it...intentional!

10:39 PM, August 10, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

@Todd: There are three infractions against reason that I commonly find made by women. Solipsism. Self-centeredness. The inability to predict outcomes over successive steps (as in chess).

If you find the NYT article challenging in its self-centeredness, try this (from Hillary Clinton): "Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, fathers and sons to combat."

If that self-centeredness and solipsism doesn't knock a buzzard off a shit pile, then nothing will.

It will only get worse. Women control 80% of the disposable income, and they watch most of the TV and read magazines. Advertising is all about women's patronage.

As far as Madison Avenue is concerned, men don't count anymore. Expect TV programming to become much more Hanah Rosin-ized. No fooling. It's coming.

3:24 AM, August 11, 2011  
Blogger E. Steven Berkimer said...

a woman trapped in an unhappy marriage might not find her husband’s extended lifespan very beneficial.


Sorry, but that's the point that I knew she was full of S**t and really just a bigot.

Trapped? In this day and age of No-Fault divorce (at which men primarily are found to be at fault and have to pay)?

I wish I could live in her magical world of Unicorns.

7:41 AM, August 11, 2011  
Blogger Kim said...

Hey... go ahead put us old farts onto ice floes. It is the logical outcome to discussions like the NYT's.

But: when you do come to load us inconvenient old guys onto the cattle cars, be sure to bring a.) lots of body bags and b.) more people than you think you'll need for the job.

We're old, cranky and well-armed, and given the choice, most of us would probably prefer to die on the barricades than in some cheerless managed-care hospice bed.

8:59 AM, August 11, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

well kim, those who type such fighting words are certainly least equipped to deal with such inevitable conflict.

i think these articles are designed to preach to the choir, more than to be read by men and reacted to.

if you want to really get a laugh, read bitch magazine, wherein it becomes obvious that the feminist movement is actually mostly lesbian.

if men as a group are to survive this female-centric media societal programming, we'd be best to just turn the whole thing off...otherwise we'll find ourselves constantly angered or otherwise tossed about by such silliness....and besides, there will always be another spider to kill, somewhere, sometime.

9:19 AM, August 11, 2011  
Blogger Bob said...

How lucky Glenn is to be married to a woman who appreciates men! And, the rest of us are lucky that you choose to blog about this issue.

6:02 PM, August 11, 2011  
Blogger randian said...

Trapped? In this day and age of No-Fault divorce

In a divorce, the lawyers take a (sometimes big) chunk of the total assets. If she inherits she takes substantially all of the assets.

8:22 PM, August 11, 2011  
Blogger JorgXMcKie said...

Men are supposed to act like women whenever women want them to and to act like men whenever women want them to [well, too many women seem to think this way] and if they can't do that they should have the decency to die early, after their earning power slows down.

7:32 PM, January 16, 2013  
Blogger killmenow said...

As a man, let me apologize for taking the joy you ladies have at our passing, from you. I on the other hand look forward to laying you peacefully in the ground next to the barking dog and annoying cats you cursed me with all those long years. Salute!

8:17 PM, January 16, 2013  
Blogger Micha Elyi said...

The New York Times ran this sort of story in the 1990s, again in the 2000s, and here we go again in this decade.

P.S. (Re: Zorro) Hillary bawling that Women Have It Worse in wartime because men die (the lucky bastards!) and women live has happened on at least two separate occasions.

7:42 AM, January 17, 2013  

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