I’ve always wondered why men seem to be EXTRA miserable when they get sick.
Do they actually feel worse? Are they babies? Is this a mama’s boy thing?
But nothing seemed to hold up (except for the assumption that it was the second thing) between all of them.
Now I think I’ve figured it out.
When men are in pain, discomfort or ill, it’s taken seriously. It’s believed. It’s tended to.
Not to say that growing up my complaints were ignored. I had a myriad of ailments, including asthma, migraines and strep throat that came back year after year. My mom was always there with Saltines, 7-Up, magazines and movies.
Thank god for moms.
Anyway, despite this, women and girls expression of pain is often dismissed as dramatic or exaggerated. We are not allowed to discuss the horrible transformation that happens to many of us surrounding our period. Our headaches, cramps, bloating is only half acknowledged, alongside the eye roll and “SOMEbody’s on the rag” commentary.
Weakness is synonymous with femininity.
We internalize it and start downplaying it ourselves. We go on with our lives, in nagging dull aches, coughs, sore throats, runny noses.
WE SUCK IT UP.
There’s no time to be laid up in bed, especially in a messy house with a kid and a job. As a women you go until you physically can’t anymore.
The Woman Cold is the one where we are visibly sick, but are dressed and going about our day. The Woman Cold is filled with optimism that tomorrow will be less bad. The Woman Cold is just another example of how we underestimate women all of the damn time, never really knowing their true suffering because they learned long ago it wouldn’t be believed.