FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Men Get Sick, Too

by ISHMAEL REED

Harriet Freed, in the Tikkun Daily, wrote:  “The original Women’s Liberation Movement was a movement of both race and class integration, a vision of justice for all. It saw female liberation as the basis for social revolution.”

She claims that the movement was co-opted by Gloria Steinem. She would find agreement from socialist white women, black, Asian American and Latina feminists.

Black women have been criticizing the white women’s movement for over one hundred years. They were barred from participating in the Seneca Falls Convention, 1848, and today, black, Latina and Asian American women complain about their exclusion from the feminist movement, whose trends are set by white women.

Nevertheless, those white women and token minority women who’ve been given access to a media have done a good job in promoting issues that affect women. It is because of their agitation that women have made gains.

While black men are more likely to be in prison than in college, and the enrollment of white males has declined so much that some colleges have inaugurated Affirmative Action for them, women are doing very well in higher education. “Women have represented about 57 percent of enrollments at American colleges since at least 2000, according to a recent report by the American Council on Education.” This is seven percent over the 50% that former chief Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said that women had to reach in order to achieve equity.

Women have talk shows like the one hosted by Melissa Harris Perry. It’s feisty and has intellectual heft. She ended her show on Saturday by promising a Sunday show about women’s health. The next day, the first hour included a panel of women who discussed breast cancer. It was informative. I was envious. Why no comparable show for men?

The suicide rate among white men has soared more than that of any other ethnic group; instead of this report drawing urgent media attention, it came and went with little comment.  Though those who label me a “racist” after having come to my work with their minds made up before reading it, I expressed alarm about the rising rate of suicide by white males in 1988. I blamed it on the popular media requiring white males to not only be Alpha males but James Bond and Superman combined. The problem has gotten worse.

Black male health statistics are even more dismal. “Black men live 7.1 years less than other racial groups They have higher death rates than women for all leading causes of death They experience disproportionately higher death rates in all the leading causes of death 40% of black men die prematurely from cardiovascular disease as compared to 21% of white men. They have a higher incidence and a higher rate of death from oral cancer Black men are 5 times more likely to die of HIV/AIDS.” If it weren’t for an excellent health plan and devoted physicians, this black man would have been dead.

MSNBC  has women’s shows and two shows whose hosts are gay and whose central issue is gay marriage, but no show dealing with the issues of American men. I was surprised to learn from Nichole Bowen of The Lady Warrior Project that most of those who are victims of sexual assault in the armed forces are men. Maybe I’ve been watching too much MSNBC, where the impression is created that all of the victims are women. They’re  not the only network where the issues of gays and women take priority over those affecting men. During the same Saturday I watched CNN’s  Fredricka Whitfield discuss the literacy rate among women living in Nepal.

Women have been very successful in using the media to promote their health and other issues. But men get sick too.

Ishmael Reed is the publisher of Konch. In the May issue, Amiri Baraka challenges W.W.Norton company’s feud with the Black Arts movement.

Reprinted with permission of the author.

Ishmael Reed is the author of The Complete Muhammad Ali.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
Farhang Jahanpour
America’s Woes, Europe’s Responsibilities
Joseph Natoli
March Madness Outside the Basketball Court
Bill Willers
Volunteerism; Charisma; the Ivy League Stranglehold: a Very Brief Trilogy
Bruce Mastron
Slaughtered Arabs Don’t Count
Ayesha Khan
The Headscarf is Not an Islamic Compulsion
Pauline Murphy
Unburied Truth: Exposing the Church’s Iron Chains on Ireland
Ron Jacobs
Music is Love, Music is Politics
Christopher Brauchli
Prisoners as Captive Customers
Robert Koehler
The Mosque That Disappeared
Franklin Lamb
Update from Madaya
Dan Bacher
Federal Scientists Find Delta Tunnels Plan Will Devastate Salmon
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Gig Economy: Which Side Are You On?
Louis Proyect
What Caused the Holodomor?
Max Mastellone
Seeking Left Unity Through a Definition of Progressivism
Charles R. Larson
Review: David Bellos’s “Novel of the Century: the Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables”
David Yearsley
Ear of Darkness: the Soundtracks of Steve Bannon’s Films
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail