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.

More articles by:

Ishmael Reed is the author of The Complete Muhammad Ali.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 26, 2017
William Hawes – Jason Holland
Lies That Capitalists Tell Us
Chairman Brandon Sazue
Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies
Patrick Cockburn
Grenfell Tower: the Tragic Price of the Rolled-Back Stat
Joseph Mangano
Tritium: Toxic Tip of the Nuclear Iceberg
Ray McGovern
Hersh’s Big Scoop: Bad Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack
Roy Eidelson
Heart of Darkness: Observations on a Torture Notebook
Geoff Beckman
Why Democrats Lose: the Case of Jon Ossoff
Matthew Stevenson
Travels Around Trump’s America
David Macaray
Law Enforcement’s Dirty Little Secret
Colin Todhunter
Future Shock: Imagining India
Yoav Litvin
Animals at the Roger Waters Concert
Binoy Kampmark
Pride in San Francisco
Stansfield Smith
North Koreans in South Korea Face Imprisonment for Wanting to Return Home
Hamid Yazdan Panah
Remembering Native American Civil Rights Pioneer, Lehman Brightman
James Porteous
Seventeen-Year-Old Nabra Hassanen Was Murdered
Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail