NY Times ‘Well’ Blog: This week’s worst column in the world?**

Dana Jennings was very seriously ill; he had prostate cancer and was given Lupron, which suppresses testosterone.  He says it induced in him a state like menopause.  In addition to severe hot flashes and inconvenient food cravings, he had some emotional effects.  Which led him to announce this conclusion:

Even though I only got to spend a brief time on the outer precincts of menopause, it did confirm my lifelong sense that the world of women is hormonal and mysterious, and that we men don’t have the semblance of a clue.

And, guys, when your significant female other bursts into tears at the drop of a dinner plate or turns on you like a rabid pit bull — whether she’s pregnant, having her period or in the throes of menopause — believe her when she blames it on the hormones.

Yuck!  And double yuck at the roughly 80%+ of the commenters who congratulate him on the beautiful column and his aquired understanding.  Some comments, though, get it.  It isn’t as though men don’ have psychoactive hormones – some of which may well contribute to making some of them rapists, wife-abusers, self-seeking executives who can steal millions and millions, murderers, leaders who take their countries into war in order to prove themselves, and so on. 

So what in the world is going on?  We have the first Latina nominee for the Supreme Court and the right wing is going out of their way to be sexist and disgusting about her.  Liddy is worrying about her peiods!  So just very innocently the NY Times publishes an article suggesting menopausal women are like pit bulls?

Articles like this are not cute.  It is surely strange to suppose that a man undergoing hormone therapy for a brief time will  feel as a woman does.  Among other things, by the time menopause starts most women have had well over 30 years of learning to cope with hormonal changes. 

What about  all those who agree with him?  Well, hot  flashes, cravings and weight gain are not fun.  But in addition, people have an unfortunate tendency to buy into cliches which excuse bad behavior.  It’s like the teenage boys who  think that getting  aroused means they can just say “I couldn’t help myself,” and the charge of rape will go away.

In the meantimes, maybe the NY Times could think a bit before it publishes an article that sides with the far right’s worries about mixing leadership and female hormones.  And if it becomes one of the most emailed articles, maybe they could put something at least in the errata about not actually intending to defame women and recognizing the millions of professional women who are less pit bullish than some of the male colleagues.


**Title borrowed  from a certain TV commentator whose name I am reluctant to mention ever since he declared Katie Curic a day’s worst person in the world for saying the coverage of Clinton was sexist.

5 thoughts on “NY Times ‘Well’ Blog: This week’s worst column in the world?**

  1. I am just so disgusted. Men are ruled by hormones as much as women, but with more like a daily cycle instead of a monthly one, but it doesn’t get recognised as such. Ack ack ack.

  2. […] June 6, 2009 by Jim Tucker JUNE 6: PROSTABLOG NZ:  New York Times journalist Dana Jennings  (right) – writing about his prostate cancer experiences – has got himself (deservedly) off side with the feminists (and most women, I should think). A quote from a blog: ”Yuck!  And double yuck at the roughly 80%+ of the commenters who congratulate him on the beautiful column and his aquired understanding. ”  READ MORE> […]

  3. Did you seriously say that men who can steal millions of dollars from corporations have hormone problems? That would not be called a hormone problem, that would be called having no conscience.

    I just cannot get over how twisted your logic is simply because you have to put a spin on everything. You took a light-hearted article about this man’s touch of menopause that showed appreciation for what women go through and turned it into men being so terrible because he said hormones affect women during (big surprise here) menopause and how he tried to appreciate that fact. Stop trying to find something terrible or offensive in everything.

  4. Comprehensive reading appears to be somewhat of a difficulty.
    No, I can’t seem to recall having referred to major crimes by men being a hormonal problem. I do recall (I can even read it back here, how utterly convenient! To avoid boredom I will paraphrase:) that I referred to men being affected by hormones as well as women are, but that they do not get those “jokes” about their hormones affecting their mental sanity.

    It is exactly the lightheartedness with which women’s hormones affecting their mental sanity gets “joked” about that irks me, anonymous. I do find the fact that I am supposed to just accept that offensive.
    Since you are so normative about it, kindly give some good argument why I should not be offended in this case (not sure where the “everything” came from).

  5. Hippocampus,

    I did say that hormones MAY contribute to some of the men’s committing crimes. It’s hard to see how anyone who knows much about hormones could question that.

    I think anonymous just doesn’t care to read carefully and think through what we’ve said. he or she is responding to a cliche view formed in advance.

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