Disadvantages of being a man
May 29, 2008 5:36 PM   Subscribe

As the flipside of this question, what are the disadvantages of being a man?

I know that men are more likely to be victims of violent crime, go to prison, be forced to fight for their country if there's a draft, be socially expected to hold down a steady job, lose their parental rights in the event of divorce, and die younger. What are some other disadvantages of being a man?
posted by Jaltcoh to Society & Culture (24 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: this is chatfilter, yes, yes it is. -- jessamyn

Refractory period.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:47 PM on May 29, 2008

back hair
posted by Large Marge at 5:47 PM on May 29, 2008

There are disadvantages to being a man? Is this like disadvantages to being straight and white also?

I dunno, everything I think of suonds totally sexist. Like ... it's harder to get what you want by means of flirting.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:47 PM on May 29, 2008

Most of the time expected to take the lead when pursuing the other sex (is not bad but...)
posted by The1andonly at 5:48 PM on May 29, 2008

You tend to be more and more frequently distracted by sexual cues and later at developing social poise. You will be seen as an aggressive person or a threat even when you aren't one. You have external, sensitive genitalia and we have pointy shoes! ;P You are likely to be socialized never to admit weakness, confusion or doubt, and struggle with loneliness because of it. Sometimes I wonder if the money spent on sex workers by men on average approaches the money spent by women on reproductive/hormonal products.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:52 PM on May 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

As a young man in the US, you get to pay more for car insurance.
posted by blue mustard at 5:55 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

It isn't safe for a man to be alone with unrelated children- he could be accused of being a child molester. This is not a perception that exists for women.
posted by Monday at 6:09 PM on May 29, 2008

You are much less likely to get custody of your children than your wife is in a divorce. I hate to mention it, as it is constantly harped on by some pretty strident weirdos, but it is true.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:11 PM on May 29, 2008

All of those answers are straight on, really they are, every single one of them.
posted by Science! at 6:12 PM on May 29, 2008

You can't cry if you want to, even if it's your birthday.
posted by stavrogin at 6:15 PM on May 29, 2008

If you want to stay home with the kids while your spouse works, people might give you shit about it.
posted by crinklebat at 6:16 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

In Singapore, males are forced legally required to serve in the military for 2 to 2½ years, and liable for further reservist training periods annually after that initial period.

Other countries have conscription as well. The conscription period varies, and some places (e.g. Israel) extend conscription to females; but this is quite uncommon, as far as conscription practices go.
posted by WalterMitty at 6:16 PM on May 29, 2008

On closer re-reading of the question, the OP knew that already. Whoops.
posted by WalterMitty at 6:18 PM on May 29, 2008

Not to be crude, but...sometimes when I pee, a pubic hair or something has gotten stuck across the opening, and the stuff just helicopters everywhere. Plus erections are really obvious even when you think they aren't. And mixing erections with the desire to pee is just an episode in frustration. Also I find I do a lot of stupid stuff when I am drunk, like fight with the whippersnipper.

More seriously, it's hard to talk to girls without people automatically assuming that I want to sleep with them.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:20 PM on May 29, 2008

On closer re-reading of the question, the OP knew that already. Whoops.

Me too, Walter. I guess reading comprehension suffers too.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:20 PM on May 29, 2008

There are no universal gendered traits really, so everything I can think of is going to be a huge generalization. My perspective is that of someone who's lived in the the US/Europe their whole lives, in a mixture of conservative/rural and suburban/liberal places. Disclaimers aside...
  • Sex drive, often higher in men, can be a double edged sword (see, look, phallic symbolism already...) leading to distraction and frustration that otherwise may not be an issue.
  • American men now live just five years less, on average, than women, closing a gap that once approached eight years. Male life expectancy hit a record 75.2 in 2004, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced. - source (There are many theories for why this is, most of them reflecting poorly on quality of life with a Y chromosome)
  • Physical aggression, ranging from (sometimes compulsory!) military service to playground tussels, is a much greater part of male life.
  • Many psychiatric organizations seem to think men, on whole, cope with anger and sadness poorly compared to women. Women seem more likely to seek the support of others, men seem to end up loners more often.
  • Men are more likely to end up in prison, and are arguably treated poorly in comparison to female prisoners.
  • Some people feel the treatment of men in child custody and alimony cases is unfair.
  • Males, especially adolescents, are distrusted or thought to be irresponsible compared to women. Babysitting or anything involving children comes to mind. This is part of a larger sentiment that men have uncontrollable sex drives, or are all closet pedophiles.
  • Perhaps bearing out the stereotype, many forms of insurance are significantly more expensive for (young) men.
  • In line with the last item, I've heard it's often difficult for single men to adopt, compared to single women.
  • Acting outside gender roles can result in social fallout. A man becoming a interior decorator, poet, or actor would in many social circles in the west be considered a sissy, or have their sexuality questioned (by both sexes). Women transgressing similar norms may (as things improve) be thought empowered (female construction worker). This ties in to the emotional lives of men as well - showing "weakness" in a healthy way is likely to cause a great deal of ridicule.
  • Being a gay man seems to carry more trouble than being a gay woman (not being gay, I can't comment, gay friends are divided on the issue).
  • Many disorders seem to afflict men more often - Autism and ADD come to mind.
  • In traditional cultures, there can be a great deal of pressure on male children to succeed - whether it be carrying on the family business, producing heirs, or avenging the family name.
  • Widespread expectations of a greater male role in sexual activity - a responsibility for it's success or failure.
So yes, being male would suck, if the alternative didn't (seem to me) to suck more at the moment.
posted by phrontist at 6:20 PM on May 29, 2008 [6 favorites]

Well, you named a lot of the biggest disadvantages so this does smack a little bit of "but other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?" but the biggest one you leave out is the fact that women generally live longer, healthier lives. If you're dead, not much else matters.
posted by Justinian at 6:21 PM on May 29, 2008

In line with the last item, I've heard it's often difficult for single men to adopt, compared to single women.

Err... that was in reference to the "pedophilia scare" item.
posted by phrontist at 6:22 PM on May 29, 2008

Male answer syndrome.
posted by pullayup at 6:23 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

The nefarious dried semen spray attachment.
posted by plinth at 6:29 PM on May 29, 2008

* Whitebread amercians generally lack a strong ethinic heritage.
* Sometimes it seems unfair that other are given preference based on sex or race.
* There is a stigma attached to a male expressing emotions.
* Females are free to dress however they like without much stigma. But when I wear a kilt... + I'd really like to have a purse - really.
* Generally female childern are more protected by the family than male childern - from having to "suck it up" or financial support, protection, and emotional support into adulthood.
* Females are generally better socialized than males - males tend to have a harder time in social situations.
* Men don't tend to form BFF types of relationships.
* In situations where white males are in the minority - there are stereotypes that comes with being a white male.
posted by __ at 6:32 PM on May 29, 2008

Male answer syndrome

C'mon, he's asking about men. It seems like anyone male meets the requirements for being within their domain.
posted by phrontist at 6:32 PM on May 29, 2008

Man (at least in most places in the U.S) often pay much much more than women to get into clubs and bars. It is very usual to go to bars where women often enter for free while guys have to pay, I have never seen the opposite.
posted by The1andonly at 6:36 PM on May 29, 2008

Yeah, there are clubs where men need to, regardless of their willingness to pay, have at least one (usually good looking) woman with them to get in.
posted by phrontist at 6:38 PM on May 29, 2008

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