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Working on the Railroad — in the Victorian Age

How far have we come in the emancipation of men? Have we come out of the Victorian age? We have, but it is now the age of woman.


....continued from previous page

Men's Wages — On Parity With Women's?

How far have we come in the emancipation of men?  Have we come out of the Victorian age?  We have, but it is now more the age of woman than any other age ever was before. 

Average life expectancies for both sexes were about equal for the sexes in the Victorian age.  That was when women were "oppressed."   Now that women are fully liberated, although the life expectancies increased for both, men and women — thanks to the medical advances made almost exclusively by men, advances that benefited women vastly more than they did men — the  average life expectancy for men in most of the developed countries is now about seven years less than that for women.  In some of the countries of the former communist block even far less than that, as much as 12 and even 14 years less than that of women.  After all, communism always endeavored to do more for women at the expense of men, and nowhere is that more evident than in socialist nations.  It always was and still is that the more socialism, the higher the price men pay for the equality of women.

Mind you, there were advances for men, too.  One of those was that the standard numbers of hours worked by men were reduced by law from 70 hours to 48 hours a week, but one of the greatest advances for men was a better system of medical care on the battlefield.  Florence Nightingale got much of the credit for some of that.  However, few people have a clue that it was a man, Jean-Henry Dunant, who created the Red Cross, a system and symbol of peace whereby men could be salvaged on the battlefields, to send them back into battle time and again until they were no longer serviceable, rather than letting them simply die there the first time they got wounded, as had been customary until the Red Cross came into the picture.

Nevertheless, in spite of the callousness toward men, who were being ruthlessly exploited like any other resource during the era of industrialization and still are today (95 percent of all job fatalities involve men), men got the reputation of actually liking that.  They have that reputation until today, as evidenced by what a woman who fancies herself to be a supporter of Fathers Rights, stated in an e-mail message to me, dated Friday, July 13, 2001:

Men are incapable of helping each other, and just like animals on heat they rather kill each other.

They do?  Do they have a choice?  It is women like her who have no compunction about forcing them to do it, through military conscription and, when that is not in force, by pinning white feathers on the lapels of men who won't do it voluntarily, and in a thousand different ways.  Still, whenever any woman is in trouble, no matter how miserable she is and unappreciative of men's sacrifices, she'll never refuse to be rescued by a man.

In a follow-up to her message, the woman pointed out that things are not too likely to improve for men, because women constitute the majority of voters.  And why not?  When men come of voting age, they begin their dying in earnest, often in the service of women.  After all, isn't that what men are for?

men at war, at the battle of Verdun

After the war my father was judged to be 40-percent, permanently disabled.  He received a very small monthly disability payment for the injuries he sustained.  Still, he never ever missed a day of work after his stay of two years in the military hospital, not until his rapidly deteriorating health forced him into retirement.  Three years after he retired on account of his deteriorating health that had been seriously and permanently damaged during his military service, he passed away — 66 years of age.  My mother outlived him by many years, although she had earned a medal too, not the Iron Cross (which, by the way, is not made out of iron), but the Mother's Cross, for having produced seven children, four of whom were sons, of which the three oldest got the honour to lay their lives on the line for their country and "Leader."  The youngest of my three older brothers spent four years on active duty that didn't end until he, just after he turned eighteen, escaped from a POW train while in transit (in a box car) from an American to a French POW camp.

What my father got for leaving his health in the Battle of the Somme was a stay of two years in a military hospital.  In addition to the many pieces of shrapnel that could never be removed from his body, he brought home these:

The medals my Dad got in exchange for his health that he had left at the battle of the Somme

When I was six and had to stay for almost two months in the hospital on account of complications that arose from Scarlet Fever, my dad came to visit me.  The nurses looked at him askance because he wasn't in uniform — and, after that, they tried to punish me for that by starving me to death.  

However, I survived that, because shortly afterwards my oldest brother came to visit me.  He was on leave, wearing the uniform of a sergeant in the Luftwaffe.   The nurses just loved him, because he looked so military and was such a strapping fine soldier.  After that I got special attention, special food and was even cuddled now and then.  Oh, the warm hearts of loving, caring women.

Women adored heroes, especially when they were young, military looking, in good shape and still in one piece.  It is different when men begin to acquire the signs of permanent damages, such as through having lost an arm and a leg, or even if they merely walk on a cane now and then, like my dad had to, and can't wear a military uniform because they were declared unfit for military duty in another war that women with their majority vote condoned then, too.

Quite literally, for many a man an arm and a leg is the price he must pay for being a man.  For hundreds of millions more the price is that of their lives. At the end of the Second Millennium the world population was short by close to 300 million men who gave their lives either in the service of society, home and country, their wives and children, or lost it on account of neglect or deliberate persecution.

Men have a long way to go before they, too, are liberated and can enjoy life to the same extent of comfort, or at least for the same length, as women can.

Continued....

Back to first page and index


For other views of the circumstances that affected the position of the sexes and the esteem in which they were held, see:

___________
Updates:
2000 01 12
2001 02 10 (format changes)
2001 07 14 (added introduction)
2001 07 17 (broke up page into seven pages, to be able to insert this page)
2001 07 22 (added link to The Industrial Revolution and the Plight of Men)
2002 10 13 (minor changes)
2007 12 16 (corrected the statement relating to my father's disability payment)