Today my husband came back from work and crawled into bed saying ‘Look after me, I’m not well, I’ve got man-flu’.
Hang on a second, isn’t that the same as saying ‘Look after me, I’m feeling a bit poorly, but I’m aware that I’m not really that bad so you shouldn’t really need to look after me at all. In fact I really ought to get out of bed, and if I don’t then you can treat me with contempt for being such a baby whilst you with your ‘woman-bit-of-a-sniffle’ continue with the daily slog as usual.’
Well, apparently not. It would seem that following the tradition of discriminated minorities adopting an insult and making it their own by subverting the meaning thereby taking away the power of the abuse and by extension the abuser, blokes (you, know, the much maligned minority) have claimed man-flu in order to elicit more sympathy than they would otherwise receive by being actually, properly ill.
Now, ‘I’ve got man-flu’ has come to mean. ‘Not only am I feeling poorly, but I am also pathetic and weak so I therefore deserve even more of your pity.
I actually admire this brazen manipulation so I am going to reclaim the previously derogatory term ‘lazy-cow’ and give it a ‘now go peel me a grape’ spin.