On the 23rd of February this year four demolition contractors, Michael Collings aged 53, Ken Cresswell 57, Chris Huxtable 34, and John Shaw 61 were killed when the building they were working on collapsed on top of them. These men were likely to have been working to support their families. They sacrificed their lives for others and for their work.
The bodies of the men have still not been recovered. Doing so has required feats of engineering and it was only this weekend that contractors were able to demolish the rest of the building so that they can embark on the excavation work.
The fact is that had those killed been women there would have outrage. Questions would have been asked about liability. We would have been told that the women had been treated as if they were expendable. The lives of men would have been risked to recover the bodies of the women. And so on.
Feminists whinge on a global scale about their absence in the corridors of power. Men remain silent about their far greater likelihood of death.
It is not just that men die younger than women. It is that at every single age group (except for the over 80s by which time they are already dead) men are more likely to die than women.
This is not because men are biologically programmed to die earlier. Male longevity is determined by socio-economic position and women have a more favourable socio-economic position to men.
So what are the causes of the excess of male deaths? In addition to accidents at work, many more men die of work-related asbestos disease. Men appear to be almost entirely responsible for the massive transportation of goods so fatalities here also need to be included in work-related deaths. Men are much more likely to be victims of homicide, both by strangers and where the perpetrator is known to the victim. They are more likely to die of cancer. They are more likely to die of heart disease. By now we all know they are three to four times more likely to commit suicide. What is perhaps less well known is that they are also much more likely to make up the vast majority of drug and alcohol related deaths.
To really understand the excess of male deaths would require significant research into health care spending, gender differences in childcare, consequences of family break up, social networks and quality of life differences. But feminists are in charge of funding bodies and they are busy maximising women’s access to valued resources. This includes money, power, children and wealth. So the research that we need to work towards an equitable system, is, for the moment, unlikely to be done.
(Image: Tom Hodgkinson)