Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content


Entry archive:


U.S. politician sends e-mail titled ‘Why Men Are Seldom Depressed,’ offends colleagues Add to ...

Men are just happier people – what do you expect from such simple creatures?

Last Friday, North Dakota state representative Larry Klemin shared an e-mail with all of his fellow House members. Titled “Why Men Are Seldom Depressed,”it was a laundry list of perks that account for the blissful existence of man. The highlight reel:

– Your last name stays put.

– You can be President.

– You can never be pregnant.

– Same work, more pay.

– One mood all the time.

– You can open all your own jars.

– The world is your urinal.

The Republican’s e-mail went public when Josh Boschee, a freshman Democratic representative in Fargo, re-posted it to his Facebook page, where he encouraged folks to “Discuss!”

“I thought it was inappropriate because it was making light of mental health issues at a time when those are under discussion,” Boschee told Emily Welker, a reporter at Inforum.

“[Depression is] not based on being a man versus a woman, it’s based on chemical imbalances.”

Klemin isn’t apologizing.

“It was just something to cheer up their day as they were heading home,” he told Inforum about his mass e-mail. “It wasn’t intended to offend anyone,” said Klemin, adding, “I’ve always been respectful of women and women’s rights.”

Sure you have. Let’s read more of that e-mail:

- “Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed. Women somehow deteriorate during the night.”

- “A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.”

- “A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.”

Nevermind that the e-mail is in fact completely misogynistic, it also makes men look dumb.

The gendered-depression argument is also increasingly outdated: A 2011 report in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggested that men are especially poised to suffer depression as the economy flounders, manufacturing jobs continue to disappear and women become primary breadwinners, shifting gender roles dramatically and endangering traditional sources of male-esteem, namely employment.

“Women are almost twice as likely to develop major depressive disorder in their lifetime as men, but we believe this difference may well change in the coming decades,” study co-author Boadie Dunlop of the Emory University School of Medicine told the BBC.

Well, at least Klemin will always be capable of opening his many jars.

Report Typo/Error

Follow on Twitter: @ZosiaBielski

Next story




Most popular videos »

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular