The science and myth of Manflu

Jordan Oloman investigates the urban legend of Manflu to decide once and for all, the truth of the affliction

22nd February 2016

You know when your Dad starts grousing about the sniffles for no reason, and he’s sat trying to compare a tickly cough to the West Nile virus? That, my dear friends is the mythological pathos known as Manflu.

I’m just going to set the record straight first of all. If you’re alone, wallowing in self-pity and nursing all fifty seven of Heinz varieties then you do not have Manflu, you’re just a bit under the weather. Manflu, in a court of law, is where you’re ill and trying to solicit the attention of a partner or other human being. Having a big moan basically, because of your obviously grievous symptoms.

Men are bloody miserable beasts, and can be hellishly grumpy when they want to be. Generally, we’re not terribly emotional, and whilst you’ve probably seen your mum cry hundreds of times when the little boy with the gammy leg who lives in a shoebox with his eight brothers gets through on the X Factor, your dad probably sits there stiff upper lip, reading his copy of Hegemonic Masculinity monthly. It’s a raw deal for those guys, and I think Manflu is a reaction to that. Sometimes, blokes just want to get a bit soppy. They need a cup of tea, a roast dinner and a hug to get them back on track. A smidge of attention, a little bit of TLC, because they’re too proud to straight up ask for it. That’s my theory, at least.

It’s a raw deal for those guys, and I think Manflu is a reaction to that. Sometimes, blokes just want to get a bit soppy

It seems odd to discuss such a trivial matter in the science section, but you’d be extremely surprised in the amount of research behind this concept.

Back In 2014 when the Daily Mail ran out of news, they published a Harvard study that found when you inject male mice with a heavy dose of female sex hormone Oestrogen, which bolsters the immune system, they could fight off infections more efficiently. So, the cure to Manflu is actually rooted in femininity, in the most ironic, paradoxical way possible. In addition, when men get older, they produce more Oestregen due to an increase in aromatase activity. So really, the older you get, the less you should have to complain about. Go figure.

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