The other 50%

Published April 24, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin



Jullie Y. Daza
Jullie Y. Daza

Men refer to the wife as their better half when they’re in a sociable mood and she’s within earshot.  When they’re joking or trying to drop a hint, she’s his “bitter half.” Better is better, of course, and as it’s turning out now, women as the better half of humanity is the literal truth, a scientific fact.

Samantha Power, former ambassador of the United States to the United Nations, credits six women – prime ministers, chancellor, presidents – of their countries for their leadership in registering low rates of infections in battling the coronavirus pandemic. Taiwan, New Zealand, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland are lucky to have leaders whose “compassion, rigor, empathy, ability to speak to the humanity of the crisis, expertise over ego, and valuing of global collusions” (against the disease) effectively dealt  with the crisis and showed “early success in testing.”

It helped that they were operating in democratic environments that allowed them to be transparent in their decision-making and “prepared to change course according to the data” as facts and figures arrived, said Ms. Power.

One day later, the head of the International Monetary Fund, who happens to be a lady, would be urging governments of the world to spend, spend, spend. But, warned Kristalina Georgiva, remember to “keep the receipts.”

Over here, in our so-called matriarchal society (where political and economic power still belongs to men), the President and his spokesman have given Filipino mothers a new role as enforcers of the community quarantine. No formal appointment, no pay, no perks, just a big stick.

In his book, The Better Half, Dr. Sharon Moalem points out that women have stronger chances of survival due to a more aggressive immune system “that protects them during a pandemic, famine . . . and allows them to overcome biological factors.” This, despite men being born with more muscle mass, the author said on CNN. Women, on the other hand, are born with the double-X factor (XX). “Women have two locks (in their bodies)” while men have only one to stop COVID-19 from trying to seek entry.

One sign of women’s strength – a science-based conclusion, as you’ve observed that this is a world of more widows than widowers – is the Italian experience, where 70 percent of COVID fatalities were men.