• Tue, Jun 28 2011

The Benefits Of Being Female: Lightning Strikes More Dudes

There are many documented benefits to being a lady. We have boobs, for instance, that we can sun (in New York). We get lower-cost drinks on certain evenings of the week in certain cities. And, we get struck by lightening far less frequently than do men.

It’s a lesser touted advantage, to be sure, but one that certainly bears mentioning. The Sun Sentinel reports that in recent years, just 18% of human lighting rods were female:

from 1995 to 2008, lightning strikes killed 648 people in the United States, and of those 82 percent were male.

That seems fair enough. But the article goes on to make some fairly sweeping gender assumptions, courtesy of John Jensenius, a lightning expert with the National Weather Service:

“Men take more risks in lightning storms,” said [Jensenius].

“Men are less willing to give up what they’re doing just because of a little inclement weather and will continue to engage in pastimes that make them vulnerable, such as fishing, camping and golfing,” he said.

I mean, maybe that’s true, and it certainly is tempting to cave in to the desire to hardy-har it up, rom-com style, about how gosh darn hard-headed men can be! But I suspect it’s more nuanced than that. For instance, maybe all the styling products that we gals use in our hair ultimately serve as lightning repellent. Or maybe our knitting needles do, or our tampons.Or maybe our vaginas themselves!

Who knows. In the meantime, I’m going to take the next opportunity afforded me by a lightning storm to go frolic about, and I’ll just make sure that I’m carrying something pink so the lightning is aware that I’m engaging in traditionally female behavior and doesn’t strike me.

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