MALE nurses

  1. Why is it that whenever someone tells a story about a nurse, who happened to be a man (or a man, who happens to be a nurse), they always say "He's a MALE nurse" (and they always put emphasis on MALE)?

    "Yeah, so I was talking to my brother-in-law the other day - he's a MALE nurse - and he was telling me about his great health insurance."

    These are always in conversations where his profession is only tangentially related to the conversation, and his gender is not at all related to the conversation (and is completely obvious when you continually refer to him as HE!!).

    It's almost like there are two classifications: nurses, and Malenurses (like it's one word).

    The only other time I've noticed that people feel the need to put the gender in front of the profession is when they're talking about prostitutes. MALE prostitutes, as opposed to run-of-the-mill female prostitutes.

    So what's up with that?
    Last edit by klone on Jan 29, '05
    •  
  2. 43 Comments

  3. by   Never_too_late
    Quote from klone
    Why is it that whenever someone tells a story about a nurse, who happened to be a man (or a man, who happens to be a nurse), they always say "He's a MALE nurse" (and they always put emphasis on MALE)?

    "Yeah, so I was talking to my brother-in-law the other day - he's a MALE nurse - and he was telling me about his great health insurance."

    These are always in conversations where his profession is only tangentially related to the conversation, and his gender is not at all related to the conversation (and is completely obvious when you continually refer to him as HE!!).

    It's almost like there are two classifications: nurses, and Malenurses (like it's one word).

    The only other time I've noticed that people feel the need to put the gender in front of the profession is when they're talking about prostitutes. MALE prostitutes, as opposed to run-of-the-mill female prostitutes.

    So what's up with that?
    :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle I live in a francophone province where professions have a male and female form of the noun...and because men are still a minority in this profession..and I guess for the sake of brevity, teachers often say: "..and when you girls are <femalenurses> you will ...." Only a few do the politically correct "..and when you are malenurses and female nurses you will...". Now you don't have that 'gender form' problem in the english language so you would think it would be simpler... Maybe it is because so few of us guys have gone this route, we are still a minority and so it has to be emphasized that we are male nurses. Or maybe there is a difference between female nurses and male nurses? Do you say Mary is a female doctor? I think people have just associated certain professions with one gender or the other and fell the need to overemphasize when someone form the opposite sex has joined the ranks of the other-sex-domintaed profession....something like that

    Never_Too_late
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Not everyone does this, and when i have, it's pertinent to the story. And that goes for both male and female nurses.

    I've heard quite a few of other professions refer to someone as "female" this or that. Doctor is one, Army officer, police officer, firefighter, i could go on.

    As for prostitutes, for some reason, it's never been and issue for me to label. Probably because that subject give me a case of nausea, therefore i typically avoid it.
  5. by   caligirl
    That is also true with races. I remember talking to my mom about this when I was like 10 years old.. People will tell stories and say "that mexican girl.." Why not just say that girl? Or talking about a guy from work "you know that black guy that works in accounting." Ummm.. you wouldn't say "that white guy that works in accounting" would you??

    Maybe is is a minority thing. Minority in the true sense of the word, meaning numbers. There are not a lot of male nurses..
  6. by   lisamc1RN
    Nursing is still a female dominated profession. I suggested to my son that he might want to think about nursing as a profession and he said "that's for girls". I had to remind him that he has two uncles that are nurses. He had forgotten.
  7. by   mitchsmom
    This is funny for us... my husband works with nurses... most of who happen to be male. We also have a physician friend who happens to be a female.
    So last night my 5 year old and I were watching some medical show and he asked if nurses can be girls and doctors can be boys!! (Even though I'm in nursing school so you'd think he'd know... but hey maybe this is a sign that his generation won't have such an imbalance in the professions
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    People will tell stories and say "that mexican girl.."
    And you ever notice that there are some that refer to any latino person as "mexican" whether they are or not?
  9. by   RN34TX
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    And you ever notice that there are some that refer to any latino person as "mexican" whether they are or not?
    Definitely true here in Texas. I have two friends who are from El Salvador and there are plenty of Salvadorians in the state but they are still all "Mexicans."

    I notice the "male nurse" label gets slapped on whenever you here of one in the news that is killing or sexually assaulting patients.
    I guess it makes it all the scarier and creates more drama for the public.
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I will say that i've seen newspaper headlines that specify 'female nurse'.
  11. by   Nurseboy1
    When people try to use the MALE nurse label with me I simply tell them that I went to nursing school, did the same classes and clinicals and took the same test for licensure as all the ladies in my class. I did not go to male nursing school or take any special classes to differentiate me. I am a nurse point blank and simple.
  12. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from marie_lpn
    and you ever notice that there are some that refer to any latino person as "mexican" whether they are or not?
    my parents tend to do that (i won't say which cultures- as not to offend anyone). it's a little archie bunker to me. that's why i personally don't get the 'african american' thing. i know many black people (skin color, that is) that are not of african descent. i look very irish, and don't have a hint of irish blood. so i'd rather be described as white than irish american (because i'm not).

    i think if you are trying to describe someone to another person (you know joe in the er, he's the black nurse with long hair) i wouldn't take offense. i hear black (or african americans) describe people as light skin or dark skin.
  13. by   fergus51
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    And you ever notice that there are some that refer to any latino person as "mexican" whether they are or not?
    Sort of like how anyone who is Asian is called Chinese. We also have a lot of people calling Sri Lankans Indian...
  14. by   live4today
    Quote from bonemarrowrn
    ......................that's why i personally don't get the 'african american' thing. i know many black people (skin color, that is) that are not of african descent. i look very irish, and don't have a hint of irish blood. so i'd rather be described as white than irish american (because i'm not).................................i hear black (or african americans) describe people as light skin or dark skin.
    i don't get it either! i've even talked with africans from africa who are (or were) in america to obtain their college degrees who don't get the "african american" thing either. they don't understand why americans call the black race of people in america "african americans".


    only in america do some americans find the need to still "classify" people with descriptive titles. germans in germany are called germans. puerto ricans in puerto rico are called puerto ricans. swedes in sweden are called swedens. chinese in china are called chinese -- and so forth. but...come to america and your descriptive title changes to: german-american, latin american, asian american, african-american (only this title is abused and used to classify alllllllll black people whether they are africans from africa, or blacks from america...go figure that one out).


    i am part irish, part dutch, part cherokee, part mohawk, and part "unknown african roots" that cannot be traced to any tribe or specific location -- better known as "lost roots"??? :stone so for many years as a child, i grew up identifying myself as a "mixed mutt" -- nothing "purebred" about me.:chuckle


    americans are "so sensitive" i guess to what "descriptive term" people are going to "classify" them as. we just can't be satisfied being "plain old americans in america" can we.
    Last edit by live4today on Jan 29, '05

close