“Male Nurses Make More Money” was published last week in the Wall Street Journal. As a registered nurse and a woman, I was angered and appalled at the comments that this article spawned, about the sexualized physicality of women nurses.
Here are just a few of the comments:
“Just another happy old guy” wrote: “I only accept female nurses at my bedside. The lovely smile, sweet perfume, and wonderful bosoms make my day, every day. A guy tending me is advised to wear a steel cup.”
“cdg” wrote: “Female nurses with large bosoms should earn more than their male (or flat-chested female) counterparts.”
“Steve” wrote: “I think female nurses should be paid on the basis of how hot they are.”
And finally, my personal favorite, which was posted by “MCP”: “Hooters is going to start a nursing school.”
I should say right now that I am not against Hooters. I’m not against women (and men) who work at Hooters. In fact, this post is not even about Hooters. I was just so struck by the phrase, that I just had to title this post with it.
I realize that I’m probably at fault here, because I thought that we as a society had gotten past sexy nurse costumes for Halloween. In fact, I now know that the “naughty nurse” is alive and well. An episode of the NBC sitcom “Whitney” is one recent example.
It’s not all bad news. There are others out there such as Sandy Summers of The Truth About Nursing, and those at National Nurses United who fight for nurses (male and female nurses) to promote the profession and to expose these stereotypes in the public domain.
Now, perhaps those who posted those comments to Male Nurses Make More Money were just joking. If so, I guess I just don’t think sexist nurse-talk is funny.
I’m a nurse. I’m a woman and I have a PhD. Don’t insult me with your talk of “boobs” and sweet-smelling perfume.
This article originally appeared on Huffington Post on March 8, 2013.
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