How precious can another male nurse be?

Yes. I’m doing it again. Using a play on words in my blog title. What am I talking about? I’m, yet again, discussing the portrayal of male nurses in the media. Over the summer we were attacked from different angles through new television shows ( Nurse Jackie & HawthoRNe & most recently Mercy), this time it’s Hollywood.

Each time, this summer, we got a different ‘taste’ of what the media and the public ‘think’ a male nurse is or would be. All the stereotypes surfaced at some point during all this onslaught. Everything from the ‘gay’ male nurse to the ‘why aren’t you a doctor’ role was spit out at us. Thrown into the mix we got a small glimpse of male nurse actually ‘doing’ the job of nurse – but for the most part we’ve been slapped in the face with all the popular and well known rumors and stereotypes of a male nurse.

This comes as no surprise to me. I mean this is the media. In the end it’s about making money and pleasing the masses. If you’re going to put that role out there for the public to see – they need to relate to what they know (or at least what they THINK they know). If you were to put a male nurse out there in the media and have him be and perform like we really do – the only people that would understand or accept it would be those who have been treated by a real male nurse, or have some type of medical knowledge and background. I’ve said this once, and I’ll say it again: ‘Those who need us, know us. Those who know us, know the difference’.

This is why these stereotypes exist. It’s all about the public’s acceptance and their reality. Everyone understands the ‘gay’ male nurse jokes. Everyone gets the ‘why aren’t you a doctor’ male nurse parody. Everyone chuckles at all male nurses being a failed ‘jock’ – we have muscles to help you, but that’s all we’re good for. This list goes on.

So now it’s Hollywood’s turn. It comes in the form of Lenny Kravitz. Yes you read that right. Lenny Kravitz. The new movie ‘Precious‘ premiered in select theatres this past Friday – and the ‘controversial’ movie is all the buzz right now. For those of you who don’t know anything about this movie here is a quick rundown:

“Clareece “Precious” Jones is an overweight, illiterate African-American teen in Harlem. Just as she’s about to give birth to her second child, Jones is accepted into an alternative school where a teacher helps her find a new path in her life.” – Yahoo Movies. You can also view the movie trailer preview via YouTube.

Did you notice Lenny Kravitz? Yep. He’s playing Clareece’s male nurse. The lead character is having her second child as a teenager and Lenny Kravitz is her nurse. I ‘Google’d’ the movie and Lenny’s role. All I could find is that he plays a nurse or nurse’s aide – they really didn’t elaborate.

So Lenny Kravitz ehh?

Heh heh

OK. OK. Do you really think Lenny Kravitz fulfilling this role was by accident or happenstance? I think it speaks volumes about him as a person, a performer, and an actor. I mean when is the last time you heard or read his name in the media circles? For me I can’t honestly remember. All my thoughts and memories about him are all good. I love him as a performer. And yes, I love his music – so maybe my opinion is a lil’ biased.

What could be better for a male nurse?

I mean let’s be honest here guys and gals. He’s easy on the eyes. Need I say more on that subject?

Secondly look at his ‘persona’. The way he has always carried himself. Soft – but strong. Passively aggressive. Demanding presence with a humble and amorous demeanor.

What better way than to subconsciously turn the public’s view of a ‘male nurse’?

Just my humble opinion. :)

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6 Responses to How precious can another male nurse be?

  1. hi, my name is anne iam 40 years old. I’ve had two kid’s myself my oldest is 17 getting ready to graduate from high school. my son pased away at 5 he had a lot of illness. he had plenty of male doctor’s that i have grown to know for five years and became real close to. now that hes been gone for a year i have been trying to get my nursing asst. licence back and i just can’t seem to concentrate. ive had them once before they lapsed because of my son he was 24hr care. i couldn’t leave him. everything was on me and my family. no father just me. what can i do from a male point of view to be able to get it right for the third time. my mind is not focused and it’s a easy test. thank you, a cry for help. anne

  2. Sean Dent

    @ Anne To the best of my knowledge there are on-line and local resources that can assist you with your challenges. Best of luck to you.

  3. Hi Sean,
    It’s bad enough how nurses have been and currently being shown in TV and Movies, but for men who happen to be nurses, it’s even worse.

    I know one of my favorite lines from a patient is “So…how long have you been a male nurse”. I told her, well, I have been a man for 48 years and I have been a nurse for 19 years.

    I’m a white, middle-aged guy, but I have to say that being a man in our line of work has been a lesson in what it’s like to be stereotyped. It has gotten me to thinking that there about as many sympathetic roles for men who are nurses as there are sympathetic roles for African American men, and Arabs on TV and the movies.

    All I can do is grit my teeth and just do as good a job as I can and hope that my professionalism can speak louder than any stereotype.

  4. Sean Dent

    “I can and hope that my professionalism can speak louder than any stereotype.” – This was awesome Steve! Thanks.

  5. I am an African-Amercan electrical engineer, and I happen to be a man. In 2004, I decided to make a carrer change. At first, I wanted to become a nuclear medecine thechnologist. Somehow, I was not selected by the school of radiation therapy, and I decided to complete the LPN program. I have been working as LPN, and I am one semestrer away from completing my ASN. My goal is to continue my education until forever…. So far, I have not felt any gender bias at work. The only time that I felt out of place was during my OB rotation. The whole thing was funny to me because, some patients or theirs husbands were not welcoming to me being there……but I never witnessed them express the same bias against male anesthesists, MD, or even respiratory therapists. It was all good to me since I have never wanted to work on the ped/ob floor.

  6. Sean Dent

    @ Yves Thanks for sharing your story. Best of luck on your journey!