men should be paid for their erection labor

erection labor produces fireworks

You probably understand that construction workers are hard workers. But do you realize that many men are continually engaged in erection labor? Women have no idea how draining men’s natural reproductive functioning can be.

Men’s reproductive labor is less visible and less appreciated than women’s reproductive labor. The raucous medieval French text The Fifteen Joys of Marriage {Les Quinze Joyes de Mariage} explored the issue:

Now it’s quite true that a woman is sorely beset for so long as she’s pregnant or bearing children, and that during childbirth she suffers untold grief and pain. But all this is nothing compared to the travail a reasonable man must endure when pondering any of his important undertakings. And as for the discomfort of pregnancy or childbirth, it impresses me not a bit more than that of a hen or goose laying an egg as big as my fist, and this through a hole too small for my pinkie just a moment before. One process is just as great as the other in Nature’s scheme.

{ Bien est vray que la femme, tant que elle porte enfans et est grousse, qu’elle est bien empeschée, et à l’enfantement a grant paine et douleur ; mais ce n’est rien à comparer envers un soussy que ung homme raisonnable prent, de pencées profondes pour aucune grant chose qu’il a affaire. Et quant est de la paine de l’engroisse ou de l’enfantement, je ne m’en merveille nyent plus que d’une geline ou d’un oaye, qui met hors un grous euf comme le poing par ung pertuis où paravant vous n’eusses pas mis ung petit doy. Et si est aussi grant chouse à nature de faire l’un comme l’autre }

In pioneering comparative ethological analysis embracing humans and chickens, Les Quinze joyes de mariage reasoned:

Thus you’ll see the hen remains plumper than the cock, despite the fact that she lays daily. The rooster is so stupid, he spends the whole day scratching for food to bill-feed his mate, while her sole concerns are eating, gabbling, and resting easy. And the same holds true for good, respectable husbands. That I say to their credit.

{ et si verrez une geline se tenir plus grasse en ponnant chacun jour que ne fait un coq : car le coq est si beste qu’il ne fait à journée que li querre vitaille et la luy bailler ou bec, et la geline ne s’esmoye que de menger et de caqueter, et se tenir bien aise. Ainsi le font les bons proudes hommes mariez, qui en sont bien à louer. }

Adjusting for hours worked and years of job experience, women working the same jobs as men earn about the same pay.  But women and men make significantly different job choices. Men have more dangerous, dirty, unpleasant jobs. That why about eleven times more men than women die from occupational fatalities. Moreover, women control 80% of consumer spending. Spending money is more enjoyable than earning it. Men who work longer hours for more years in more dangerous, unpleasant jobs so that women can spend more money are stupid.

But those economic issues are trivial compared to the physiological burden of a normal, healthy man’s frequent, large erections. Women cannot imagine a man’s labor in producing a massive erection. It’s like rapidly donating several quarts of blood. Can you imagine rapidly donating several quarts of blood every ten or fifteen minutes throughout the day? And not just for nine months, but for twelve months a year, year after year. That’s what it’s like to be a man.

Men deserve to be paid for the biological burden of being a man. Men deserve to be paid for their erection labor. The simplest policy would be an erection tax credit. Modern smart watches with bio-sensing could easily generate documentation for erection tax credit claims. Men’s smart watches could automatically detect their erection labor, estimate the magnitude of the blood flow, and wirelessly report the event to a central IRS erection tax credit claim database. The erection tax credit could be automatically applied to men’s tax returns. The ability of impotent men to engage in erection tax credit fraud would be minimal with modern bio-sensing and centralized database technology.

Men naturally engage in erection labor. But men shouldn’t be exploited just because of the way their bodies naturally function. Men deserve to be paid for their erection labor.

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The above quotes are from The Fifteen Joys of Marriage {Les Quinze Joyes de Mariage}, Seventh Joy, Middle French text of Jannet (1857), English translation (modified insubstantially) form Pitts (1985) pp. 67-8. Les Quinze joyes de mariage is thought to have been written about the year 1400.

[image] Eiffel tower fireworks on Bastille Day, 15 July 2005. Thanks to Beivushtang and Wikimedia Commons.


Jannet, Pierre, ed. 1857. Les quinze joyes de mariage. Seconde édition de la Bibliothèque elzévirienne conforme au manuscrit de la Bibliothèque publique de Rouen. Avec les variantes des anciennes éditions, une notice bibliographique et des notes.. Paris: E. Thunot. Alternate presentation of first edition (1853).

Pitts, Brent A., trans. 1985. The Fifteen Joys of Marriage = Les XV joies de mariage. New York: P. Lang.

2 thoughts on “men should be paid for their erection labor”

    1. Lyrics to song with first verse, “Damn, she was riding and started farting…”

      Editor note: These song lyrics, while deserving credit for being outrageously and transgressively creative, have no connection to the above post. This blog respects bodily reality, including farting. Comments, however, are required to engage with the specific post.

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