Good morning broadsheet readers! Estonia is getting its first female prime minister, it is time to investigate Vicki Hollub's legacy at Occidental Petroleum and men seem struggling to figure out how to wear their masks. I wish you a productive Monday.
– mask? Last week the New York Times tried to answer a question that has plagued us for 10 months: Why do men seem to find it so difficult to wear their masks over their noses?
You must have noticed the trend by now. The guy who goes to the grocery store. A family of four is walking down the street, mother and children are masked – but the father's mask doesn't quite reach his nose.
Or, like science reporter James Gorman, you may have noticed on inauguration when President Bill Clinton, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, and President Barack Obama all had mask slides. (He didn't realize last Wednesday that women made the same mistake.)
President Bill Clinton's mask slips under his nose at President Joe Biden's inauguration. Caroline Brehman-Pool / Getty Images
"It's not a democratic thing. Or a Republican thing. Or an opening thing," he writes. "It's a male thing. It's like manspreading, but with masks. Let's call it manslipping. "
It's not that women never pulled their masks off for a moment, but Gorman gave a trend a name – and he offers some theories as to why this particular problem seems to plague male mask wearers (no pun intended). Are men's noses too big for masks? Do men need more air? But ultimately, he provides evidence that debunks these theories, including male doctors wearing masks all day.
Even so, it is better to wear the wrong mask than not to wear one at all (although the high viral load in the nose compared to the throat can be different!). And the occasional slip is different from a persistent style under the nose.
At the end of this story, we have more questions than answers. Even if manslipping has more serious consequences than manspreading and manterrupting, like these crimes it can remain a mystery that will never be solved.