Your terrible, creepy boss? Muted. Donald Trump? Silent. Mansplain-y bro at the bar? Nada.
The voices of men cascade across news channels and IRL constantly, with a cacophony of misogyny and cat-calling hitting our eardrums day after day. But what if one day you woke up and you could no longer hear men speak?
It might sound like a pipe dream, but it happened to one woman in China, according to the Daily Mail. The woman, identified as Ms. Chen, went to bed one night after suffering from nausea and hearing ringing in her ears. The next morning, she couldn’t hear her boyfriend’s voice, or the voices of other men.
After quickly heading to the hospital, doctors attempted to decode Chen’s symptoms, which were reportedly the opposite of more common forms of hearing loss. “She was able to hear me when I spoke to her, but when a young male patient walked in, she couldn’t hear him at all,” ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Lin Xiaoqing said.
Xiaoqing diagnosed Chen with reverse-slope hearing loss or “low-frequency hearing loss,” a rare condition that cuts off deeper, lower-frequency sounds. The condition is so rare that only about one in nearly 13,000 patients with hearing problems experience it.
It’s not completely clear what caused her hearing loss, though Xiaoqing believes it's brought on by stress, and Chen revealed she had been working late and not getting enough sleep. Doctors expect Chen to make a full recovery and have her hearing restored soon. Hopefully in the meantime, she can enjoy a temporary mute of all the asshole dudes in her life.