Thursday, October 11, 2012

Personal Rant - Women and Men

Okay, so I said I wasn't going to write anything this month. We all know that Pinktober is irritating, and why. Lots of  good articles circulating this year.

Can I just take a moment for a couple of smaller things that are stuck in MY craw?

A big push this year seems to be getting the word out that MEN can get breast cancer, too. What galls me is that I keep seeing breast cancer patients now referred to as "men and woman". As in "the American Cancer Society's estimated number of men and women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year: 226,870. And the estimated number of men and women who will die: 39,510."

Seriously? Men have to step over women and get listed first? It's still a predominantly female disease, and since the awareness that men can be diagnosed, too, is recently becoming noticed, why can't we all say "women and men"? And if "men" can't handle being listed 2nd, then let's just say "people". It's certainly not anything against any men with the disease, but there, I said it; list it as "women and men" when writing about it. Please!

Wow, I sound like a feminist. (is there such a thing as a conservative feminist?) And I sound like I am tossing out sour grapes. And it's just semantics.

And yeah, metastatic breast cancer is getting the usual shaft this year. Unribboned, former survivors. Seems like the men diagnosed with breast cancer are often not diagnosed until it has metastasized. (I have no stats here, just an unscientific observation.) But they aren't being tossed out with the women with metastatic breast cancer...noooo...they are grouped with the socially acceptable Breast Cancer folks.

Maybe the inclusion of male statistics in the public view will help put a damper on the continued sexualization of breast cancer. Maybe it will help pale the frickin' pink. But men take over everything. I'm putting my foot down about them taking over (figuratively) breast cancer. Again, I don't direct this toward men with breast cancer. I direct this toward society and men in general.

I know there was something else bothering me...and now I can't remember what it was. Maybe it was that I recently saw the phrase "metastatic breast cancer survivor". What? No one survives Stage IV cancer! It's STAGE IV  cancer!

Maybe it was that a local DJ interviewed a friend about her cancer (which is metastatic) and then dubbed her "The woman who skipped her mammogram", seemingly placing the blame on her for her cancer. Like Komen's recent ad campaign, averring that "you are the key" to survival.

Maybe it was that mammograms don't save lives.

Or that a positive attitude or hard work or tireless endurance won't cure your cancer. It's kind of a dice-roll, in my opinion, that all comes down to the biology of your own personal tumor.

Pinktober is a sex-sells marketing behemoth. REJECT THE PINK! Donate directly to a reputable charity who supports research.

p.s. Peripheral neuropathy SUCKS! It's bearable during the day, but every evening I am back at the point of saying that I can't do this (Xeloda) any more! Every night I don't know how I will make it through the end of the week, let alone another cycle. And this is only my 2nd round. And I'm only 3 yrs in to this party. Have I passed the median yet? Every time I get close, it seems the median moves. I guess that's a good thing in the big picture.


Nancy's Point said...

Great piece! You do sound like a feminist and that is not something to apologize for. I keep wondering what happened to them all. I hadn't even thought about this. I just shared a post about men getting counted. We must count the men, too, but I agree with you about the second place listing in this case. Wow, another disappointment from the ACS. Thanks for all the good points you make in your article. Will share on Mets Monday! Thanks for speaking out.

Alli said...


(Alli with the RLS & Neuropathy) :)

The Dirty Pink Underbelly said...

Thank you, Alli! Have you noticed in more recent articles, trend has trended toward "women and men" when discussing breast cancer? People caught on pretty quickly after about mid-month. One little thing to be happy about.

The Accidental Amazon said...

Hello, dahling. I have no business being awake & commenting at this wee hour, but when we turn the clocks back, my sleep pattern gets even more messed up than it normally is.

What a bloody tiresome Pinktober this has been, hasn't it? I've been an unapologetic feminist since I was about seven years old, so, hey, welcome to the only club for women who have some working gray cells, is my opinion.

Kudos on getting the Grumbler badge to work, by the way. Pretty good for someone with neuropathy, girlfriend.

But it is November, thank heaven. Now, we just have to get past this presidential election...

xoxo, Kathi

The Dirty Pink Underbelly said...

Thank you, Kathi! You were up commenting on this post at 12:45am and I was up writing another one at 2:45am...without daylight savings time to blame it on here in Arizona!

I was unapologetic in my next post. Do you still xoxo me?

Also, the Grumbler badge shows right next to where I happened to mention grumbling in last night's post! How perfect!