A Disappointing Read

Alex Manley’s piece “No to Movember” published in Vol. 32, Issue 11 of The Link was a very disappointing read.

Patriarchy oppresses everyone, including the (white, western) males it claims to empower. Harmful patriarchal attitudes surrounding prostate examinations and assumptions about the kind of people who get genital area cancers do no favours to men who need to be regularly screened for these things to prevent illness and death.

Instead of critiquing the campaign in an intelligent and curious way such as the “pinkwashing” awareness campaigns have done surrounding controversial breast cancer awareness and research, Manley’s piece takes the incredibly insensitive at best and belligerent at worst position that this kind of cancer is a privilege because it affects males.

Never mind that men of colour have a far higher rate of prostate cancer, or that economically disadvantaged men are at far greater risk to die from prostate cancer thanks to lack of timely screening and treatment.
Such opinions are uneducated and uninformed, and serve to do nothing but create divisiveness, pitting groups against one another instead of empowering us through working together.

Gender issues such as this arise in a culture governed by patriarchy and as gender advocates we believe in the empowerment of all genders to be free from harmful patriarchy. To the family, friends, children, and parents who lost fathers, husbands, lovers, brothers, sons, and buddies to prostate cancer, it’s hardly a privilege.

—Wendy Kraus-Heitmann,
2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy Board of Directors