Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's Finally Fall

It seems as if fall as finally decided to grace us with its presents and just in time for October (I am so excited for cardigans and pumpkin patches). As many of you may know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month as well as Domestic Violence Awareness month (although word on the street is next year it will be moved to May, so each issue gets its own month. Although May is already National Stroke Awareness Month, Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Asthma Awareness Month so that doesn’t make sense. And well now I’m rambling).
This is actually the 25th anniversary of breast cancer awareness month. “According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States last year. Approximately 1,910 new cases are expected in men. The ACS also reports that an estimated 40,610 breast cancer deaths are expected in 2009 (40,170 women, 440 men)” ( It is important for all women to get screened for breast cancer. While breast cancer in uncommon in women under the age of 35, it can still occur. So take this month (or any month for that matter) to talk to the women in your life about breast cancer and have them get tested.

For more information on breast cancer visit or

Now because this is a class about men I also want to talk about prostate cancer. How many of you knew that September was Prostate Cancer Awareness Month? Personally, I had no idea. Now that it’s Breast Cancer month we will see every thing from yogurt container lids to lipsticks packaged in a lovely shade of pink to help raise awareness about breast cancer, but why doesn’t this happen in September for prostate cancer. Now I am not sure which affects more people and I know that men can get breast cancer, but it’s not about the numbers. Cancer is a serious subject one that should be talked about more, no matter what part of the body it is affecting. So why is it that we are more comfortable talking about women’s breast then men’s prostates? I understand that men may not be comfortable talking about their prostates or people may not be comfortable buying blue (and I say blue just cause breast cancer is pink, it can be any color though) yogurt containers but we need to get over that. And one of the reasons we may not be comfortable is because prostate cancer isn’t talked about already. “ZERO-The Project to End Prostate Cancer said it’s estimated about 2,910 men across South Carolina will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 and about 14 percent of them will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society” ( And “8 in 10 men will have eventually develop an enlarged prostate and 1 in 10 men will develop prostate cancer. Despite the prevalence of prostate disease, men lack awareness about prostate health or are reluctant to seek treatment” ( So while breast cancer and prostate cancer are both very serious issues that can affect anyone, at any age, with any health history, I just wish they both received the same attention. I don’t want my father or brother or male friends to be affected by prostate cancer just like I don’t want my mother or grandmother or female friends to be affect by breast cancer. Don’t wait till next September to talk about prostate cancer, make sure the men in your lives go and get tested.

For more information of prostate cancer visit

And while I didn’t touch on this issue in my post, for more information of domestic violence visit or DVAM has a lot of useful information and campaign ideas. If men against rape or if anyone else is planning on doing anything for domestic violence month this would be a great website to check out.

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Now for my rant on an unrelated note: I think it’s important that we all remember that there are many different forms of feminism-conservative-religious feminism, liberal feminism, radical feminism, eco-feminism, and so on. We need to make sure that we are not judging others on whichever form of feminism they identify with. For example, while I may not agree with feminist that they pro-life that does not mean I call them un-feminist. I understand that everyone has their own thoughts and opinions on certain issues. And just cause a feminist might want to get married later on in life doesn’t mean she has abandoned feminism, she just might not be a radical feminist who wants to separate herself from all men.
If we want the feminist movement to succeed then we need to stop judging the other women (and men) who are in the movement. We will get nowhere if we keep judging others by their actions, especially if these actions have nothing to do with feminism. I feel the downfall of feminism will be feminist. How can we tell other women to join the movement, if the women already in it are judgmental and self-righteous? When it comes down to it all feminist are fighting for the same thing, to better the lives of women. Yeah we may do it differently by either working with and in the system or against the system. We may have different goals, such as equality in every form or separatism. But no matter what it is or how we do it we just have to work together or we will get nowhere. Now this is not an attack on feminism or feminist. I love feminism, it has made me who I am today and I know I will always be a feminist and fight to better the lives of all women. I also love all the feminist I have ever met. We may not agree on certain things but that’s what I love. They get me thinking about things in a different light. So let’s value and respect the opinions of other feminist and not be so exclusive and elitist, because well isn’t that what we are fighting against.

1 comment:

Ani Reina said...

"If we want the feminist movement to succeed then we need to stop judging the other women (and men) who are in the movement. We will get nowhere if we keep judging others by their actions, especially if these actions have nothing to do with feminism."

As for the first sentence: then what is to be said about black women during Second Wave who had to judge white women so that the movement can include them?
Also if we know that different forms of oppression are intersected than almost all of your choices can hold down women, there are women of color, queer women, trans women, working class women, etc. There are actions that you and I participate in everyday that hold women and men down. If I am not judged and then called out on said things how can I improve?

Also I have a HUGE issue with the "sisterhood" idea. Just because you are a women does not mean you and I will be besties for life. Sorry it just isn't going to happen. Nor am I going to be besties with every working class, queer and person of color I know.

During my Intro to Women's Studies course we had to readFight Like a Girl which I had huge issues with because the author identified Condelezza Rice as a feminist. Ummm Not in My Book! This is the same "sisterhood" idea that had people thinking electing Sarah Palin, who did not stand for any minority rights, as a step for feminism. Going off of your blog I could not critique Sarah Palin because she is a woman and prob a feminist. Therefore we're all good?