Friday, May 21, 2010

How about, "Because we aren't women!"?

Okay so I'm surfing around today and I come across this. In that post is a link to an ad about prostate cancer awareness.

I'm sure you can see the problem but I'll tell you anyway.

I've grown extremely sick of people trying to raise awareness for an issue by portraying the target group in question as somehow inferior to another group and implying/saying that said target group needs to act like some other group in order to get right.

Here in this ad the break down is that men don't regularly visit the doctor and keep up on possible illnesses and express themselves "like women do". Because doing such things is an exclusively womanly trait right? Well it would seem that the solution here is to imitate those who do it right. So the guys in the ad are shown engaging in another "womanly" activity, knitting, while talking about prostate cancer.

Okay as I said above why try to raise awareness in a group of people by basically telling them, "You're doing it wrong. You need to be more like _____.". What's wrong with just displaying the positives of having one's prostate examined? No instead of having say one guy talking about how getting a check up allowed a problem to be seen earlier rather than later we're told that men need to act like women in order to realize that early detection is a good thing.

As a cis-male, meaning I have a prostate gland myself, I have to say I'm more than a bit offended to be told that I need to act like a woman to think to get checked out. (And please don't bother trying to tell me that I'm trying to say there is something wrong with being a woman. I'm not. Plain and simple I'm not a woman and that's that.)

It's not like we have to either pick raising awareness or break gendered expectations. Both can be done. Its possible to get people to do something important without banking on stereotypes.


Paul said...

Honestly, I'm just shocked they actually bothered to try and raise awareness for a male specific disease

Danny said...

True Paul.