Tuesday, October 18, 2005

R is for (Brief?) Recognition

Via Mensactivism.org: both the NY Times and the UK Times seem to be recognizing that we live in a world where the pendulum has swung and men are discriminated against.

The NY Times points out a need for education to no longer be focused so much on the needs of girls, and a need to begin tooling education to fit the needs of the more active, more physical male learners in light of the 'lace curtain', the differential success of women as opposed to men in todays educational environment. The op-ed piece starts with the line "If we want to help boys keep up with girls, we have to have an honest discussion about innate differences between the sexes." What's this about? It's about the fact that the education system is failing men, that most degrees awarded now, are awarded to women. (Mensactivism.org article here.)

Meanwhile the UK Times admits discrimination against men in prostate cancer research:
A MAN diagnosed with prostate cancer has only one-quarter of the cash spent on research into his disease compared to the amount devoted to a woman’s breast cancer.
The wide discrepancy shows the scale of the discrimination against men. The two diseases kill similar numbers.

According to the most recent available figures, total research spending by the government and the leading charity in the field comes to £36.8m a year for breast cancer against £9.7m for prostate cancer. In addition, the NHS spends £72m annually on the national breast screening programme but there is no such scheme for prostate cancer.
The government spends £4.2m a year on prostate cancer research. While it does not disclose how much is spent every year on breast cancer, the figure is estimated to be at least £12m.
High levels of funding for breast cancer research over the past decade have led to dramatic rises in survival rates. Some 64% of women diagnosed with the disease today are likely to live for at least 20 years.
Patient groups argue that the imbalance in funding will need to be addressed if men suffering from prostate cancer are to be given the same hope.

[... the article goes on to note that bias is not just in the government...]

The government-funded Medical Research Council (MRC) shows the same bias as direct state spending on research. The latest figures available from the MRC, which are for 2001, show that it spent £4.8m on breast cancer and less than £500,000 on prostate cancer.
The discrimination is just as marked in charity funding. Cancer Research UK spends £20m a year on breast cancer and £5m a year on prostate cancer. Similarly, Macmillan Cancer Relief spends £11.6m on specialist breast cancer nurses and £2.8m on prostate cancer nurses.

[... and perhaps most amusingly ...]

The evidence of anti-male bias in cancer spending may come as a particular embarrassment to Patricia Hewitt, the health secretary. It emerged last week that she had admitted breaking the sex discrimination laws when she overruled advisers and appointed a woman to an influential job instead of a better-qualified male candidate.

Rosie Winterton, the health minister, said this weekend: “Gender is not a factor in any of the government’s decisions on cancer funding.” (MensActivism.org article here )

Go read it all in detail.

It is very encouraging that the concept that men are discriminated against, at least in education and medicine is making the mass media.
The need for more prostate cancer research and funding is critical, as are the education needs of our children, but perhaps even more important is the idea that men do deserve to be treated equally. Let's not let this blip of attention fade too quickly. Mention these articles to your friends, and keep the ball in the air.

My best to you in your struggles


Posted at MIsForMalevolent on Monday, 17-Oct-05


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