I always have about 30 draft posts behind the scenes in my blog at any given time. Further to that, I have about a dozen ideas running through my head with me forever searching for the angle to write about because often the idea has been written about before, and you know me, I need to have some element of my own take on it that can only be seen as a "Darrell" piece. This is an amalgam of half a dozen I have been planning to write inspired by a few recent events.
I hate cancer, I really do. That is a given. But the thing is, I don’t want to rape it.
“What the? What are you on Darrell?” I hear you say.
Let me explain;
During the week I read a newspaper interview about one of my favourite writers, Mia Freedman of Mamamia fame. In the article and interview there’s the mention of the “rape and death threats via Twitter” that her and many of her peers receive when they talk about controversial topics. I hear that many women in the media get them.
In a week where my social media feeds have been filled with the #yesallwomen hashtag thanks to the heinous crime that Elliot Rodger committed against “all women” (that’s not me being sarcastic there, I mean that), and the exceptionally brilliant articles and blogs written by many of my fellow Dad Bloggers and other male bloggers and editorial journalists where they have called the murderous prick out for being a “He-Man Woman Hater” (remember that song?), the last thing I need is to support the suggested rape of cancer.
I know, I’m still not making sense. I’ll get there.
This week a friend was diagnosed with cancer. Yes, another one. For those who have followed my blog for a while you’ll know that I lost not only my own mother, but also my mother-in-law to cancer. So when I say I hate cancer, I. Really. Hate. Cancer.
And unless I start a sentence with the word cancer, that's the only time you'll see it written with a capital C because I hate calling it "the big C." It doesn't deserve any room to think that calling it "the big" anything could mean anything more than in the pejorative sense.
A discussion ensued with a bunch of mutual friends of this recently diagnosed friend. Just like when people share those “1 like (or share) = 1 prayer” anti-cancer memes, or whenever someone mentions the word anywhere on social media you will inevitably get those responses and comments like;
“fuck cancer in the ass.”
You see, to me, the last one represents butt fucking cancer like it was a guy who had just been found guilty of sexual abuse and has found his way into general population up state (sorry to go all American TV show on you, but, you know what I mean).
It’s like that scene in Shawshank Redemption where Andy is beaten and raped by that gang calling themselves “the Sisters.” They were punishing him for not giving into their advances and I’m sure that most people like me are more than sympathetic for Andy’s plight to get out of that situation in a hurry.
So many times when stories about rapists, women killers or child abusers are shared on Facebook you will get those comments like;
“I hope he gets raped and beaten…”
Is this what we want as punishment really? We want the guys to get fucked up the ass? If so, then by whom? By someone else in jail that was the subject of last week’s “I hope he gets raped and beaten” campaign? We want him to have some pleasure now do we?
By someone else possibly? By someone who is in jail for petty theft? We want them to become a revenge rapist for us do we? You know they’re going to be released to the community soon after they’ve served their minimal sentence. I’m sure no one is uncomfortable with the release of a white collar criminal after serving out his six year sentence, but are we comfortable with the now prison sex revenge rapist to be out on the street with this “taste for blood” now that he’s felt the power that comes with raping someone?
So this is a big stretch between saying “fuck cancer” and wanting to see it suffer in pain after being fucked up the ass? Oh, I don’t think so. It’s mindset. It’s intent. It’s promoting something that we are all fighting so hard to abolish.
So yes, I hate cancer and I will shout it to the world that I hate cancer, but since becoming a writer and joining in writing groups including my Dad Blogger writing group, I have had more than a few of the guys pull me up on things when I was going way too “Men’s Right Activism” on them.
The Men's Right Activism group has been called out for helping to inspire Elliot Rodger with his "I need to get revenge on women" mentality.
I am not a misogynist, and based on an extensive flow chart showing whether you’re a feminist or not it appears that I am not a feminist either because I put men’ rights issues as a priority (well I am a man) above women’s rights. But I prefer this flow chart about feminism because it’s more inclusive and suggests that I might actually be one.
So now I look at everything that I say and that everyone else says and wonder if we can be saying it in a different way so that there are never any negative connotations associated with it. And “fuck cancer” to me is riddled with them.
I am not a prude. I’m not offended by curse words unless the intent of you using them is against me. My wife can use the word “fuck” around me as much as she likes as long as it’s not followed by the word “you” unless it is further followed by the words “look good in those jeans.” But sometimes she accidentally drops the word in front of the kids more than I do. But then again, during the week she spends more time with our toddler than I do and if you spent some time with him I’m sure you’d be dropping that word now and then.
And that’s the other reason why “I hate cancer” will be my phrase of choice versus “fuck cancer” because increasingly our younger generations are joining up to social media and they are forever being confronted by us older people using choice words but hanging shit on them for using them. #doublestandards #leadbyexample
So say it with me. “I hate cancer.”
I know you do… me too. A lot.