I'm on facebook a lot…more than I should be no doubt, but I've never ever gotten pulled into a back and forth disagreement on there until yesterday with the whole "pity the guy, he had his prostate removed" explanation of why someone seemed angry and with different political views than the commenter. Usually, I'm just a shrug it off and move on person….for better or worse. Road rage? Nah, I just tell Ernie, "Look…obviously cutting you off made that driver feel better….let it go…." Yesterday though? That prostate comment infuriated me.
I spit out yesterday's post quickly and in the heat of my utter frustration with that pity-the-guy-with-no-prostate point of view. I kept thinking about it though. Ernie took me out for a drink and I sputtered. He gave me wine and fed me peanuts and told me he loved me. My husband is an incredible man. And I guess that's why that comment ate at me so. Because, whether it was consciously intended or not, what that statement does is say that if you don't have a prostate you are less of a man. Now granted, that's an idiotic statement, but when called on it, the commenter, Greg Springer, even tried to explain himself by saying "I was under the impression that it was his (Jim Dey) choice to go for the surgery rather than other options. I meant that frequently sexual function is hampered with the removal of the prostate and, possibly, he may be reacting to his situation by writing hostile and sarcastaic colums about other people's lives."
So a real man would have gone with other options, even if they were predicted not to be as effective….just in case the surgery would cause sexual disfunction? What a strange definition of being a man that is. Oh, and newsflash….radiation alone can cause sexual disfunction just as surgery can.
Later he says, "I'm sorry I (and he) ever brought it up." Yep, go back and read that…..AND HE…. So somehow the fact that Jim Dey was open about going through prostate cancer and a resulting prostatectomy, writing a column both explaining his absence and encouraging others to be aware of this disease…..is something he should be SORRY for? Wow.
Mr. Springer also goes on to say (before he deleted the majority of his comments) that he hadn't meant to be so politically incorrect. I don't think what he said was politically incorrect. I think it was mean and degrading. Simple as that. Intended as a light-hearted joke no doubt…but mean and degrading just the same.
I actually feel badly about one of my comments on facebook yesterday, although I won't delete it. I said, "I may hate his politics, but blaming it on prostate cancer….well…it's worthy of him." I shouldn't have said that because I have no evidence that Jim Dey would say something like that. I know I don't agree with him politically but I don't know him as a man. A man whose cancer was reportedly contained within his prostate, making it clear that he made an excellent decision in having a prostatectomy. Ernie wasn't so lucky. He went with surgery, about a year before Jim Dey did, only to find out that the cancer had spread well beyond his prostate. You have to make decisions with the information at hand however. That's what we all do in life, prostate or no prostate.
And yes Mr. Springer….I get to comment on prostates and men and the complexities of it all….just like you get to talk about women and society, even sans uterus. (edited to add: Mr. Springer commented on facebook that with this sentence I was implying that he has spoken about women and society—that was not my intent. I merely meant that he was free to….just as I am free to comment on…prostates….)