Chocolate

Godiva Chocolate: for ladies only?

Having spent the better part of October watching my favorite football team wear pink hats, gloves, shoes, and other decor and seeing the football engraved with a pink ribbon, I can rightfully say women’s health is all that matters. I watched my favorite team play in September and noticed not a single blue ribbon or any blue hats or shoes. Of course, going into any store this month had my eyes ablaze in pink products too.

I went to my bank, and saw the tellers adorned in pink. Going to the doctor’s office, I noticed tons of breast cancer awareness posters and handouts for those that wished to join one of many walks to raise awareness and funding. My son’s elementary school was selling breast cancer month t-shirts and also asking for volunteers to help with funding and awareness by taking part in those same walks. None of the stores, or my bank, or my doctor’s office, or my son’s school ever had any mention of prostate cancer at all. Even a local restaurant had employees don pink hats and had menu items in pink motif to raise funds for breast cancer, but of course the color blue in September was nowhere to be found.

I started to write and contact several companies that solely sponsored these breast cancer campaigns and ignored men’s health. I had a goal of contacting each of these campaign sponsors but quickly gave up under the barrage of the sheer quantity of them. The ones I did contact either ignored my letter or replied that they only sponsored breast cancer awareness either due to it having a special meaning to an employee or owner or due to there being more prominent breast cancer organizations to team up with. It seems to be too much trouble to seek out those organizations that associate with prostate cancer awareness.

That brings me to one of the companies I wrote to; Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. I had noticed in an email sent to me (I signed up for their member list some time ago) that a link brought me to an offer for their chocolates. Their logo included a pink ribbon where the “I” is in Godiva.  There was some mention of breast cancer awareness in the email and on the site. So I wrote the following to the company:

Hello. I noticed that you are turning pink and promoting and contributing
to breast cancer in honor of breast cancer awareness month. That is great
news.

However, what is not so great news is that prostate cancer awareness month
was last month and Godiva chose to do absolutely nothing to acknowledge
this. No blue ribbon in their logo. No donation to prostate cancer
research. No promotion whatsoever.

1 in 6 men will get the disease. 32,000 will die from it every year (about
one man every 18 seconds). I personally know of a few men that have
succumbed to the disease in their 50s and one who battles it today, at 35.

What reason does Godiva give as to choose only women’s health as important
enough to promote and contribute to? Are men worthless to the company?
Does Godiva find the well-being of men as unimportant? Is men’s health
something to ignore?

I wish to know how to go about removing my name and account number from
Godiva’s data base. If Godiva thinks that little of me due to me being a
man, then I have no use for being a customer of yours. I always enjoyed
your chocolates, but suddenly the chocolate leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Thank you.

Perhaps a bit forward and a little angry. However, after watching another football game with everything turned pink, I was a bit perturbed. As you will soon see, I was unknowingly dead on with my comments. Again, to reiterate, I do not have any reservations about supporting breast cancer awareness, just lament at the total void of any prostate cancer awareness.

I did get a reply from Godiva and at first glance it seemed acceptable. However, feeling I missed something, I reread it. And much to my dismay, it seems that Godiva has decided that only the concerns of women matter to the company. I’m thinking, “This is a chocolate company. They sell chocolate. Isn’t that gender neutral?”  However, Nancy Gozzo, Customer Care Supervisor, informed me that they have a Lady Godiva program that promotes causes such as breast cancer one, among others. The Lady Godiva program also recognizes women that give back to the community. This program is 100% about what women do and think.  She mentioned that my wishes to have Godiva sponsor a cause dedicated to prostate cancer awareness would be considered, but that it is only what women decide to give importance to that matters.

Her reply outright inferred that because I am a male, my ideas would be “considered”. Her reply also stated that Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. only gives awareness to causes that women find important.  Here is her actual reply: (Emphasis mine)

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on our recent program. With the launch of our new Lady GODIVA Program – a cause marketing initiative – one of our goals is to be able to support a broad range of causes. After a year of the program, we have been able to support a multitude of causes through our local efforts including feeding children and adults who would otherwise go hungry; research for Pulmonary Hypertension; domestic violence awareness; and more. Here is a link to the Lady GODIVA Program website, where you can get more information:

http://ladygodivaprogram.com/honorees/previous

The Lady GODIVA Program is a cause initiative that honors women who give back to their communities and gives awareness to causes that are important to women — which would include prostate cancer as we know so many have had families and friends affected by this disease. As we move forward and build on the Lady GODIVA Program, we will continue to look at a variety of causes to support and will take your suggestion of Prostate Cancer Awareness into consideration.

This is the first time GODIVA has created a large program of support around Breast Cancer Awareness; and this is just one of the many causes that are important to GODIVA that we hope to continue to support. Thank you for your feedback.

Best,
Nancy Gozzo
Customer Care Supervisor

Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.

 

Perhaps I’m a bit sensitive about the issue, but it appears to me that as a male, my thoughts are just to be considered, since the program only gives awareness to causes that women find important.  So causes that men find important have little or no clout for Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.?  If we all write in, since we are men, our thoughts can be considered, but the ultimate decision of what constitutes importance must be women-borne. Women must be the ones to decide what’s important to Godiva. Men cannot determine what causes are important to men, only women can tell men whether the causes men deem important are actually important or not.  Men are also customers, aren’t they?  But somehow male customers’ thoughts are given lower importance than women customers.

I wrote back with this:

Dear Ms. Gozzo,

Thank you for your reply.  I think it is awesome that Godiva is supporting those causes you mentioned. Those are great causes.

I wasn’t aware that Godiva Chocolates was such a predominantly female-oriented company. While I fully support the causes mentioned, I can’t help but wonder why a Chocolate company would solely care about causes only that women deem important. I guess my input takes a back seat to what women want.  Perhaps women don’t view prostate cancer awareness month as too important since it passed without a mention and breast cancer awareness month took full bloom. Judging by the complete void of prostate cancer awareness programs we saw countrywide in Sept. I don’t doubt my suggestion for prostate cancer awareness will be ignored next September just as the disease was ignored this September.

I am rather disheartened that my letter asking about supporting prostate cancer is not worth the screen space it’s written on. Actually if 20 of my fellow citizens brandishing the same genitalia as myself wrote in asking Godiva Chocolates about promoting a prostate cancer cause it seems it would be for naught as well since Godiva only “gives awareness to causes that are important to women”. It appears men’s thoughts about what causes are important don’t matter in the least. If Godiva Chocolate Co. were solely geared towards a woman’s line or product, I could somewhat understand. However, I may be wrong, but I’m sure much of the product that Godiva sells are purchased by men for themselves as well as gifts for the women that matter in their lives.

I also am a bit disillusioned as to why Godiva Chocolates only recognizes women who give back to their communities. I guess men who give back to their communities are unimportant and should not receive recognition by the company. Had I been aware that only women and the causes they find important count for anything in Godiva Chocolate’s company, I would have not bothered to become a member.

In closing, you state “This is the first time GODIVA has created a large program of support around Breast Cancer Awareness; and this is just one of the many causes that are important to GODIVA that we hope to continue to support.”  What is glaringly apparent is that you could easily substitute the words “GODIVA” with “WOMEN” and your sentence would ring true, while using “MEN” would not work. My ideas of what causes are important can at best just be a “consideration” while it is women that actually decide what’s important.

Please remove my name and number from the member database.  Thank you.

She replied by removing me, nothing else said.  What if Hershey’s had a program just to recognize men and the good they do in communities? What if the awareness campaigns and charitable programs Hershey’s chose to engage in were based only on what men found important, while women’s wishes were relegated to just “consideration”?

There would be an uproar by women asking why women weren’t included in the decision making.  But I guess it’s only sexist if men do it. After all, it was the congresswomen that walked out of the congressional meeting about contraception because only men were there to discuss what was important. Most people agreed with them.

So why is not that same standard used by this company? Why does Godiva have a panel of women deciding whether a man’s disease is a cause worthy of promotion (for a supposed gender-neutral company)? Why does Godiva disallow men’s desires on this issue? It seems we already know how much  importance women attach to prostate cancer awareness: Just look at all the women’s groups that held an awareness campaign for it and how many women complain about the chump change the government gives towards the cause compared to breast cancer. Somehow I don’t see Godiva with a blue ribbon next September.

Well, my favorite chocolate is dark or bittersweet chocolate. However, Godiva seems to only sell bitter chocolate to me now. Sorry ladies, no more Godiva holiday gifts from me.

 

For those wishing to contact Godiva-

1-800-946-3482 and select prompt 3.

Email: letters@godiva.com (Perhaps reference Ms. Gozzo)

About Howard Gordan

I always have been a proponent of gender equality. While I have not yet been a direct victim of the biased courts or false allegations, I have seen how men are discriminated against so severely at times, that I am now an active men's rights activist.

View All Posts
  • AVFM seeks app writer volunteer

    Are you an MHRA? Can you write apps for iPhone and Android? Are you willing to do that for AVFM on a special project? Please contact us.

    A Voice for Men seeks a volunteer with solid app writing experience to help us develop an app that will be linked to the AVFM brand. If you have the qualifications and are serious about following through, we would love to hear from you. Your efforts could be of great assistance to this website and to our cause. Please contact Paul Elam at paul@avoiceformen.com for more details...

  • Wikimasters, Editors, Translators, and Writers Wanted *Apply Now*

    Fight Wikipedia censorship! A Voice for Men and WikiMANNia are working to increase knowledge of men's issues through two wikis: the AVfM Reference Wiki for scholarly references, and WikiMANNia for general-interest men's issues. Volunteers needed for writing, proofreading, and organizing. Some knowledge of the German language will be helpful but *not* required.

    Please write to editorial_team@wikimannia.org...

  • jk-phd

    I’ve expressed the same sentiment to other companies. Their attitude is basically “We only care about what our side wants. We don’t care your side”. Totally selfish and something they should have outgrown before leaving high school.

  • OneHundredPercentCotton

    For the first time I’ve ever witnessed, there is currently an article on Huffpo criticizing “Save The Ta-Tas”.

    People are supporting her in complaints of sexualizing the disease, and only being interested in saving breasts – not lives.

    One women even asked “How does this make MEN with breast cancer feel”?

    It’s not about saving lives, it’s about saving boobs. Wagging boobs in men’s faces, using juvenile boy’s slang terms for women’s breasts seems to have gotten men more than interested in wearing pink football jerseys.

    • John A

      Even women with ovarian cancer are complaining that breast cancer gets all the funding – It’s all about the tits.

      Movember is coming soon – a male charity that we all should support.

  • Aimee McGee

    I’ve withdrawn from supporting Cancer Research UK. Up until 2010 they did an excellent 10k mixed gender run series across the UK, for generic cancer research funding, but since then have run women only 5k race for life events, getting everyone dressed in pink and excluding men and boys from participating. I know quite a large number of men who formerly volunteered to marshal for CRUK events won’t do this since the change in policy.
    I’m looking forwards to Movember and will be posting a reminder in our health trust newsletter about this event. It raises money for both male cancer and male mental health charities.

  • SeaforthCJ

    Question – Does anyone know who actually pays for the majority of Godiva chocolates?

    I know the public perception is that women consume the majority of expensive chocolate. But do they purchase the majority or do they receive them as gifts?

    • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

      The magic number floating around is 80%; that is the percentage suppossedly of our nations wealth in the hands of the ladies. The other 20% could possibly be vehicles, investments, stuff like that; oh, and men’s clothing.

      In other words, our spending habits don’t mesh with the current economy; so government has numerous ways to “influences” us to spend on women, give gifts to women, “allow” them access to our credit cards, buy them houses and let the “upgrade it” with expensive cabinets and appliances.

      Get the picture yet?

      These businesses are going where the money is! They are not telling us they don’t care about us (men); they are telling us they care about who “spends more.” In other words women.

      Men are the new whales of the economic ocean. We are being hunted to extinction; but mama loves whale oil lamps, and heat on in the house at night! Her husband Uncle Sam “has his hands tied,” he MUST oblige her.

      Sucks to be you. So off to war, work death, financial slavery, death by prostate cancer, and various other “ailments.”

      Mama needs a new pair a shoes bboy, now mush!

      • SeaforthCJ

        Hi JJ,
        Love the whale metaphor. I possibly been should have been more specific. I’m aware of the spending percentages. I was wondering if anyone had the specific breakdown of the marketing details of high end chocolate.
        Googling around Godiva seems to show that they are now a company owned by a British conglomerate, who are expanding aggressively into China. Have a number of non-chocolate products (Biscuits etc). But no breakdown of the details of the sex of whoever is plonking their money down. Or rather, I haven’t found it yet, my google-fu seems to be weak in this case.

      • http://mrafront.blogspot.com/ MRA.

        There are parts in the world where they want to make not-giving-women-money an act of domestic violence, yes, it means that if your wife or girlfriend ask you for money and you refuse to give her then you have committed DV.

        This is a party for corporations, if men are now jailed and reported for not giving money to the demographic that spend so mush money then you’ll have something better that a monopoly.

        Is like a diamond slaves, the gov and companies knows that women are more compulsive buyers than men so giving them the money and making illegal refuse to is a slavery strategy.

  • Bev

    Priceline Australia (Large retail chemist (drug store)company) runs some thing called the Sisterhood club.
    In that a percentage of money from purchases is donated to charities/research. They also run a series of TV ads about this club urging ALL of us to look after womens health. If you look at the sisterhood it’s prime aim is to pander to women (25 to 45) and sell more product (It is a marketing program) They did conduct a survey and did get replies from women. Thiere is no surprise here as it was placed mainly in womens magazines. Now a few of the organizations do do work which benefits all only their work for women is mentioned. Here is my email exchange with this company:

    http://www.priceline.com.au/sisterhood/

    Dear Beverley,
    Your email has been passed onto me as I manage our cause-related program,
    The Priceline Sisterhood.

    I understand the points you raise in your email. The reason we have targeted women is that the majority of people who shop at Priceline are women; in fact about 97% of members of our loyalty program are female. I also wanted to give you some background as to why we created The Priceline Sisterhood and why we choose to support six charities.

    Two years ago, we were involved in a research program called “Australia’s Biggest Health Check”. More than 26,000 people responded to this survey and they were mostly women. The results of that research told us that there were four areas of significant
    importance to Australian women:

    1. Heart health
    2. Alzheimer’s
    3. Fighting cancer
    4. Family well-being

    We then worked to develop some strong relationships with charities that work in these areas. Therefore, we have partnered with:

    . Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
    . Alzheimer’s Australia
    . Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation
    . Look Good.Feel Better
    . Post and Ante Natal Depression Association (PANDA); and
    . Children First Foundation

    If you would like to chat to me directly about this, I am more than happy to and am available on the details below.

    Kind regards,

    Kylie Wallace
    Campaign Events and Sponsorship Manager

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Priceline [mailto:online@priceline.com.au]
    Sent: Thursday, 20 September 2012 3:32 PM
    To: Priceline Info
    Subject: Contact Us Form submission

    First Name* Beverley

    Message* More men in Australia die from cancer than women.
    More men die from prostrate cancer than women.
    Much more money is spent on women’s health/cancer research than on mens.

    I find your “sisterhood” sexist and discriminatory and no longer visit or buy from your stores. Your program/club should be about health for
    all not just women. After all men have major health problems too.
    —————–

    • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

      You know Bev, I share your sentiment somewhat; but part of me is afraid of our movement becoming feminist! What I mean is becoming the screaching nut jb like Friedan where we run about the world shooting down anything remotely bad for men but good for women.

      Hear me out. The Women’s Rights movement could not have succeeded without men, and ours cannot succeed without women.

      We need to pick our battles, and more precisely, who in the other camp we fight with. I don’t feel that women’s response made her one of our targets. Maybe a potential ally. Their research did say women cared about their family; many men are part fo the family!

      Look at how feminists did things; and compare to what we are doing. That woman gave you a fair, and balanced explanation; different than the one Godiva gave the posts author. It was intelligent, articulated; and most likely researched as she claims.

      They are telling you that they are just practicing good business! Business is not moral in of itself; many of the best practicioneers of it are. Most are not, and as the adage goes: Money talks, Bull Shit walks.

      We need to be more enlightened in who we put on blast; or we will lose too much support. Feminists feign they were under soo much stress. However, now we know it is very likely they were funded by wealthy donors, and the US, and other world governments.

      Think about what she said, 97% of their loyalty members are women. 97-freaking-percent!

      It does not make practical sense for them to shun those paying customers, women, for non-paying customers who don’t care about their products; men.

      All I am saying is we need to be smart; an listen to what our enemies, and those who are non-chalant about us are saying. This women sounds like the latter to me, non-chalant.

      We have enough enemies without picking fights with people who don’t have any bone to pick with us. Best to smoke out the bee hive after most of the hive has left, before you take the honey. Ensuring you leave some honey so the bees don’t starve.

      It is fun to blast someone who deserves it, I don’t think she did. I think we need to recognize that not everyone who celebrates breast cancer awareness month is our enemy.

      There are better ways of getting the word out; and starting small with banners that do a 5k run for prostate cancer research that “loudly proclaims” women are strongly encouraged to run for their men is a great example.

      I’m sure others could come up with something better.

      Merely food for thought.

      • Howard Gordan

        I agree with your concept. I never said anything negative about the good things Godiva did for breast cancer or the other things Ms. Gozzo mentioned. I praised them. What I felt warranted this company to be singled out was her sentiments about how Godiva only views what women want as being important. Men are not allowed to “vote” on what campaigns are important enough to promote. Men are not ever recognized for their charitable giving, only women are. As I mentioned, I wrote many companies and either received no reply or a lame excuse about not promoting men’s health. This was unique. As I commented to someone else, imagine Godiva saying they only consider what white people feel is important and only recognize white people that give back to the community. Would that be considered nonchalant?

        • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

          No, it would not be non-chalant.

          However, the woman who wrote back to her was non-chalant about it, because women are her customers, according to the business representative who replied, men really don’t buy their stuff.

          There is nothing wrong with a woman centered business. There is something wrong with only women centered businesses being allowed!

          We will have our day! Men will be recognized for their innumerble contributions, and women’s contributions will be recognized as well; just not allowed recognition only at the expense of men’s. Far too many of us have died to allow that.

          However, the woman who replied back to her does not need to be blasted, the one who responded to you most certainly needed a wake up call.

          My point is, the line between the two is thin; but it is no excuse to blast everyone to make sure we got the misandric ones.

          Speaking of cancer, that would be like chemo on the entire body, so to speak; we would kill all of the good ones just to ensure we got a few bad ones.

          In our rush to justice and true equality; we have to understand that we will most likely not repay the feminists for everything. We will have to cut some losses, in order to maintain our perspective in what we gain. Our gains are small now, but looking at the gains feminism has made, ensures to me that we have to watch how many eggs we crack in our process. Feminism has almost, if not outright, destroyed society itself.

          We need to be a corrective action, not an equally and completely destructive “reaction.”

          Being proactive is great, but it is easy to get lost in group-think reaction. The difference between feminism and us, we are victims, but we don’t want to be acknowledged as such. We want to overcome and change things for the better. However, if we only achieve group-think victimhood, we are no better than steinem, friedan, or the rotting whale corpse of dworkin.

          • Howard Gordan

            Oh ok. I confused whom you said was non-nonchalant. I thought you meant the woman at Godiva. So yes, I agree with you that she needed a wake up call.

  • Tawil

    Its astonishing how quickly sporting teams white knight on this issue, deserved as it is, while simultaneously they ignore prostate cancer. Pity most women refuse to do the same in reverse.

    Here are photos of trucks painted pink with ribbons on them for your entertainment:

    Fire truck: http://www.hopkinsmn.com/events/img/pink-ribbon-truck.jpg
    Fire truck: http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/c41.0.403.403/p403x403/199857_10151049058922791_1623875273_n.jpg
    Rubbish truck: http://warriorsofhope.com/site/wp-content/uploads/pete14.jpg
    Cement truck: http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/images/Berks01.jpg
    Cement truck: http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/images/Berks03.jpg
    Mover: http://roadscholartransport.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/dsc3657.jpg
    Monstor truck: http://www.bountyhunter4x4.com/news/cobcblack.jpg
    Monstor truck: http://www.bigfoot4x4.com/images/bf14-15.jpg

    Next we will be asking our armed servicemen to wear pink uniforms with pink ribbons.

    I look forward to the day when every second product in the supermarket, every female emplyee, every female TV personality, every sporting team, every politician, every item of clothing, and every truck sports a blue ribbon.

    • Skeptic

      Here’s what some MRAs in New Zealand are doing –

      http://menz.org.nz/2012/black-ribbon-campaign-for-men/

      • John A

        After reading your post I think a green and gold ribbon would be more suitable ;)

        But seriously, Black Ribbon day works for me, alternatively Grey Ribbon day – because gendered violence is not a black and white issue.

        Or start with Black Ribbon day on 25th November and offer to combine for a Grey Ribbon Day in the future. Because we are so reasonable and recognise that like violence against men violence against women is an important issue.

        • Aimee McGee

          A black ribbon has resonance with regards to kiwi national sports teams. It’s a smart local move

          • John A

            I know that only too well….

    • John A

      I reckon it’s about time we called out the sports women on this one. if the guys can be so supportive of the women you’d think the girls could give a little back?

      • Howard Gordan

        The Cubs will win the world series before that ever happened.

  • OneHundredPercentCotton

    It would seem The Sisterhood has now effectively replaced the “Old boy’s club”.

    Boy’s club = BAD. Sisterhood = Good.

  • rebtus

    Howard Gordan,
    I apologize for not noticing yor article ealrier since the headline did not mention about prostate cancer. Quoting you,
    “1 in 6 men will get the disease. 32,000 will die from it every year (about
    one man every 18 seconds). I personally know of a few men that have
    succumbed to the disease in their 50s and one who battles it today, at 35.”
    Link to Lady Godiva

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Godiva

    Lady Godiva
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    “Godiva” and “Peeping Tom” redirect here. For other uses, see Godiva (disambiguation) and Peeping Tom (disambiguation).
    Maybe the name originates from scrapings from horse’s back after she rode naked on it.

  • Skeptic

    Great Work Howard.
    Thank you for the e-mail link.
    I’ve e-mailed Godiva immediately supporting your stand and provided them a link to your excellent article.

    I simply wrote in the e-mail subject bar –

    ‘Why is your company sexist in ignoring Men’s Health concerns?”

    and signed off as Boycotting Your Products.

    I like to keep it simple, direct to the point and in their faces so I can move onto other activism.

    FTSU!

    • Howard Gordan

      Thanks. What got me annoyed most of all was not only the emphasis on breast cancer but the fact that this company makes it known that only the concerns of women are what is important. That my concern about prostate cancer has to go through some litmus test of women to see whether my concerns as a man have any importance at all.

    • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

      Awesome, will do the same.

  • Usagi Yojimbo

    And people wonder why I don’t do candies often…

  • Brendan

    One might argue that because overwhelmingly more women than men consume Godiva chocolates, it’s only fitting that Godiva should concern itself with women’s issues to the exclusion of men’s issues, but then how many women relative to men consume “five hour energy” products? And how many women relative to men watch American football?

    • Howard Gordan

      I would bet that men make up a large portion of their purchases, especially around Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas. Of course Valentine’s Day, it’s unlikely men would be getting Godiva from their girlfriends or wives.

      • feeriker

        Of course Valentine’s Day, it’s unlikely men would be getting Godiva from their girlfriends or wives.

        Or gifts of any other kind, for that matter. OT, but don’t even get me started on that despicable misandrist holiday.

  • scatmaster

    Done

  • dhanu

    No need to email these turds. If these bigots had any sense of reason, they won’t be hosting such blatantly sexist campaigns to begin with. Sue them. SUE THE HELL OUTTA THEM. Make them a lesson for all others how not to misandry-market. Or if that’s not possible, just avoid them like plague and tell all others within your touch and influence to not support them in any way. Buy from their most fierce competitor and urge all around you to do the same. Put their name on a bigots list for all to see and stay clear of, like this article is doing.

    • OneHundredPercentCotton

      Like your suggestion. Wish someone here had a brother who was a lawyer…it would probably be derided like the “ladies night” lawsuit. In this day and age, even the boy scouts can’t escape “inclusion”, but the “sisterhood” can get away with just about anything…

  • Ben

    I normally leave my phone by my bed and read one or two AVfM stories from it just before going to sleep. However, this story is so important, I got up and powered up my computer just to leave a comment.

    First, outstanding article!!!!

    This is a perfect article for someone to read first who is not familiar with the MRM. The logic and the overall delivery are both astonishing!

    Second, since this is Breast Cancer Awareness month at MSU, there are tables set up offering passersby pink ribbons and gathering donations. I printed a few copies of this article and will drop them off whenever I walk past one of them tomorrow.

    And, as an aside, I don’t watch football during October because I see all the pink gear and just feel so sick. This article is like poetry to my ears, my friends!

    And, finally, a question for AVfM readers: What is it about female psychology that drives them to fundraise for themselves and only themselves without bound? Follow-up question: What is it about female psychology that drives them to simultaneously band together and openly sling shit at all men with their Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and White Ribbon Day, literally demanding that men say dehumanizing mantra such as “I understand that the overwhelming number of perpetrators of rape and incest is men”?

    Feminism: What filth…..

    • Howard Gordan

      You are absolutely right Ben. Name one women’s organization or group or sports team that ever in history started and promoted any kind of awareness campaign that dealt with men’s health or men’s issue. You can’t. Because they are so obsessed with their own causes they don’t even think of men, including their own sons, fathers and brothers. The only time they think of men is when they ask men to help with their causes that generate awareness and funding for women. I asked Godiva why as a man my thoughts about what’s important mean nothing more than a consideration. All the decisions by the company about what campaigns are important are made by women. I got no answer.

      • Ben

        Just a few minutes ago, while walking back from class, I passed a newspaper stand that featured the front page of our newspaper. It showed our football team from last weekend. They were covered in pink gear — pink gloves, pink towels, pink soles of their cleats, etc. I immediately thought of this article.

        “Name one women’s organization or group or sports team that ever in history started and promoted any kind of awareness campaign that dealt with men’s health or men’s issue. You can’t. Because they are so obsessed with their own causes they don’t even think of men, including their own sons, fathers and brothers. The only time they think of men is when they ask men to help with their causes that generate awareness and funding for women.”

        Sorry, but that was begging to be repeated. I am going to save this quotation and use it.

        I think the test of a great introductory MRA article is to ask yourself if you can imagine the reader saying, “Hmmm… I don’t know about ‘all that,’ now” after reading it.

        That is the precise reaction from MOST people who read an MRA article for the first time that mentions false accusations, prison sentencing, the pay gap — any of that. They sort of go, “Hmmm… I don’t know about ‘all that,’ now.”

        However, articles like these leave the reader no room to respond in that way. Any reasonable person would have to admit that the way things are is portrayed accurately in this article. Of course, some may say that it is “justified” to ignore men’s issues and only focus on women’s after reading this. But to say that this article’s portrayal of how things really are is inaccurate could only be done by an incredibly unreasonable or dishonest person.

        Of course, this is coming from someone who has never published an article, so my opinion is very humble.

    • feeriker

      And, as an aside, I don’t watch football during October because I see all the pink gear and just feel so sick.

      What is really both sickening and inexcusable is the fact that there is NO promotion by the NFL, MLB, or any other American sports franchise during September of prostate cancer awareness. NONE! I mean, c’mon now, from which gender do these franchises derive nearly ALL of their revenue??!!

      Why the MRM hasn’t raised an earth-shattering ruckus over this void is something I just cannot understand.

  • Theseus

    Pretty scary stuff. The 1 in 6 number is a bit misleading though. The oncologists that treat prostate cancer will tell you the most men will develop the disease at some point in their lives if they live long enough; so basically a lot of men are dying of other causes before they are diagnosed.

    Also prostate cancer is notoriously difficult to treat once it has metastasized beyond it’s point of origin. Basically – in spite of some recent breakthroughs – current treatments only buy a man a limited amount of time before he succumbs to an advanced stage of the disease.

    In the case of breast cancer however, many women can be treated and cured even when there is lymph node involvement – as in my aunt’s case – and a close friend of mine survived 12 years with stage 4 breast cancer.

    The layers of hormone based treatments that are administered for breast cancer just seem to work better than the ones used for prostate cancer.

    • Aimee McGee

      I had medical investigations that required the use of the same drug used to block hormones in men with prostate cancer. It was a nasty drug to administer (1ml thick oily suspension under the skin, and although I didn’t mind the main side effect of the drug on women (temporary menopause), I can imagine its a pretty nasty drug for a man. In addition it made it very easy to weight gain.
      I totally agree the treatment of prostatic cancer is in the dark ages

    • feeriker

      Actually, I’ve had both urologists and oncologists tell me that ALL OF US will get prostate cancer if we live long enough. It’s what killed my father at the age of 80. It started in his prostate and, by the time they caught it, had spread to his spine and liver.

  • Lordmep

    In reading your initial letter to the company, which was quite good, a thought occurred. I’m subscribed to another political activist site which emails occasional calls to its members to sign various petitions. These petitions typically include pre-written letters and are set to email to persons of interest once signed.

    Would it be possible to set up a simular system for AVfM?

  • Shrek6

    Great article. Nothing new here though, because we know men are not considered human or worthy of consideration.

    I have never supported anything to do with breast cancer and never will. Yes, it’s all about saving some sheila’s tits and I really don’t care anymore.

    The breast cancer industry is a worldwide multi-billion dollar industry and deserves no support from the masses, because that support is no longer needed.

    The whole industry now deserves to be renounced and denounced, so that the govts and ngos involved will start to see cancer of any type as having nothing to do with gender.

    Sure I care if a woman contracts and/or dies of breast cancer, but that’s where it stops. More men in Aus are diagnosed and die of prostate cancer than women do of breast cancer. I vaguely remember reading this in an article from the bureau of stats. But I care little about those stats, which is why I haven’t bothered to chase down a link and supply it here.

    I truly care less as to who gets what cancer more. I am pissed that these arseholes have genderised cancer and only care about women.

    Don’t ask me to support any cancer of women, because they already have far too much support!

    • Howard Gordan

      Well, I thought perhaps what was new or unique was the admittance of the company’s customer service supervisor that men’s thoughts about what is an important awareness campaign had no relevance to what is ultimately decided. Women make that decision, period. Men are only a sidebar, relegated to beggars asking for their thoughts to be “considered.”

      • Shrek6

        Howard, I couldn’t agree with you more!

        Women in general in western societies, have been infected with the worst of feminism and they no longer consider any man/boy to be of any consequence at any level either in their lives, or in society.

        One day women will realise that men, in general, do not need women for anything, except for procreation/family. Outside of that, men can build their own homes, clothe themselves, feed themselves.

        If it were not for the fact that men are driven sexually, we would have little to nothing to do with women. Women have little else to offer men on any level.

        I guess this is why women or feminists are fighting this so damn hard, because they know this fact and they are now trying to put men into their place by saying that men are totally reliant on women for everything.

        Sorry girls, we only need the tit when we are babies, then we can pretty much look after ourselves after that.

        • Howard Gordan

          Imagine if Godiva had a campaign to acknowledge only white men and women that gave back to the community. Blacks couldn’t be nominated, but they could nominate whites. Or only had white people decide what charitable promotional campaigns were important enough to promote, telling blacks, that their ideas might be taken into consideration but Godiva was only interested in what was important to whites. I wonder if they would start a program like that.

        • Sting Chameleon

          A lot of mothers raise their boys to be dependent on women for their needs by removing the father figure from their lives, so they never quite learn to be completely self-sufficient.

          If we had a set mating season (as opposed to a continuous drive to mate), we’d save us a lot of headaches and women would lose a lot of their pull over men.

        • feeriker

          Women in general in western societies, have been infected with the worst of feminism and they no longer consider any man/boy to be of any consequence at any level either in their lives, or in society.

          Well, not quite. They sure as hell do care about what’s in our wallets and bank accounts. But, beyond that, your statement is spot on.

    • Bev

      Without producing a lot of stats the important number is 3 men (prostrate) to 2 women(breast) aprox. While all cancer suffers benefit from advances in treatment the glaring gap is in detection. Work there appears minimal.

      • feeriker

        While all cancer suffers benefit from advances in treatment the glaring gap is in detection. Work there appears minimal.

        Very true. To be perfectly fair, though, detection and preventive treatment of any disease is a much neglected and ignored practice, particularly in American medicine (I don’t know whether or not this is the case elsewhere). I can only attribute this to the possibility that “preventive medicine” doesn’t yield sufficient profits to the medical-insurance-pharmaceutical complex to be instituted as standard medical procedure.

  • ZenCo.

    To be truthful, I really don’t give a rat’s ass whether a chocolatier such as Godiva gives a crap about men. I’m a man and I like chocolate, but I don’t expect to be the target demographic. That said, the NFL, on the other hand, does expect men to be the demographic and makes them the White Knights that they are.
    Seems that would be the hill to die on here…

    • feeriker

      That said, the NFL, on the other hand, does expect men to be the demographic and makes them the White Knights that they are.

      Like I said in a previous response, for the life of me I don’t understand the NFL neglecting the concerns of its revenue base. Roger Goodell, for this and whole host of other reasons, needs to be tarred and feathered.

  • Dos

    This reminds me of a couple of companies I’ve seen do similar stuff here in Australia.
    Driving home I’ve seen advertisments on the backs of taxis (cabs). They are for businesschicks.com.au, I can’t find the an image for it but it says:
    “We are behind the WOMAN, in front of the MAN”
    From this, I must infer that their prime goal is to sabotage male careers in order to give relative incremental improvements to already successful women, after taking a cut of course.

    Another one was a TV ad for Leanne O’Dea, aka the female funeral directors. Their website is here: http://www.bowraodea.com.au/leanneodea.php (not working for me right now: 3pm 22/10)
    Again, I tried to find the ad on the internet so I could post a link here when it first came out, but I cannot find it. It’s been awhile so I can’t quote it directly, but it basically said something like “when mourning a loved one, you need the special sensitivity and nurturing only a women can provide”.

    That especially was lovely to hear. I spent the next few days imagining having to bury my father while listening to some prissy funeral director tell me that women are more sensitive than men, right before I give my eulogy thanking my father for the overwhelming, literally life-saving support and advice he gave me while I was going through a major depressive episode.

    • feeriker

      …but it basically said something like “when mourning a loved one, you need the special sensitivity and nurturing only a women can provide”.

      Seriously? I’m sorry, but that one has me ROTFLMFAOing. I’ve been to a lot of funerals in my half-century of life, in a lot of different places (and have arranged a couple myself), but I’m struggling to remember that funeral that I arranged with Bruno the Bruiser who told me to “hurry up an’ let’s get this stiff planted. I gots udder customers ta takes care of! So are youse gonna buy dis cardboard box or not?!”

      I dunno – maybe Australian funeral directors are less sensitive than their counterparts in the rest of the western world? News to me…

  • UKMan

    The elephant in the room is that five times as many women die from heart disease and stroke related illnesses than breast cancer. The breast cancer propaganda has worked so well that most women are now ignorant of their biggest health threat.

    From what we are led to believe, women only die from breast cancer or domestic violence.

    Heart disease isn’t important to women’s groups because it has the annoyingly democratic habit of killing men too.

    • feeriker

      From what we are led to believe, women only die from breast cancer or domestic violence.

      Just wait until they start conflating the two…

  • http://human-stupidity.com/irrationality/stupid-dogma/mens-rights-feminism Human-Stupidity.com

    You don’t understand. Men are like Nazis.

    Germany is clobbered into abdicating its own interest in favor of sponsoring European projects. Germany is shamed into paying Billions and potentially Trillions to finance the party attitude of other countries.

    They do so because they feel guilty because their grand-fathers voted for the Nazis. And of course nobody else feels guilty for carpet-bombing German and Japanese cities harming mostly civilians.

    Anyway, men are guilty of millions of years of repression. Even chimpanzees and rats repress their females and don’t give them equal rights.

    So all this reverse discrimination can not make up for the millions of years, for what strong chimp men have done to weak chimp ladies. It is nothing but compensation for past wrongs.

    100 000 years dedicated solely to women still will not make up for all this past injustice
    /s

  • BlueBlood

    I got into work this morning to find a massive pile of glossy printed brochures “Answers for women.” They were, of course, about domestic violence and quoted all the bullshit stats we’re all familiar with. I placed a little printout under the title that said, “And jail for men….and fuck those who question it” on all 350 copies. I’ve not yet been reprimanded, but I assume it’s only a matter of time.

    • dhanu

      They’re probably not seeing anything sarcastic with that.

      • BlueBlood

        Update: I’ve since been reprimanded and made to pay $20 in restitution for wasting work paper. I don’t consider it a waste at all. :-) FTSU

        • feeriker

          Heck, $20.00 is a sacrifice well worth it in this case. Well done, BB!

  • OneHundredPercentCotton

    You guys just aren’t being clever or imaginative enough like us womens.

    You gotta sex it up, make it happy and fun!

    “Save The Prostate”? BOR-ing!

    You don’t see women promoting “Save The Uterus” or “Save The Ovaries”.

    Come on! Get with it!

    Now…how does “Save The Wang Dang Doodle” grab ya?

    Come on! It’s cute! It’s harmless, it’s downright friendly! Needs a cute emblem, like a green/purple check bow tie.

    You hardly think of cancer, disease and death at all.

    For the guys, you know. It’s money for the guys! Lotsa lotsa money…

    • Theseus

      Lol Good show. Except it’s cancer of the capsule that holds all our little fellas, not said wang itself. We would need to think of a catch phrase along those lines.

      You are correct. It’s all about sexing it up for breast cancer. I recall a Penn and Teller “Bullshit” show about the very same thing.

      Colon cancer is a very common form – it killed my father in law – that affects men and women equally, but do we see campaigns about it it in grocery stores, restaurants and the public forum? Noooo of course not. Who wants to promote awareness of a cancer that has to do with a tube that holds gross icky poop.

      • feeriker

        How about a cartoon advertisement showing various body parts beating each other to a bloody pulp in competition for cancer research funding?

    • Shrek6

      I totally agree. Here’s one little ditty that could help.

      • OneHundredPercentCotton

        Ok, one eyed trouser trout is cute, however, Koko belting one out is hot. (I pefer the howlin’ jack or Savoy Brown version, but then I’m female).

        • Theseus

          Ahhh that IS hot. Now I see where you’re comin’ from.

    • http://none universe

      Sexing-up Prostate cancer awareness?
      How’z bout this: “Ladies, keep your men happy”.

      Er…wait…uh…maybe this one isn’t going to work.

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      LOL. I have begun to suspect there is a little bit of Andybob in you. :)

  • http://breakingtheglasses.blogspot.com/ Gloria Sass

    I doubt I will get a reply, but here it is:

    “It has been brought to my attention that Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. has decided the opinions and concerns of men are less relevant than the opinions and concerns of women. This was pointed out to me in relation to your recent and ongoing breast cancer awareness campaign, as I’ve learned that not only do you not give equal support prostate cancer research, you told a concerned customer that you’re leaving the decision whether to consider doing so next year up to a panel which is comprised of and focused on women. In fact, it appears that your company’s ENTIRE focus is on women. While I commend your company for jumping on the already highly populated and positively associated breast cancer bandwagon, I find it disturbing that you have also jumped on the less populated and far from worthy female superiority bandwagon. That is insulting to both sexes.

    I am sure there are plenty of women shallow enough to not get why what you are doing is wrong. Many women, in fact, won’t think about what it means to their fathers, their brothers, husbands, sons, and the other men in their lives to be considered second rate and second class by your company. Some will even be fool enough to think that a female-centric program is a way of evening out some perceived inequality. Not many will realize what a cheap, manipulative marketing ploy your Lady Godiva program really is.

    Most people don’t realize that the majority of chocolate is bought either by women or for women, and so the goal in advertising is going to be largely to appeal to women. While it’s nice that you want to spend your advertising dollars on something that will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling and some positive press, the fact that you focus mainly on women’s initiatives tells me quite clearly that your reason for beginning and supporting the Lady Godiva program is to appeal to women on an emotional and ego-driven basis, rather than to really honor giving back to the community or give awareness to important causes.

    Otherwise, you would have no problem considering the importance of a terrible disease which robs many of us of someone from among that list of male loved ones; fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, male extended family and male friends. Why is Prostate Cancer awareness important to me? I love my male family and friends, and I want to see that all of them have the chance to enjoy their lives (and I have the chance to enjoy their presence in my life) for as long as possible. Prostate cancer threatens 17% of them with suffering and untimely death (5% more than breast cancer does among women.) Does your lack of interest in equal attention to men’s health indicate a reduced consideration for the men in your lives, as compared to the women?

    While it saddens me to see yet another company using as a sales tactic shameless pandering to the vanity inherent to my sex, I am not surprised. Retailers have found it easier for decades to manipulate the habits of female shoppers, as our sex more often falls for patronizing appeals to emotion and other dishonest promotional tactics. It’s shameful, however, to see the sense of charity among the concepts abused in this manner.

    In light of your choice to limit your program and your focus to only one sex, I’ve decided to avoid any further support of your company. You won’t have to bother removing my name from any list – I buy locally, and all I really have to do is change my buying habits at my local retail outlet, and you can be sure I’ll let the manager there know why.”

    • Howard Gordan

      Wow! Awesome letter Gloria. Yes, their admittance of having to let women decide for men what is important and their omission of charitable men’s recognition is even worse than not having a prostate cancer campaign. Good work. You also happen to have the same name as my mom’s. She died from colon cancer in her 50s, which of course is never promoted either.

      • Turbo

        I agree, great letter.

      • http://breakingtheglasses.blogspot.com/ Gloria Sass

        My grandmother died of 3 different forms of cancer which began with colon cancer. Everyone on her side of my family who smokes gets either colon cancer, lung cancer, or bone cancer… more women than men, and well before insurance companies approve of testing for polyps (without a mountain of paperwork to explain why)… but “female” cancers don’t seem to run in my family at all.

        I have always thought it strange that out of the many forms of cancer in existence, including varieties which are harder to detect and treat, and therefore more deadly, breast cancer gets so much attention while others are ignored.

  • MenDiscontinued

    More companies screwing people over…. Corporations are all evil.

  • rebtus

    @Dos in Australia

    From the link for funeral home ad;
    “Women have an important role to play in the funeral profession. Many people prefer to deal with women because of their sensitivity, softness and nurturing qualities. Some feel they can speak more comfortably with a woman and share their grief more openly.”
    Long live your father.

    @ Blue Blood
    You are profiles in courage by putting on the attachment. Let’s hope none of your blue blood brothers snitch on you and thanks for thinking what you did. It was creative eye opener.

  • gateman

    There are lots of men like myself who eat or drink chocolate daily. Rest assured that I won’t ever touch the now bitter-tasting Godawful chocolate again.

  • BlueBlood

    The sentiment has been expressed already, but I took the time to ask each and every adult female I met yesterday whether: 1 – they had ever eaten Godiva chocolate; 2 – if so, did they buy it themselves; and 3 – if they did not buy it themselves, who bought it for them?
    The results were as follows.
    26 adult females questioned.
    19 adult females had eaten Godiva chocolate.
    …THE BIG ONE…0 adult females had purchased the chocolate themselves.
    17 of the females stated their male partner had purchased the chocolate for them.
    2 of the females stated that their male family member had purchased the chocolate for them.

    Anecdotal, I know. But it would appear that Godiva chocolate should probably not want articles like this “going viral” lest men stop buying their heart-clogging wares.

    • Maybe_Factor

      Wow… 19 out of 26 had eaten Godiva and NONE of them have ever purchased it themselves. Godiva needs to totally rethink their marketing strategy.

    • OneHundredPercentCotton

      I’ll bet that’s reasonably accurate. My husband buys me chocolate all the time but never indulges in it himself.

      Chocolate doesn’t go well with beer.

      • BlueBlood

        To be honest, I was absolutely stunned by the percentage of women who had actually eaten Godiva chocolate. I did however ask a group of 8 women at the same time so it is possible they all said ‘yes’ to avoid some kind of perceived inadequacy.

    • feeriker

      Anecdotal, I know.

      But probably typical and representative of the norm nonetheless, at least in terms of proportions. Only the numbers would differ in any other survey.

    • Renee Kazmar

      I’m an adult woman, married for 11 years, and I sometimes buy Godiva for myself and my kids when we got to the mall. I’m aware of men’s issues and think that contacting these places is a good step. I don’t think it does any good to tell them they’ve lost a customer. If you’re no longer their customer then why should they bother changing for you.

  • Ballast

    I suspect its all about the marketing. On one hand branding is powerful, creating a series of images and emotions associated with a brand and therefore selling more product is like a magic trick. All the pink you see is licensed to these companies for a “feel good” kick from consumers who immediately think their dosh is going to a “good cause”. Most of it actually gets siphoned off into the marketing machine that promotes the campaign, less than 30% actually goes into the research. So what we are seeing with all the pink is just another form of branding, another way to get people to part with their money while feeling good about it.
    There is another way to change whats being researched and how much, find out where the research is happening. The Qld Institute of Medical Research is my local boffin space and they do all sorts of wonderful research. You can donate directly and be assured that all of the dosh is going right where it’s needed, specially if you make it clear that their marketing department (which can skim as much as 35% of donations) had nothing to do with your donation.

  • http://breakingtheglasses.blogspot.com/ Gloria Sass

    Godiva wrote back to me:

    “Hello and thank you for your recent contact with Godiva and for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

    With the launch of our new Lady Godiva Program one of our goals is to be able to support a broad range of causes. After a year of the program, we have been able to support a multitude of causes through our local efforts including feeding children and adults who would otherwise go hungry, research for pulmonary hypertension, domestic violence awareness, and more. Here is a link to the Lady Godiva Program website, where you can get more information:

    http://ladygodivaprogram.com/honorees/previous

    The Lady Godiva Program is a cause initiative that honors women who give back to their communities and gives awareness to causes that are important to woman ? which would include prostate cancer as we know so many have had families and friends affected by this disease. As we move forward and build on the Lady Godiva Program, we will continue to look at a variety of causes to support and will take your suggestion of Prostate Cancer Awareness into consideration.

    This is the first time Godiva has created a large program of support around Breast Cancer Awareness, and this is just one of the many causes that are important to Godiva and that we hope to continue to support.

    Thank you again for your feedback.

    Thank you again for your email and your interest in our products. If you have any questions, or if we can be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-946-3482 and take prompt #3 for customer care, or via email.

    Kind regards,

    Jean
    Customer Care Department
    Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.
    1-800-946-3482
    Take Prompt #3
    7 days a week
    8:00 am to 11:00 pm ET
    May your life be filled with Godiva!”

    From the look of what I got, it seems that the orignal reply to you was based on a form letter prepared for the purpose of addressing any among a broad spectrum of complaints about aspects of their current program. However, I thought it was interesting to see in the part that was not uniform that the idea received a different tone of response when presented by a woman. Suddenly, because a woman was concerned, the cause had merit.

    That said, I won’t be holding my breath to see if Godiva sponsors charities focused on Prostate cancer. If they do, it will be a pleasant surprise. If they don’t it won’t be.

    • Howard Gordan

      Yes Gloria. Seems to be a form letter, telling everyone that they care only about what women deem as important. Women will decide whether or not they agree with men that prostate cancer is important enough to promote. Doesn’t matter much what men feel. As you say, I am not holding my breath at any chance of a women’s group promoting a man’s disease as important. I don’t know of a single woman’s group that ever has yet.

      • http://breakingtheglasses.blogspot.com/ Gloria Sass

        I don’t think they will, either. It’s much more profitable to hit women’s panic buttons than to appeal to them on behalf of men, especially among groups which start with the premise that women are at some kind of disadvantage.

  • http://danipettas.com Dani Pettas

    Great article.

    I like what @BlueBlood said about gender and who’s buying vs. eating Godiva.

  • faroefaxi

    not sure this is the right place to put this link. but i found an interesting story on the Danish tv/website called BT.
    http://www.bt.dk/danmark/gro-et-overskaeg-mod-kraeft
    ya I know it is in Danish but in essens it is a campaign for prostate cancer awareness. I know not a lot of people speak Danish but at list I wanted to show that this issue is recognized,somwe where in the world :-) sorry for the spelling