Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, the Deputy Minister for the South African Department of Social Development, has come under fire from the press and her constituents for some odd remarks about testicular cancer – most notably, that it can inspire men to be violent towards their domestic partners.
In a controversial Twitter thread, the South African politician attempted to tie physical illnesses to gender-based violence.
A THEAD:How Cancer can lead to GBV. It is important to understand the depth of GBV of you are going to fight it successfully
I've been on a PinkDrive campaign when we have been promoting the screening of breast, cervical, prostrate and testicular cancers https://t.co/xCRLc6MIqV
— Hendrietta Bogopane Zulu (@HendriettaZ) August 21, 2020
“A man with Testicular / Prostate cancer may no longer be able to perform sexually and that impediment may used against him as opposed to providing him support. As a result he may feel less of a man l, seeing sexual ‘prowess’ has been set by society as one of measures of manhood.”
However, victims advocates diasagreed with her contention. Given Siqauqwe of Sonke Gender Justice commented, saying “According to the work that we do the causes of gender-based violence are founded in power imbalances rooted in patriarchy, gender-based inequalities and discrimination. Gender-based violence is the most extreme expression of these unequal gender relations in society, and a violation of human rights, as well as a main hindrance of the achievement of gender equality. To link gender-based violence to cancer is to grossly overlook the aforementioned root causes and therefore undermining the work that is being done to deal with the problem of gender-based violence in our society.”
We know that the struggle to overcome testicular cancer can take great tolls on the mind and body, but drawing a connection to violent behavior seems like a bridge too far. With no actual scientific studies bearing out her assertion, Bogopane-Zulu might want to rethink her statements.
Read more at News24.Get your balls in the game! Donate to the Sean Kimerling Foundation to win the battle against testicular cancer.