17 May 2013

Put On Purple And Ride To Work

Today is national Ride Your Bike to Work Day.

I just found out that it's also "Put On Purple" Day.  The Lupus Foundation of America has so designated this day to raise awareness of one of the most pervasive and severe conditions most people don't know about.  

One reason for the lack of awareness, I believe, is that many people perceive--as I did, until recently--that the disease only affects African-Americans.  Another reason is that 90 percent of its victims are female.  Illnesses that affect mostly women and girls are given the short shrift vis-a-vis those that affect males because medicine, as we know it, is a partiarchy.  Not only are the vast majority of doctors still men, so are and were most of their medical-school professors.  Said professors, like their counterparts in any other field, teach their students what they learned.  Given that--because, until recently, nearly all doctors and researchers were men--most research was done on conditions that mostly affect males, and the "baseline" sex in medicine has been male.

Anyway, if I had known that Put On Purple and Bike To Work Day converged as they did today, I'd have organized a ride in which everyone wears a purple jersey or T-shirt. And, of course, I'd be on it, riding one of my purple bikes (actually, Mercian finish #57)!

Here is someone who would definitely belong on such a ride:

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