Breast Cancer Action Month

Breast Cancer Awareness

Posted in Breast Cancer Action Month on October 6th, 2010 by steph – 17 Comments

So, for a few days now I’ve had people on facebook posting status updates along the lines of “I like it on the floor”, “I like it on my kitchen table”, etc. And I figured it was some sort of super-secret funtimes game where actually you were talking about where you keep your stack of unpaid phone bills or something. And then today I got this message on facebook

Remember the game last year on FB about what color bra you were wearing at the moment? The purpose was to increase awareness of October Breast Cancer Awareness month. It was a tremendous success and we had men wondering for days what was with the colors and it made it to the news.
This year’s game has to do with your handbag/purse, where we put our handbag the moment we get home for example “I like it on the couch”, “I like it on the kitchen counter”, “I like it on the dresser” well u get the idea. Just put your answer as your status with nothing more than that and cut n paste this message and forward to all your FB female friends to their inbox. The bra game made it to the news. Let’s see how powerful we women really are!!! REMEMBER – DO NOT PUT YOUR ANSWER AS A REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE- PUT IT IN YOUR STATUS!!! PASS THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW

Oops, spoiler alert, y’all. Except I don’t really care that I might have spoilt it, because I think the whole thing is ridonkulous.

First of all, October is actually Breast Cancer Action Month (or at least it is here in NZ; possibly this is different in other place).

Secondly, why the fuck aren’t we raising awareness by actually talking about it? I don’t want to keep men guessing for days, I want to be spreading awareness of the issues. I don’t want a girls club of  ‘let’s do this fun thing but not tell the men what it’s about’, because by the time people find out the either wont care or will think it didn’t achieve anything. I don’t want a silly facebook game to make the news, I want Breast Cancer awareness month to make the news on it’s own merit.

Additionally, I dislike that a huge element of this relies on the ineveitable innuendo of the status updates: liking it on the floor, on the bed, on the table, etc. There are tons of things you could ask people to put as a status that would also be based on a secret question but wouldn’t allude to something sexual, thus relying on the titillation factor to get attention. I don’t really care about whipping my male facebook friends into a frenzy wondering if all these women they know are secretly kinky sexual dynamos; if the allure of this was really about the mystery and the curiosity and wonder, then the sexual element isn’t necessary. I have no problem with something being sexual, but it isn’t necessary when the point is apparently to raise awareness of breast cancer.

And also; “Let’s see how powerful we women really are!”. For reals? Because I honestly don’t see how this is indicative of the power of women. It shows that people are interested in the cause, and like to have a bit of fun, but I think touting this as powerful women-driven action is just appropriation. What would be showing how powerful we women really are? Speaking out about the fucking issue! Spreading the word, talking about how breast cancer has affected us or people we know, educating ourselves and others about how to be breast aware. Donating money, taking part in actions, volunteering to collect for the Breast Cancer Foundation or give your time in another way. This Facebook status thing? It’s an empty gesture. It doesn’t even mention the real issue until well after the excitement of the game has passed. I understand that many people don’t feel as motivated to volunteer or give money, and a Facebook status is an easy way to feel as if you are contributing. But if a Facebook status is the way you want to go (and in no way am I criticising people who don’t go out and do something “big”, because little things matter too), then make your status something about Breast Cancer Action month. Link to the site, link to information about how to give self breast checks, let people know what events are  happening this month and how they can help. Please, make the issue the real focus