I, like many people, am appalled and annoyed by the “I’ve got a lovely pair” fundraiser launched by NZGirl (it’s pretty easy to find if you want to find it). This is just one more brick in the wall that is the sexification of titty breast cancer. Better bloggers than I have already hit this one out of the park (yes, each of those is a different post!). But what I wanted to say concerned the idea that maybe NZGirl had good, honest intent. That they did this because they genuinely believed this is a good way to raise awareness and somehow help people with breast cancer or help people be more aware of how to get check and be proactive about their health. When I hear the word ‘intent’ thrown into the mix, I can’t help but think of this post over at Genderbitch: “Intent! It’s Fucking Magic!”. While the post is not about this topic specifically, I can’t help but think of this passge on the power of intent whenever someone says “I didn’t mean to offend!”
Because you see, Intent is the ultimate alchemy. It doesn’t change lead to gold, it changes harmful, negative or damaging actions into happy, fun, “everyone hugs and no one is oppressed”, magical unicorn actions. It dips its eerie powers into the pools of time and space and counters each and every ripple of fuckery and pain created by the actions of an unthinking douchebag who was too privileged or self absorbed to see that their actions were a problem.
So, I really don’t think that NZGirl having good intentions really makes this excusable. Maybe you don’t intend to be offensive but that certainly doesn’t mean that the thing you do isn’t offensive. And in that case, you shouldn’t get a free pass and an “oh, okay then, I see now”; you should get a chance to apologise for the inadvertant offense and a chance to understand the perspective of others and maybe learn something.