I’ve been doing some ignoring lately. Mainly, I’ve ignored those messages in my Facebook inbox that say something along the lines of: “October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, get all your women friends together and post where you like to leave your purse by saying, “I like it in the____” and don’t say anything else. Last year we confused and stumped the men by only posting our bra color so lets see the power of women again this year!”
There are a few MAJOR problems I have with messages like this.
#1) What does where I like to leave my purse have anything to do with breast cancer awareness?
#2) Why would I not want to make any other comment besides, “I like it in the…” to raise awareness?
#3) Where is any education or awareness of the point of those supposed thousands of posts going to come from?
#4) Do we have to make everything so flippin’ sexual? Really? You don’t think that by saying simply saying, “I like it on the kitchen table” isn’t going to raise sexual commentary? ‘Cause I promise you that it does. I havent seen a single “I like it” post without a winking smiley, a ‘Oh really’ or other more blatant responses.
#5) ‘Power of women’? What are we doing that is so powerful? Confusing and stumping men? Really, cause most of the men I know are confused and stumped by the women in their lives on a daily basis with no special posts or effort made on the female side, so that can’t possible be it.
So I was ignoring those messages…and then, my favourite pot stir-er and best friend, BrightonWoman, made a status comment that I couldnt just let pass me by without chiming in, borrowing and editing to make my own. For those of you who arn’t FB friends, here is my extended status post and other commentary blended together:
(SisuGirls real name) agrees that the reason that breast cancer gets more attention than childhood cancer, pregnancy/infant loss or domestic violence or other worthy things is most likely because we have a sex/boob obsessed culture. We dont like to think about sick kids, dead babies or beaten women, but we do want to think about boobs. By saying “I like it on the…” doesn’t cure cancer or save one darn person, only makes you think of sex. Where is the message about awareness?
I’m all for support and helping others feel better, thats why I participate in the creation of prayer shawls and chemo caps. How about making a donation to the American Cancer Association or other support organization of your choice this year in the name of your friends and family instead of unneeded or unwanted Christmas gifts? Why not post about the generous donation you just made to ACA or any other cancer research organisation in your loved ones name? I’m sure they could use the money and not random Facebook posts with sexual connotations. What about encouraging all the women you know to take part in “Friday Feel-Up”, a routine weekly self breast exam, so that they are aware of their bodies and can tell when something is wrong or different? Better yet, get your own husband/partner involved in said exam…what better way to spark the mood AND make sure you are around for years to come to enjoy each other, where ever “you like it”. How about volunteering your time at a local shelter? How about actually doing something instead of making a useless Facebook post about where you like to leave your purse? I know I will.
In my posts I refer to October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Children’s Cancer Awareness Month, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Attachment Parenting Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month but the list goes on and on…64 on this list from McGraw-Hill in the US and here is a list from the UK. Some are funny and lesser known, the fact that October is also National Popcorn Poppin’ Month (yes, poppin’) was a surprise to me and any reason I can take to celebrate popcorn, I am all over it. Others are even less well known, like the fact that it is also National Spina Bifida Awareness Month. To be honest, I don’t like the most common disabling birth defect in the US or most of the other things that need awareness raised about them…but I sure as hell don’t think that anyone will be made aware of any of the things on those lists or the impact that they have on real peoples lives because of hyper sexualized single line status posts. I encourage each and every one of you to become a champion of something that is near and dear to your heart and I promise, I’ll Like It and make sure that I help you raise and spread awareness to others about it.