Woops, Spoiled It

Okay ladies… Remember the game last year 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 🙂

I got this message the other day. I am so conflicted about this phenomenon. I remember last year, and I remember feeling the same sort of stomach clench about it then.

I guess my first question is: how do you increase awareness by leaving half of the Facebook population in the dark? By creating some kind of risqué status about your purse and not telling any men what it’s about, I guess I just don’t understand how that implies the importance of a woman getting yearly breast exams and doing monthly self exams. The purpose of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, according to its website, is to increase awareness around early detection and testing. Which is really the goal of all Cancer Awareness months/weeks/stickers/water bottles/dog sweaters. I suppose the idea is that once the world takes notice we all shout “CHECK YOUR BOOBS!!” and run off giggling because we got everyone to look at us? I don’t understand it.


I always feel really cute and sexy at the gyno.


Another thing, and I think this is the big stomach clencher, is that a woman’s power has nothing whatsoever to do with her ability to seemingly titillate the male populace via a popular social networking site. How is this powerful? What is powerful is having open and honest conversations about our bodies in public because there is nothing shameful about them. We don’t have to hide behind things like “Save Second Base” and bracelets that say “boobs!” on them in order to get attention to a serious health condition, do we? Should we start shouting “Save Your Little Pink Donut Looking Thingy Tee Hee!” for cervical cancer? Why can’t we just start talking about it in public? And all kinds of diseases that affect women predominantly, why do we have to talk about them secretly and in euphemism? How about “Save Human Beings From Cancer By Spreading Awareness Of The Need For Screenings Regardless Of Gender Or Particular Body Part Affected!” I need a marketing department.

Why do we have to leave men wondering? Why do we have to try and trick them in to caring about breast cancer? It’s not about boobs, it’s not about titillation, it’s not about sex. For once can’t we make a women’s issue just an issue and not make it sexy? We don’t have to be secretive and tricky to get men to care about us. THAT is the true power that women have and are hardly allowed to use. You’re a person, you deserve to be healthy and informed.

Also, breast cancer doesn’t even kill the most women in America. But we focus on it because we can slap boobs on it and make it interesting to men.

I feel like I am getting really repetitive, but this whole thing just gets under my skin so far I can hardly stand it. I’ll save my rant about slapping pink ribbons on products and claiming that that makes them pro-women’s health for another time, another place, another pot of coffee.


EDIT: Check it out, I’m not alone!


About Charlotte

In an attempt to figure it all out, I've broken the world up in to tiny pieces and am conquering them one at a time.
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6 Responses to Woops, Spoiled It

  1. Marc says:

    Unfortunately I don’t think the answer is particularly interesting or subversive, its just simple;

    Community organizing often works best when you can make it fun or a game, cause most folks are two self involved to care about strangers all that much, but games and in jokes and such are fun.

    Its really the same logic underlying race for the cure (how does jogging help?), AIDSwalk, bowling for boobies, fund raising raffles, and all that other folderol you see in most non-profit work. Its fun and that helps keep people involved who might otherwise not care enough.

    So marketing basically.


  2. Jabriel Donohue says:

    There comes a point in marketing an idea where a movement can run the risk of sacrificing its integrity to create a bigger splash. I’d say that this new meme has gone well past risk in that regard. Approaching empowerment through the ‘sex sells’ method has always struck me as fragile but there’s a certain sexual submissiveness to these self-objectifying campaigns that seems wholly counter productive.

    Great post. Win one for integrity.

  3. Riley says:

    I happened across your article, and, while I completely understand your concern, I think you’re missing the point:

    If even one person is lured in by this advertising contraption–just one–and he reminds his wife to check for lumps, she finds them, goes to the doctor, and survives an otherwise deadly disease because it was caught early, then it has done something for society that far outweighs it’s perhaps less than politically correct means of doing it.

    Besides, boobies are great, so is sex, why not just have a little fun with it? Don’t get down on people having a good time. They’re really, really not hurting anybody.

  4. Charlotte says:

    You are hurting someone though when you encourage the requirement of sexiness in all women’s issues. It hurts a lot of people to insist that “boobs” is the point of cancer awareness. Having a little fun is fine, but the movement has moved away from “a little fun” to a whole movement based on sex and submission. Tee hee, boobs.

    It does hurt. It doesn’t have to.

    • Marc says:

      Again I’m not sure its a sexiness requirement, just a ‘fun’ requirement that in this instance is a sex joke.

      That said, what’s wrong with it occasionally being a sex joke?

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