September 2, 2011

Here we go again....

Oh man. I hadn't planned on posting anything today but sometimes, material just writes itself.

This morning I woke up to two identical FB messages. You probably did too. They went something like this:

Ok pretty ladies, it's that time of year again, in support of breast cancer awareness!! So we all remember last years game of writing your bra color as your status?.....or the way we like to have our handbag handy? Remember last year so many people took part that it made national news and, the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we're doing this and helped raise awareness!! Do NOT tell any males what the status' mean, keep them guessing!! And please copy and paste (in a message )this to all your female friends to see if we can make a bigger fuss this year than last year!!! I did my part... now YOUR turn ! Go on ladies...and let's have all the males guessing! .. It's time to confuse the men again (not that its really that hard to do :)) Everyone knows it makes their brains work wonders on what we're talkin about!! The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to the GIRLS ONLY and lets see how far it reaches around. The last one about the bra went round all over the world. So you'll write... I'm (your birth month) weeks and I'm craving (your birth date)!!! as your status. Example: Feb 14th: I'm 2 weeks and craving Chocolate mints!!
"I am super serial."

Now, if you were around here last year when the color thing was going on, then you know exactly how much that whole episode annoyed me. If not, or if you don't understand why I don't think it's funny and want to play along, you can click here and read my blog post on the subject.


This year is no different, though the tactics have changed. And honestly, I think it's even worse. While the bra color and handbag memes were immature and immodest (as commenters on the last post eloquently pointed out), this one trivializes both cancer and pregnancy.

Think about that for a second. Breast cancer strikes women of all ages, including women who weren't finished growing their families. Cancer puts those dreams off, and finding out you have cancer while you are pregnant is devastating, giving the mother the unbelievable choice of either ending her unborn child's life or receiving life-saving cancer treatment.

But there's another aspect to it, as well. Many of the women who read those posts implying pregnancy are themselves struggling to or waiting to get pregnant. They don't make "I'm pregnant" April Fool's Day jokes. It's not a joke to them. It's hard enough to battle the mixed emotions of sadness, loss, joy and loyalty when a friend genuinely announces a pregnancy on facebook. Now they get to see fake pregnancy announcements pop up in their timeline a dozen times a day. Now, you aren't just having a good laugh. You're having it at another person's expense.

By the way, I'll just point out that the whole "we need to do this to raise awareness about breast cancer" argument is essentially moot at this point. In the last 18 months there have been two other memes "raising awareness" about breast cancer. And I won't go into again exactly how pointless "raising awareness" about a disease that gets an entire month of merchandising advertisement really is.

So I guess that's it. Call me a killjoy if you want, but just bear in mind, not only does this particular exercise not help anyone, you may actually be hurting a friend you care about.

13 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more. After my own pregnancy loss I was so worried about announcing my next pregnancy to anyone...for fear of making others feel bad. I know so many people struggle with pregnancy and I know firsthand how hard it is to be surrounded by happy news when you are mourning a loss. I always have to talk myself into posting pictures and updates because I wonder who I am hurting by doing it. A girl I graduated high school with was diagnosed with breast cancer less than 2 years ago, underwent chemo and a double mastectomy, and I know she would give anything to be pregnant. The new statuses are insensitive and unnecessary!! It's not that I don't think breast cancer doesn't deserve awareness, but I think there is a much more tasteful way to do it.

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  2. Im happy to report not one of those statuses on my feed!

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  3. ::Standing ovation:: I couldn't agree with you more. This whole thing is absolutely ridiculous, and even childish. Thanks for posting this. =)

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  4. I agree... I usually just delete those messages without even reading them. Very rarely to a I partake in the "please repost if you believe in {enter topic here}."

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  5. Uh-greed.

    And I do hope that everything is okay from your WWT post. And I loved your Pinterest quote about Super Woman vs. Abiding Woman. Thanks for sharing that.

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  6. I agree 150%. Very eloquently stated, hun.

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  7. I totally agree. I haven't received a FB message yet, but I do remember someone posting something like "I'm expecting" as their status, they got tons of congratulatory comments, then they said something like "I'm expecting to get a box in the mail today." It makes me so sad for anyone who is trying to get pregnant and can't, or friends of mine who have miscarried. It is so important to be mindful of others and their feelings.

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  8. I have been seeing tons of these and I think they are so dumb. I really fail to see how it raises breast cancer awareness at all.

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  9. I completely agree. Well said!

    I amazingly have not received one of these emails yet. Maybe my friends know me too well.

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  10. Along with this post, I just read the one from last year too... and I shared on facebook.

    Both of those awareness stunts really rubbed me the wrong way, but I couldn't put a finger on it. You said it wonderfully. I agree wholeheartedly.

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  11. I couldn't agree more. Luckily this new "trend" was only short-lived. I believe I only saw one or two status updates. Those people? I deleted. :)

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