Saturday, January 9, 2010

About that Facebook meme

I got an e-mail yesterday morning, telling me to post my bra color into my Facebook status as a way to raise "awareness" for breast cancer. I use quotes because I didn't participate because I couldn't see how calling attention to my bra without actually including any information about breast cancer would raise awareness of it. I mean, posting my bra color with a link to the Susan G. Komen foundation website or suchlike would raise awareness. But just my bra color would raise awareness of, well, my bra.

In my web meanderings today, I found people who agreed with me for more or less the same reasons, and I was prepared to pretty much forget it as another stupid Facebook thing. And then I found a post by a breast cancer survivor explaining why it was a colossally insensitive to breast cancer survivors, the people it was ostensibly trying to help:

"Other cancer survivors joined in, telling me that they felt left out too. After all, this was ostensibly an effort to raise awareness of breast cancer — but one in which breast cancer survivors themselves could not participate, and were reminded (as if we needed a reminder) that we didn’t need bras anymore, that most basic undergarment of women everywhere, that symbol of sexuality, for the simple reason that we had already sacrificed our breasts in a hail mary attempt to keep the rest of our bodies from dying of cancer."

I know it's late to be posting this, since that meme was so yesterday. But if you were just getting the e-mail today, or didn't have time to post yesterday and were going to today, please don't. And maybe this should serve as a cautionary tale about how when well-meaning people try to help a cause, they should check with the people actually affected by it to find out if it would actually be helpful.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I never even thought about that. I think more than anything it was meant to confuse the guys, as the instructions (I believe) were not to tell the menfolk what the colour meant. Most of the facebook memes are pretty lame anyway. But that's a great point.