Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Facebook folly: I like them on my chest and lump-free

It's come round again. That time of year when women post silly suggestive things as their Facebook status apparently to bewilder poor men and raise awareness of breast cancer.


I did take part the first time round, when you were revealed the colour of your bra (gray, but in a good way), then the second, where you said where your bag was (flung on the kitchen floor and kicked by children). 


But now I've stopped to have a think and I won't be doing it again. 


Firstly, ladies, how would we feel if men started posting things like "firm and wobbly" or "just slap her if she won't shut up"? I'll bet the funny side wouldn't be so obvious. 


So shutting the chaps out so we can laugh at them isn't very nice... in fact, it might even be sexist. Certainly the assumption that we can laugh at men because they won't understand the joke is. 


Why shouldn't they be in on it - they can get breast cancer too. And, in any case, they have womenfolk with breasts, don't they? 


It doesn't compare to the Movember campaign about prostate and other men's cancers which is just as much about letting women know that their people with balls should be checking them and their other bits regularly. 


And in any case, what's the message with the Facebook thing? Most people are aware of breast cancer - so what? We have to check our breasts. Yes, of course. But wouldn't it be better to be reminded of that explicitly and more frequently. How about ads on tampon packets? On bras? At the supermarket? On Google - "it's the first of the month, check your tits day"? The internet and social media could have a powerful effect in reminding people, but a daft sniggery joke isn't helping at all. A trick is being missed.


And while we we're on the subject. Facebook statuses that say "If you are affected by depression/cancer/MS/autism/miscarriage/ingrowing toenails post this and, well, think you've done something to help when you haven't really..." are just as pointless. 


The internet in its various forms gives people a chance to say real and personal things on any topic they like. This is very powerful and effective. Just copying what someone else said isn't.


Maybe there should be a fine or donation tariff - every time someone posts, clicks or otherwise participates in a spurious awareness raising initiative without engaging their brains should be fined and the proceeds given to the appropriate charities. 


OK, as you were. I've got that off my chest now and I feel better. 




15 comments:

  1. I remember seeing some very strange Facebook status updates which, as it turned out, were raising awareness of breast cancer, except at the time I had absolutely no idea what it was all about. They didn't seem to link to any Breast Cancer Awareness page either, which would have helped the confused amongst us. So I agree, there has to be a better way of doing it. It would be great to get Google involved and ads (or stickers) on bras seem a great way too. As for the - post this if you are affected by X,Y or Z, I'm with you on that one too!

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  2. Thanks Rosie. Stickers on bras - maybe something you could put in your underwear drawer so it would remind you would be an excellent idea.

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  3. There is this running at the moment which give free mammograms for clicks.

    http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=2

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  4. I tend only to repost when the person who has posted first is someone who is actually affected by the condition. I feel they might just be looking for a bit of solidarity. As for the breast cancer things, couldn't agree more.

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  5. VBiC, Thanks for that.

    Debbie, Reading it back, perhaps I was a little harsh. I know people do it for solidarity. x

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  6. As a former fundraiser for a cancer charity, I read this with interest. The issue of 'awareness' is a delicate one. The biggest question for us was - do we want to raise awareness about a particular cancer, or do we want people to act on information that we give them (be it fundraising or health messages)? The two are quite different things.

    Raising awareness with no follow up action can sometimes trick people into thinking that they're doing something, when they're not really.

    Personally, I prefer a more direct 'awareness' campaign, with a direct action attached to it.

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  7. Mammasaver, I totally agree. I think that's what gets up my nose, there is no 'call to action'. The powerful tools of social media can make a difference if used properly.

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  8. I agree with the facebook thing not really sure how it helps.
    I think social media can be used in better ways to raise awareness and vital funds.
    Last september for breast cancer awareness month as a very new blogger i tried to do just that by running turn your blog pink. I was too new to get the momentum but will definately do it again this year and would love you all to join in and support when September comes round.
    http://makingitasmum.blogspot.com/2011/10/witney-turns-pink-to-support.html
    cat x

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  9. Totally agree Ellen. I don't do any of these silly campaigns. I'd much rather post a linky to the breast cancer awareness site for all to see, or any other charity for that matter. I don't send on any chain texts, bbms, or anything. I support everything and anyone directly if I need to. I agree also, why exclude men from breast cancer campaigns. My uncle was a rock for my auntie when she had it and therefor went through it too.
    Xx

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  10. I wholeheartedly agree with you, the FB thing just dosen't actually raise awareness of the issue at hand, it also does not remind anyone to check their breasts regularly. It would be better to have a status about checking your breasts (and I know you don't like this bit) but getting everyone to repost it to remind us all.

    I do join in the re-post status things when its something that I can relate to, by it either effecting me directly or by it affecting someone I actually know.

    Great post to hopefully get people thinking about the use of things like FB and Twitter.

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  11. All good things have been said already, just wanted to add that I agree too with the waste of an awareness status that doesn't link to action of some sort. Thanks for highlighting this.

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  12. Oh I so agree! I played the FB bra game but haven't joined in since. My absolute dread is the "it's such and such awareness week" status - I am incredibly tempted to put in a link to a charity that's doing something positive, rather than spreading such inane words - but then I'm playing the game, and I don't want to do that. Brilliant post x

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  13. Yup - agreed, but still feeling a bit curmudgeonly about it. Sophie

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  14. Sophie, me too - but the more I think about it, the more I know we can all do a bit better.

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