I like it on the kitchen table.
I like it on the couch.
I like it on our bed.
Seen any Facebook status updates like this yesterday? No, your friends aren’t more randy this October than usual. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there is yet another Facebook meme circling the social networking site that purports to “get people talking” about breast cancer. From Facebook:
“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 [sic] 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!!!”
Yes, let’s show the world how powerful women are by making sexual innuendo on Facebook. That’ll show ‘em!
[Also, WHAT THE F**K DO PURSES HAVE TO DO WITH BREAST CANCER?! At least bras have something to do with breasts. -- Editor Amelia]
Look, being a woman with a lump-in-my-boob scare of my own last year, I don’t disagree that breast cancer awareness is important.
But this so-called “activism” on Facebook is just straight-up dopey and the fact it gets major media outlet coverage should be a testament to its dopiness, not its success. Activism and awareness can be — and probably, should be — fun so as to truly engage people. Just look at the Guerrilla Girls, who appear in gorilla suits in public while they raise awareness about the lack of women artists in the world’s major art museums. The Guerrilla Girls are eye-catching, hilarious … and substantive. Sexual innuendo-filled Facebook status updates are just a goofy way for people to feel like they are “doing something” by “raising awareness” without doing much of anything at all.
Here are some realities:
- Women who have battled breast cancer are denied health care coverage for having “pre-existing” conditions.
- Millions of other women can’t afford health care to begin with.
- Anti-abortion protesters successfully spread lies that abortion causes breast cancer, despite the fact that this myth has been disproved by the Journal of the American Medical Association as recently as 2004.
- A company holds a patent on the deadly breast cancer gene mutation (BRCA), which means that it controls who can test and study BRCA and who cannot. Furthermore, the cost of the test for the BRCA gene mutation is $3,000!
I wish there was more media coverage of those topics, not Facebook status updates. Because whoever is launching these Facebook memes is right: Women are powerful. We are more powerful than most of us even realize. Channeling that power into outlets that don’t make any substantive changes? That’s just stupid.