Until last night. Last night I just could not take it anymore. At the risk of sounding like a cultural leper, I asked one of the participants in this THING what was going on. This is the response I got.
One of my friends has suggested that we women should do something special on facebook in order to increase awareness of October Breast Cancer Awareness month. It's so easy to do, that I'd love you to join in to make this a memorable online event. Last year, the idea was to post the color of the bra you were wearing on facebook...and it left men wondering for days, why women were posting colors, seemingly at random. 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 (i.e. don't respond to this message, but put it on your status) -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 get the purse in as well and see how powerful we women really are!!!It's a meme. For breast cancer awareness.
Let that sink in for a minute and then come back.
Welcome back. If you're like me, you took that minute to think to yourself, "Wait, seriously? Are you kidding me? Who came up with this? Was thought put into it? WHAT THE HELL DOES TURNING THE LOCATION OF YOUR PURSE INTO A SEXUAL INNUENDO HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH BREAST CANCER?"
These are questions I can't answer.
I am sure that this meme has the best of intentions. October, after all, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so why not raise awareness with a fun facebook game? It's cute, I guess, but it doesn't do anything. It would be a lovely thing if the women who participate in this meme then choose to make a donation to a charity, sign up for a cancer walk, take an active role in early detection, do something active. Unfortunately, I don't think this is the case.
What bothers me more than the passive intent and the lack of reference to cancer is the fact it is this secretive game and that we should make people who aren't "in the know" wonder about what's going on. I'm sorry, but if you want to raise awareness for breast cancer, why would you do so by creating a game that requires an invitation to get in on? It's a highly immature concept. Instead of leaving men clueless, we should be giving them the tools to talk to their mothers, sister, partners, etc. about early detection and scheduling regular mammograms. The only way we can educate and raise awareness for ANY topic is to get everything out in the open. Wouldn't a better meme be posting statistics, and information? If a read a post about the number of women in their 20s who were diagnosed with breast cancer each year, the cause would sure as hell has my full attention.
Again, I respect the intention of this Facebook fad, but the execution is just sloppy. The Internet, and social media in particular, has provided so many new and exciting avenues for activism. We can absolutely do better than this.