Hey everybody. I’ve got a great idea. Stop falling for lousy Facebook mass emails and subsequently spamming my Facebook feed with idiotic “let’s fool the men” status updates that do nothing more than irritate me.
I’m a bit testy today, aren’t I? Well, this is the third year of this asinine breast cancer “awareness” drive that irks me more and more each passing year. And at the risk of irritating many of my friends (who have already posted the “I’m _______ weeks and craving _______” status update), I’m going to detail just why this meme seems to get under my skin so much. Nothing against you people who have already posted the update. This is about the MEME not YOU. Got that? The MEME. Not. You. I still love all of you, even if you’ve taken off five years of my life out of sheer aggravation that so many of you fall for this tripe.
(In case you were wondering, here’s the wording of the email making the rounds. The email that takes all of 5 seconds to find with a Google search:)
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 talking 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 is: I’m 2 weeks and craving Chocolate mints!! (***Followed by a grid that lists what candy bar to list for which day of the month***)
But first, a public service announcement. Cancer is an awful, terrible, horrifying thing that affects everyone on this planet, and doing anything we can to prevent it and find a cure for it is time well spent in my book. I’ve had friends and family members die from cancer of various types. I know full well the damage it can do and just how serious it is. Breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer–____ cancer. Any kind.
So this isn’t an anti-cancer awareness rant. It’s a particularly phony approach that some chucklehead came up with that’s really getting my goat. Let me count the ways:
- I feel like this sort of meme is extremely sexist, in more ways than one. You have the “don’t tell men–it’ll make them so curious.” Tee hee hee! I feel like this reduces women to nothing more than a bunch of tittering junior high school girls. You’re powerful, capable women, able to raise awareness for whatever you want by . . . gee . . . let me think . . . actually raising awareness for it? Coming together in a common effort, exploring your ideas with well-worded, reasoned arguments, using every tool in your rhetorical arsenal to persuade your audience that they need to PAY ATTENTION. Instead, you listen to some random email that says “It’s time to confuse the men again (not that it’s really that hard to do)” smiley face. What if I were to turn this around? What if this email said something like “Yo guys! You know how broads are so stupid? How about we make those dumb chicks wild, wondering about what our status updates mean.” How’s that sound to you? A little inappropriate, maybe? Some of you are probably already sharpening pitchforks to stab me just for using that sort of language at all. Sexism cuts both ways.
- This does nothing to promote breast cancer awareness. It promotes awareness of a stupid meme that plays upon a innate desire we all have to want to try and contribute something to a solution of a complex problem. It’s just as bad as those inane “99.5% of people won’t repost this, because they’re all heartless troglodytes who beat puppies” Facebook statuses that I detest almost as much as this one. If you want to promote a cause, promote a cause. Don’t promote a meme. Take some time out of your life, raise awareness of something. Donate some money. Or better yet, donate some real time. Because you know what? Taking five seconds out of your life to tell the world where you put your handbag, what color bra you’re wearing, or what your birth date is isn’t going to amount to a whole lot of good in the long run.
- This meme doesn’t seem to originate by anyone with one shred of credibility. October is breast cancer awareness month. So why is it that this meme has popped up now–at the beginning of September? And one of the rounds before came in January? Every time I see a bunch of my friends following one of these memes, I get ticked off at whoever started it. I could sit around and come up with something like this, then let it loose in the wild. People do this all the time. That’s why Snopes was invented, practically–to let people know when the issue they’re dealing with is real or not. To let you know that the “virus” you’re warning everyone about isn’t actually a virus. It’s a spam email some poor schmuck wrote to try and trick people into doing stupid things, just so they could sit back and laugh about what idiots we all are.
- This particular meme seems to be rather ill-thought-out, even if it’s written by someone slightly reputable. October is also when Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day is celebrated. So let me get this straight . . . we’re promoting “breast cancer awareness” by using status updates that make it sound like we’re all pregnant? Genius.