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  #1  
Old 08 January 2010, 01:38 PM
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MapleLeaf MapleLeaf is offline
 
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Default Breast cancer and Facebook statuses

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Have you spotted a random color in a Facebook user status update today and don't know what's going on?

A message claiming to be a cancer awareness campaign is spreading through Ann Arbor area Facebook inbox
I don't get it. I mean, I get what they are doing and I've seen my female friends' facebook statuses. But I have to say I'm disappointed. This seems like a childish game to me more than anything else. Why exclude the men? I mean, yes, breast cancer is a women's issue. But who does it help to play "confuse the guys" and then keep it some big secret and laugh when someone asks you what it's all about (as practically everyone I know has done)? I only found out about it because one of my favourite snopesters finally posted an explanation in her status.

Why not tell *everyone* to post something in their status? I don't have a bra colour, obviously, but I know many survivors, including my uncle. If awareness is being raised for breast cancer, I want to help raise awareness, not feel like I'm having a joke played on me because of my gender.

I'd think it quite silly if all the men on facebook suddenly started posting their underwear colour and refusing to tell the women what it was about because prostate and testicular cancer are "men's issues". I'd want help from the women to spread awareness of these important and sometimes-embarrassing cancers.
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  #2  
Old 08 January 2010, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MapleLeaf View Post
I'd think it quite silly if all the men on facebook suddenly started posting their underwear colour and refusing to tell the women what it was about because prostate and testicular cancer are "men's issues".
It would be less silly then what is actually going on here, even. I have never heard of a woman getting testicular cancer, but I HAVE heard of a man getting breast cancer. Men have breast tissue too, it's just not as prominent. I agree that it's a silly way to "raise awareness" for breast cancer.
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  #3  
Old 08 January 2010, 01:45 PM
Ana Ng Ana Ng is offline
 
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This was probably one person's idea that went viral. I don't think most people really thought much about it and it wasn't a coordinated effort to leave men out- I think most people played along so they didn't seem like they didn't care about breast cancer. No one was like, sitting around giggling at how clueless and stupid men are.

ETA: "raising awareness for breast cancer" is, at this point- does any cancer have more people, products and dances for it? I don't know awareness is necessarily the answer.
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  #4  
Old 08 January 2010, 01:48 PM
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Four Kitties Four Kitties is offline
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Does awareness of breast cancer in women really need to be raised these days? Funds for research need raising, certainly, but is anyone unaware of breast cancer? [ETA: thanks, Ana, may I have another?]

Awareness that breast cancer is not restricted to women is what needs raising, IMO.

Four Kitties
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  #5  
Old 08 January 2010, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ana Ng View Post
I don't think most people really thought much about it and it wasn't a coordinated effort to leave men out
Yes it was. Did you read the article?
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"Write the color of your bra in your status. Just the color, nothing else. And send this on to ONLY women no men. It will be neat to see if this will spread the wings of cancer awareness. It will be fun to see how long it takes before the men wonder why the women have a color in their status.....LOL!"
LOL indeed.
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  #6  
Old 08 January 2010, 01:57 PM
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Auntie Witch Auntie Witch is offline
 
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I want to bang my head against the wall right now.

In response to this game, I posted the following status: The color game was supposed to "spread awareness." How about some facts instead? From ACS: "In 2009, an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women, as well as an estimated 62,280 additional cases of in situ breast cancer.... Although breast cancer in men is a rare disease....Men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with advanced disease and thus have poorer survival."

Then I put a comment underneath: Let's call it what it is: sexist exclusion.

One of my friends then posted: "Many people have taken offense to the game here is a fact that was posted by a friend of mine.From ACS:"[the facts I posted]".

Grr! Talk about missing the point!

Spread facts. Teach people how to look for breast cancer (including men), as well as any other cancer you can self-screen for (did a mole check lately?). Tell them where their resources are. Show them how to tell the difference between a product that benefits the cause and one that benefits the manufacturer because they decided to dye their item pink and mark up the price to donate 5 cents profit of the extra dollar they're charging. But awareness? It's out there. Education is more important at this point.
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  #7  
Old 08 January 2010, 02:01 PM
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Mama Duck Mama Duck is offline
 
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I don't think it rises to the level of sexist exclusion because it can't lift itself out of juvenile and stupid. Honestly, to get to sexist, it'd have to evolve some.
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Old 08 January 2010, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Auntie Witch View Post
Spread facts. Teach people how to look for breast cancer (including men), as well as any other cancer you can self-screen for (did a mole check lately?). Tell them where their resources are. Show them how to tell the difference between a product that benefits the cause and one that benefits the manufacturer because they decided to dye their item pink and mark up the price to donate 5 cents profit of the extra dollar they're charging. But awareness? It's out there. Education is more important at this point.
Exactly what I was going to post. When I was in college, the one "awareness raising" event we did for breast cancer was to distribute these placards (made by the Komen Foundation I believe) that were meant to hang on the doorknob in the bathroom to show you how to do a self breast exam, and on the other side had facts about breast cancer, including how many men get it. AFAIK, they were distributed to everyone, including men.

So if we really need to do this on FB, how about posting a status telling people how to do a self exam, or what to look for?

I agree with ML, I did get this sent to me (word for word what he posted) and it definitely seemed like the point was to be exclusive, and laugh at the poor clueless guys.
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  #9  
Old 08 January 2010, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mama Duck View Post
I don't think it rises to the level of sexist exclusion because it can't lift itself out of juvenile and stupid. Honestly, to get to sexist, it'd have to evolve some.
Are they mutually exclusive?
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  #10  
Old 08 January 2010, 02:09 PM
candy from strangers candy from strangers is offline
 
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I get frustrated and annoyed with a lot of the breast cancer awareness stuff. If it's something legitimate and helpful, fine. But there are so many things that slap a pink ribbon on something to capitalize on the fact that people who mean well will buy it just because they think they're somehow helping people with breast cancer by doing so.

A good example: a few weeks ago at the local grocery store there were containers of yogurt-covered pretzels but the yogurt was pink instead of white, and the top of the containers had stickers with pink ribbons and words like "Hope" and "Courage". No where did it say it was in anyway affiliated with Susan G. Komen or any cancer organization of any kind but the display was nearly empty and in the several minutes* I was watching it there wasn't one moment there wasn't a woman heading towards it and almost all of them grabbed at least one container. Yogurt pretzels are delicious, but I really doubt every one of those women would consider those small container $4 worth of delicious when there were larger packages of white ones and chocolate ones for the same price on an endcap a couple of yards away. I was annoyed at the grocery store for being so trickstery and I was frustrated for the women who probably thought they were being helpful and presumably didn't realize all their money would be going to the store and not any charity.

When I worked at TJ Maxx we sold candies and cookies** that were shaped like ribbons or had a pink theme and were obviously trying to trick people the same way, but likewise didn't actually have anything to do with breast cancer. When I tried to mention this many of my co-workers made it sound like I'm pro-breast-cancer (like they did when I complained about that awful Melissa Etheridge song, but I've ranted about that here many times before so I'll spare you) and said "Who cares if it's not for a charity? It's raising awareness!" Yeah, who cares that it's being manipulative to get money. Not to mention anyone who'd buy something because they mistakenly think it's related to a breast cancer charity is already aware of breast cancer or else this trick wouldn't work.

I've only ever noticed this stuff with breast cancer, never other kinds of cancer or other diseases. Do I just notice it more because of my experience with that kind of bulljive, or does it really not happen with, for example, HIV/AIDS awareness stuff? I've never noticed bags of chocolates with red ribbons all over them but no actual mention of AIDS, but maybe they just didn't register. Has anyone else noticed this?

*Even though the bakery and grocery store-packaged candy stuff section was just one aisle over this display was, for some reason, stuck right in the middle of the produce section so I could see it the whole time I was picking out fruit, which takes me longer than it should because this is a good apple but I just know there's an even better apple here somewhere at myself

**They mentioned the cookies on Penn & Teller's Bullshit! episode about breast cancer awareness stuff and I was so excited. That's a really good episode, I recommend it (though I recommend most of that show's episodes ).

ETA: Yikes, there have been 7 more posts in the time it took me to rant about this!
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  #11  
Old 08 January 2010, 02:10 PM
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Mama Duck Mama Duck is offline
 
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Originally Posted by MapleLeaf View Post
Are they mutually exclusive?
At this point, you'd have to be more self-aware to even be sexist. It's just really, really stupid. And juvenile. I can't help but feel it was started by some 14 year old boy who wanted to know what his female classmates were wearing. Actually, how is a game about bra color supposed to include men?

~I really, really don't want to know about your underwear situation and I'm really, really not telling you about mine~
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  #12  
Old 08 January 2010, 02:19 PM
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I hadn't realised that the whole thing was supposed to exclude men, as the first status I saw had a handy explanation.

I was however surprised when one friend updated he status to: ONIONS!!! Just Onions.

It turned out to be a reference to the cricket, but for a moment I was confused.
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  #13  
Old 08 January 2010, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by James G View Post
I hadn't realised that the whole thing was supposed to exclude men, as the first status I saw had a handy explanation.

I was however surprised when one friend updated he status to: ONIONS!!! Just Onions.

It turned out to be a reference to the cricket, but for a moment I was confused.
Later, I will ask what onions have to do with cricket. (Ok, no, I won't but I was humoring you. ) The first explanation I received didn't specifically say "No Boys Allowed". I have a feeling that was added later. Of course, if you're posting about bra color, very few men will be able to participate.
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  #14  
Old 08 January 2010, 02:26 PM
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JoeBentley JoeBentley is offline
 
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I too have grown weary with "awareness" movements. There's a lot of slacktavism (could there be any more pointless use of one's time then raising awareness of issues that every single human being that hasn't lived in a cave for the last decade are fully aware of?) in them and they cause certain conditions to receive attention far beyond their actual threat because certain social groups have adopted them as their pet cause. The big three offenders (Autism, Breast Cancer, and AIDS) are all horrible diseases, but are harped about far out of perspective.
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Old 08 January 2010, 02:28 PM
Magdalene Magdalene is offline
 
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I think what also has to be kept in mind is that there were several versions of the game going on--one of which (and the one I got) was a more simple, "Hey, gals, just post the color of your bra in your status," with no mention of cancer. Seemed silly and goofy, so I did, passed it on, and didn't think much on it, since it looked like a lot of people were already in on the game (men included, since some of my guy friends were posting stuff like, "Hairy")

I did also get the cancer version from others, after I'd posted my color, so I'm wondering if it started off as just a goofy thing to do, then somebody added the cancer bit later.

Magdalene
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Old 08 January 2010, 02:38 PM
Ana Ng Ana Ng is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Magdalene View Post
I did also get the cancer version from others, after I'd posted my color, so I'm wondering if it started off as just a goofy thing to do, then somebody added the cancer bit later.

Magdalene
I wrote about the email last night, and it indeed looks like cancer was tacked on later.

ML, women do tend to circle for women's only things. It's not a deliberate coordination to exclude you, and no one's laughing at you. I don't think one woman who participated gave it more than a second and a half of thought.
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  #17  
Old 08 January 2010, 02:42 PM
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MapleLeaf MapleLeaf is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Duck View Post
At this point, you'd have to be more self-aware to even be sexist. It's just really, really stupid. And juvenile. I can't help but feel it was started by some 14 year old boy who wanted to know what his female classmates were wearing.
That's a pretty strange assumption. Why do you assume that?
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Actually, how is a game about bra color supposed to include men?
That's the point. Why not post something to one's status ABOUT breast cancer? I understand it's possible the "game" didn't start out that way. But it's spread to the point where that is what it is about.
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Old 08 January 2010, 02:44 PM
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MapleLeaf MapleLeaf is offline
 
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ML, women do tend to circle for women's only things.
Breast. Cancer. Is. Not. A. Women's. Only. Thing.
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It's not a deliberate coordination to exclude you, and no one's laughing at you.
All of my female friends who I asked for an explanation did. Please don't tell me what did and didn't happen when you have no way of knowing.
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I don't think one woman who participated gave it more than a second and a half of thought.
This is getting ridiculous. You don't know that. And I have evidence that you are incorrect.
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  #19  
Old 08 January 2010, 02:46 PM
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Mama Duck Mama Duck is offline
 
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That's a pretty strange assumption. Why do you assume that?
Really? A game asking women to post their bra color DOESN'T strike you as the brainchild of an immature teenaged boy?
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That's the point. Why not post something to one's status ABOUT breast cancer? I understand it's possible the "game" didn't start out that way. But it's spread to the point where that is what it is about.
Because it really didn't start out as an "awareness" game. It was just a really stupid game that got "breast cancer awareness" tacted on and then "no boys allowed" was added. The first e-mail I got mentioned neither of those things.
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Old 08 January 2010, 02:49 PM
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I hadn't seen anything about it until a guy friend asked in his status and someone told him it was bra colors (no mention of breast cancer awareness). Only later did a single female facebook friend post a color.

I guess I'm out of the loop.
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