People who run breast cancer 'awareness' campaigns appear to be morons

In case the title was unclear, this post will be brief and ragey.

There are a myriad of reasons why “awarenesscampaigns are flawed.

But it is breast cancer “awareness” campaigns that seem to have perfected the act of combining flawed with offensive.

It isn’t only that these campaigns have “lost focus” or that many of the companies who claim to support these campaigns, in fact, include carcinogens in their products (though these facts certainly are significant), but that many of the campaigns which claim to be “raising awareness” about breast cancer and, one would assume, therefore (supposedly) aiming to help women, do just the opposite.

Check out this video, for example, created by a group called, obviously, “Boobies rule

 

 

The corresponding site, which also sells t-shirts with the words “Fun Bags” written on them, because, you know, breasts exist SOLELY for the purpose of providing ‘fun’ for boy-men, seems to give the impression that it is creating “awareness” about breast cancer.

What exactly are we arguing here? That we should be concerned about breast cancer because breasts are for male use? Because if we lose breasts (just breasts, not women, we don’t care about the women, fyi, just the breasts) to breast cancer we are in danger of losing erections? Is there any other reason AT ALL that one might desire to prevent / find a cure for breast cancer? You know, like, so that women…don’t…get…cancer?

Nope. No way does this have anything to do with the well-being of women. Breast cancer is now all about penises, thanks to the “boobies rule”/”save the tatas“/”I heart boobies” folks.

These campaigns essentially say:  “we should save breasts but not women”. They say: “we like your body parts but we don’t care about you”. They say: “we want you alive, so long as you are turning us on”.

I wonder if the fact that objectifying women ACTUALLY HURTS WOMEN has popped into the porn-filled heads of these dudes? While they pretend to be doing something good for women, they are actually doing the opposite.

It is possible that the creators of boobiesrule.org have zero interest in “raising awareness” around anything cancer-related (seeing as they donate only 10% of their profits to an organization called “Living Beyond Breast Cancer“) and that this is merely a scheme to make money off of fellow douchebros, but, of course, that is no excuse.

Dehumanizing women in the name of helping women who have cancer (the fact that so few of these breast cancer campaigns look at prevention and instead choose to focus solely on awareness, after the fact, is a whole other story) is not ok.

If you really want to learn more about breast cancer prevention and have an actual interest in working to end the breast cancer epidemic, I suggest you check out Think Before You Pink and Breast Cancer Action. Those folks are doing great work. The F Word interviewed Breast Cancer Action’s Program Manager, Kim Irish at about this time last year, and she sure did set the record straight about some of these campaigns. Check it out.

And feel free to tweet at these losers or leave a comment on their Facebook page – tell them to shut it down and go sell sexism somewhere else (or hey! Not at all!); but not to do it in the name of helping women.

 

 

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Bonnie

    I cannot bring myself to look at the video, but I have always been offended by the use of babyish names for body parts. So insulting.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Honestly, the video is so ridiculous and offensive I wouldn’t even bother….I’m sure you can imagine what it’s like.

  • ned

    This has to be among the most idiotic things I’ve ever had the misfortune to watch. Please die, losers.

  • marv wheale

    If any of the producers of the video need someone to assist them with suicide I would be happy to oblige. The jail time would be worth it.

  • Jennifer Drew

    When are we going to have a campaign about men contracting testicular cancer and yes the campaign must be ‘funny and humorous’ wherein men’s body parts are subjected to ridicule and name-calling because the campaign must be ‘edgy must it not’ in order to attract donations.

    But wait testicular cancer is a serious medical condition and men who suffer from this disease must not be dehumanised must they whereas women – well they aren’t human so that is why women’s bodies do not belong to women but only exist to titilate and ‘sexually service men!’

    By the way this latest ‘breast campaign’ is misogyny and another excuse for men to engage in promotion and condone men’s hatred of women.

    • marv wheale

      Unqestionably true!!!

  • joy

    Well gee.

    Not only do any of the people in the video look, much less act, nothing at all like “normal” (read, “natural”, as in, “un-MTV-and/or-cosmetic-surgery-enhanced”) people, the advertisement is an offensive and dehumanizing concept regardless of the actors.

    (For the nonviewers: Female patriarchy-compliant person who looks like she’s an extra on ‘Jersey Shore’ approaches young corporate-defined alterna-Brit-rocker boy who literally salivates over her breasts. Said boy’s equally-alterna-Brit-rocker dog also literally salivates, because dogs do that.
    Camera and boy indulge in fantasy of woman allowing him to ‘motorboat’ her breasts. Camera and female person gleefully oblige. Camera pans back to reality, wherein boy is rendered unconscious and dog licks his face, reminiscent of his fantasy about the woman’s breasts. Cue “Breast Caner Awareness!” placard. End scene.)

    But at least I can now know for certain what every single male I ever pass in public is thinking about me as a person! And I am definitely not flattered: because I am a human being, not because I am “a prude.”

    Thanks, media!

    • joy

      Also, my typo “caner” could be adapted as a portmanteau meaning ‘cancer boner.’ Consider the following usage:

      “Man, I got such a raging caner from watching these I Love Motorboating videos! I’m totally AWARE of ‘ta-tas’, way more than I even was before! Plus I can pass it off to my girlfriend like I’m such a total humanitarian. LOL! Total win.”

      Any individual who gets a caner, and any individual who makes or supports caner-providing media, should then turn to marv wheale and ned (above) to receive their extra-special prize.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I’m so in.

        • marv wheale

          I am available 24/7 even through the Xmas holidays. This could be the best Xmas ever if I get to present the prize/gift. Giving is always better than receiving. “Tis the season to be jolly falalala………..”

          • joy

            Needless to say, let me know what I can do to help!

            Giving is so much better than receiving, indeed.

          • marv wheale

            Every assitant needs other assistants. “Joy,you could bring the hypodermic needles”. I have the battery acid. I know, I am a nasty person. Our male supremacist society made me this way. That is the devil I blame it on.
            I can change if the regime is overthrown.

  • chloe

    Just wanted to share this picture of a breast awareness campaign in France…
    http://nsa28.casimages.com/img/2011/10/05/111005093829438786.jpg
    Not as ridiculous as the video, but when I first saw it I thought it was an ad for pornography or something like that. And you have to get reaaally close to be able to read what it actually is about.

    • joy

      Lovely! “Faux-lesbian threesome” implications, even!

      Could it be any more clear that these campaigns are All About The Men, and nothing at all about women?

  • David

    Wow! I am amazed that the video is real. “Lost focus” is an understatement.
    The website that is supposed to “raise awareness” of breast cancer does not mention what breast cancer is, or give any idea of how widespread it is.

  • Fuck these people! I am a human being not a pair of body parts!

  • Pingback: The end is nigh. And the proof lies in Breast Cancer ‘Awareness’ Campaigns | Feminist Current()

  • I find it interesting how we’ve sort of come full circle…way back, feminists were horrified at the mastectomy remedy, but now, hell, take it off, take both of them, if it will save me! (because, yeah, my ‘fun bags’ are not more important than me.)