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 The Spectator, UnHerd, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, 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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