Thursday, October 24, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Satire

If only raising awareness about breast cancer wasn't so much work.

Image taken from The Onion
This satire of breast cancer awareness from The Onion isn't a far stretch from the reality, plus it notes some typical features of pink and objectifying breast cancer campaigns:
  • Loud -- The value and presence of awareness is measured by the degree to which we infiltrate a space or community with pink and breast-designed objects, not by the quality and actionability of the message.
  • Irrelevant -- What does shopping and parading your material products around accomplish? What does this have to do with breast cancer? Did this strike you as the best way?
  • Breast obsessed -- You wouldn't see a "Yay for lungs!" campaign. Not sexy or cute.
  • Primarily or exclusively serves corporations and individuals instead of patients and their families -- I'm all for solidarity and certainly wearing a colour can do that, but why spend $20 on pink pyjamas when you can donate to your affected loved ones or an effective charity? Why not lobby for more social support and research? 
  • Redundant -- The message of these campaigns is that breast cancer exists and that it's a problem. Some encourage self-exams and mammograms, despite a wealth of evidence that this isn't enough for many patients and the large existing awareness of screening. That's it. Participants promote and engage in these activities as if our society needs reminding of their value and both parties ignore the real issues, which are mostly social, not individualistic.
The latest in breast cancer awareness: 

"Motorboating" for breast cancer. Hey, it reminds us that breasts are fun and we don't want to lose them, plus it raises money for the cause! 

A Tweeting Bra. Soon you won't have to endure the time consuming labour of redundant self exam promotion. Your bra will Tweet it for you automatically as soon as you unclasp it. I'm sure this will help decrease the incidence of breast cancer, increase survival and make screening and treatment more accessible and safer.

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