Friday, March 4, 2011

Feminine Friday

It sounds awful, but cutesy awareness campaigns aggravate me - and I'm probably about to tick off some people with this post.

But breast cancer and its consequences means a lot to me - my mother is a breast cancer survivor, and we can actually make a difference with real campaigns.

A friend of mine sent this to my Facebook inbox:

We are playing a game. Someone proposed that we GIRLS do something special on to help with Breast Cancer Awareness. Last year it was about writing the color of the bra that your were wearing in your status and it left men wondering for days why the girls had random colors as their status. This year it has to do with your relationship status. You will state where you are, by... posting one of the codes below. Remember - don't reply to this message just type your 1 word response in your status box on your profile. Then cut and paste this whole message into a new message and send it along to your female friends....
Blueberry: I'm single
Pineapple its complicated
Raspberry: I'm a touch and go woman
Apple: Engaged
Cherry: In a relationship
Banana: I'm married
Avocado: I'm the "other one"
Strawberry: Cant find the right one
Lemon: Wish i was single
Grape: wants to get married.
The bra game reached TV, lets get this one to do the same, and show everyone how powerful women are

First, I'm going to ignore the obvious monogamous-marriage-centered theme here.  I may rail on that in a different post in the future, but not now.

Next, yeah, the bra game* made it to national TV, but really, did most people who saw the status updates actually GET what they were?  What, really, did it do to increase breast cancer awareness?  Oh, and - forgive the lack of a link - but there was an article about how any breast cancer survivor who had had a double mastectomy would be left out.  Kind of a problem.  (Thus, the following, "Where do I keep my purse game?"**)

Currently, and especially in October, there are pink ribbons anywhere there is stuff to be sold.  I can't go out in a week without seeing at least one bumper sticker or magnet on a car with a pink ribbon or some saying, like my absolute favorite, "Save the ta-tas."  (<=That was sarcasm. I'll leave my rant on stupid, silly names for women's body parts later.)

So, if people are not aware that breast cancer exists and is a problem, they are living under a rock. 

However, they may not know that 1 in 6 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  (Or they may; look at the statistic - you probably know at least one woman with it.)

They may also not know that health care spending cuts are making it harder for women to get mammograms.  In fact, some insurance policies don't even cover these tests if you're under 40 - or even at all!  We won't even go into school districts whose health classes refuse to teach girls how to do a self examination… or areas of the U.S. where health care professionals don't teach girls self-exams because, y'know, that's touching themselves and evil.  (Friends up on more conservative practices in the U.S., do feel free to leave more specific and accurate links.  Besides the above 1/6 and later "up to 75%" stats from the MA Komen site, most of this is from my memory and my own ongoing interest and research.)

So, rather than cryptic "vaguebooking," I'm doing something I know will make a difference - and that I love.

I'm riding Calico with my friend Kim from Hillview Stables in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure ® Ride for the Ribbon, run by the Massachusetts affiliate of the Komen foundation.  I have set a goal of $300 that I will raise - and per the MA affiliate site, up to 75% of that will go directly to MA women: education, mammograms, research.

If you want to be part of that, here's the link to my page:

Even a donation of $5 will make a difference.

I've got a few hundred friends on Facebook, more than half women.  And I challenge you to help me make my goal.  If you want to post a fruit, great, but put your money where your keyboard is.  Post your fruit and donate the equivalent of two cups of coffee to make a difference to a woman who needs a mammogram, who was never taught how to check herself, who doesn’t know her options. 

If half my Facebook friends donated just a dollar, I'd almost have my goal met today!  (Thank you, Amy, for being my first donor with your generous donation!!)

And my blog followers?  Just a dollar?  Even better, $5?

Can you do it?

Or is typing a fruit the best you can do for women suffering from breast cancer?

* The Bra Game had women posting the color of the bra they were wearing that day and nothing more.

** The Purse Game had women posting where they keep their purse, which of course, also left a vague sexual sense due to the cryptic nature:  "In the dining room."  "On the kitchen table."


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