Ugh. here we go again. Another round of “Ssh don’t tell the boys, tee-hee” emails going around Facebook with ridiculous ideas about what to put on your status update under the premise of raising awareness of breast cancer. There’s so much wrong with this I actually get paralysed with rage when I think about it too much. So this blog post is getting the brunt of it. Read it at your peril.
In the first instance, how can something that’s done in secret raise awareness of anything? If all I see on my news feed is a bunch of women simply posting single words like ‘blue’ or ‘red’ or ‘orange’, I will automatically assume they have been attacked by a rainbow-fetish spambot who is wreaking havoc on innocent Facebook profiles with their evil colour-loving perversions. More often than not, it’s a stupid, humourless, hen-night mentality comment thread, with lots of girls proclaiming “I like it on the bedroom floor” or “I like it on the kitchen table next to the salt & pepper shakers lol” – which apparently refers to where they leave their handbags. Oh, the genius of it all. So much innuendo, so much schoolyard note-passing and clique-forming…. And yet, we have no cure for cancer. Colour me surprised.
It’s cancer. Be public about it. If you’re that concerned, use your Facebook to tell people to get themselves checked. Make a donation. Don’t just submit to a useless chain mail that seeks to alienate half the population just because they have different genitals..which, by the way, are also prone to cancer. Just putting it out there. Those messages and status updates are nothing more than a private in-joke, much like the secret coded conversations you witnessed or took part in as a youngster back in the days of Fancy Paper, plastic neon bracelets and New Kids on the Block T-Shirts. Or maybe I’m just showing my age. But I’m sure you get the point.
I’m not a fun-sucking Little Miss Preachy Pants (not full-time, anyway), all I’m saying is if you’re going to participate in these little charades, don’t kid yourself it’s for a noble cause. None of these escapades are sanctioned by The Irish Cancer Society, as mentioned by Antonia Hart in her previous blog post about the subject here. A woman after my own heart, Antonia is also of the opinion that these mails don’t do anything for cancer. Along with, I’m sure, many healthcare professionals and cancer specialists who have failed in their attempts to turn all these chain mails into a miraculous anti-cancer serum which can be injected straight into the affected area. If and when they do, I’ll be first in line to clog up all my friends’ home pages with handbag positioning cleverly disguised as sexual innuendo, so that everybody knows just how supportive I am. Until then, I’ll just carry on checking my own boobs for weird goings-on by following the instructions on the Breast Cancer Ireland website, buying pink ribbons and donating when I can. And, unlike the rest of my life, Facebook will be kept out of it.