You know, I consider myself a fairly progressive, independent woman. I have worked full-time since I was 18. I have seen to the raising of two fantastic young women who think for themselves and don’t hesitate to state their opinions. I support people and causes in my community that champion the under-served or overlooked. But I also laugh a lot. I enjoy doing things that are not challenging to my heart or head at times… reading fiction, watching Bravo, baking, shoe shopping… you get my drift.
I read something today that has made me so angry, and defensive of all other women like myself, that I had to respond to it. I was going to leave a comment on the original article, but for some reason AOL.com wouldn’t let me set up an account. Whatever, it’s probably for the best since what I wanted to say might have been censored anyway… so instead, I’ll share it here for your enjoyment. Go read the original piece and come back here to tell me if I’m wrong. I don’t think I am.
Surely you don’t think you are speaking for everyone who has ever been touched by breast cancer? Do you truly feel that anyone who has watched a friend or family member suffer through or die (of breast or any cancer for that matter) would expend the energy to be insulted by a trivial game created to raise awareness of the disease? If you do, I think you’re missing the point entirely.
My aunt, who dealt with the disease twice and had a double mastectomy, was one of the people who sent the Facebook meme about purses to me. And she sent the bra color one last year as well. SHE would be insulted if she thought she was being accused of overlooking the serious, deadly, sobering side of breast cancer. I know for a fact that she is available for her friends and neighbors when they need her and she is one of the loudest and most courageous of organizers when there is a need for change in her community. And she is the furthest thing from “coy”. In fact, she probably burned her bras in the 60s and 70s.
I work for a cancer support organization that employs social workers who work with people who are struggling through the treatment process of cancer every day. Many of our patients die, or have life-altering side-effects of their disease and treatments. I’m fairly sure that my aunt, my co-workers who have updated their Facebook statuses, and all the nurses we work with at our local oncology clinic who also have updated Facebook would join me to say you are full of shit. A few of them might be “coy”, but certainly not all of them.
Cancer awareness is vital, even if it’s spread with a smile, and this “campaign” (for lack of a better word) IS creating awareness. My husband asked me about it; a friend recently told me her daughter and her friends discussed breast cancer self-exams because of it. Whether you like it or not, it’s doing exactly what it was meant to do, raise awareness. It’s not a fundraiser or a way to eradicate the disease and it was never advertised to be those things.
Maybe you don’t realize it, but your brand of commentary is not only off-putting, it’s demeaning to women. But that’s because you are completely out of touch with the majority of female society living in 2010. As you spew this Feminist rhetoric to the internet masses (um… if they pry themselves from the computer how could they read your swill?) you are refusing to recognize that there are a crapload of those very women you are deriding out there making a difference in their communities, driving awareness for important issues, caring for their friends, leading home tours and organizing “Pink Trash Balls” AND doing it in heels and lipstick. Oh, and they publicize their causes and fundraising events on Facebook, because that’s where people are going to see their message.
Calm down, have a martini, and watch a little t.v. You need to relax. We’ll take over from here and do what we’ve been doing all along… only we’ll do it because we’re passionate about it and it needs to be done, not because it’s what the Feminist Zealots told us to do.
Sincerely and with a smile,