The Sunday Poll: Are Breast Cancer Games on Facebook Supportive or Silly?

I was wondering when the next breast cancer awareness fad would hit Facebook, and this month, the “GIRLS ONLY!” message began appearing from multiple female friends.

After reading through it, I have to admit I’m just as annoyed as I was last year by the whole insipid bra color thing. This “breast cancer awareness” effort is similar. Basically, women are supposed to write a fruit as their status: blueberry, banana, raspberry, etc. According to the key in the message, these fruits represent the women’s relationship status: apple = engaged, lemon = “wish I was single” and cherry = “in a relationship”, etc.

I’ve broken the rules here, because the message specifically says GIRLS ONLY! and praises last year’s bra-color-posting fad because “it left men wondering for days why the girls had random colors as their status.” To any men reading this blog who were still in the dark and care at all about the meaning of the fruit statuses, now you know.

Well-meaning lady friends, I must ask: what does indicating your relationship status with a secret-code fruit have to do with cancer awareness? How does giggling over confusing the men help people with a dreadful disease?

My heart goes out to anyone fighting cancer, along with their families. Many people among my own friends and extended family have battled cancer. But I think there are better ways to support them than Facebook status fads. Donate to cancer research. Support loved ones who are suffering from cancer however you can. Female-centered Facebook fads like this around a serious issue don’t “show everyone how powerful women are”, as this month’s message claims. They just make women look childish and emphasize divides between men and women. At least that’s my take.  Now I open the Sunday Poll to you. Please weigh in with your own opinion.

If I’m the only person out there who feels this way about the fruits, that’s ok. Men and women, I’m interested in hearing what you think about this, whether or not you agree with me.

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8 Comments

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  1. Philly Beer Guy March 20, 2011 — 2:20 am

    This is absolutely why I hate women and despise them for being sub-rational creatures. Why western civ ever committed suicide by giving these hamster-wheel-for-brain substitutes the vote confounds me.

  2. What an enlightened view! I’m sure my fellow females (there might be a few rational ones but who knows) could have something equally enlightened to say.

  3. I am irate at the campaign! Your words were my sentiments exactly! It hits too close to home for me… I went to my doctor for a routine exam 4 days ago… and my world changed with the words “there is a lump…” My story ends well tho… my mammogram and ultrasound yesterday revealed nothing to be concerned about now. My heart goes out to all those who do not have the same news. My point of concern over such stupidity is that these facebook campaigns did NOTHING to make me more aware of my need to go in for my appointments… I had missed a yearly mammogram AND put off my physical until I didn’t feel well… STUPID! There has to be better ways to share our love and concern for this… and I know without doubt that the men, husbands, sons, brothers in our lives ARE indeed affected by this.

  4. Glad to hear that your story turned out ok. Your point about the Facebook campaign doing nothing to get women in for their checkups is crucial. Also your point about the men is right on – surely alienating them (even mocking them) with a girls-only “awareness” campaign does not help anyone. When someone in the family has breast cancer or any kind of cancer, it’s a not a “girls-only” issue! Everyone is affected.

  5. Orsolya Sørensen April 8, 2011 — 3:41 pm

    I think the objective of this campaign and some of the awareness campaigns that is out there not directly support cancer patients, but tries to reach out to women at all levels of society and age with different risk to become actually patients. A silly game like this on Facebook reminds us the importance of early detection. I think it is great. Even if it is only one woman who gets the idea to go for a check-up because of this stupid game and it saves her life.

    • The issue of whether or not campaigns like this actually do get women in the doctor’s office is key. As you say, campaigns like this, however silly they seem, would be worth it if they saved even one life.

  6. The cynic in me thinks that few women became aware and went for a mammogram or to talk to a doctor because of this silly game. The goal seemed more to ostracize men than encourage breast cancer support. I’ve had several friends who have suffered this and they will tell you that their biggest support came from the man in their life. When my mother lay dying of lung cancer, all her children gathered, but the one there the most and with her (singing to her) at the moment of her death was her youngest son. It’s time that women stop making men their adversary. such immaturity and pettiness has no place in life – especially in life being fought for against such a terrible disease.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. Sorry to hear about your mother’s cancer, but it sounds like her passing was surrounded by a lot of love. I agree that cooperation between the sexes, not exclusionary stunts, is what we need to fight cancer.

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