Birthday, homework, work, Facebook, get spat upon by people claiming to care about breast cancer awareness, state my case, get unfriended by said people who claim to care about breast cancer awareness....and so on.
People are weird.
But, the whole thing did turn out to be quite the sociological experiment. I am an anthropologist at heart.
For those who don't know what I'm talking about, there are these insipid FB games going around that are supposed to raise awareness for breast cancer. But for those of us who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, they can be pretty insulting. And for those who have not been diagnosed, they seem to offer a non-challenging, albiet well-meaning, feel-good, "oh look at how wonderful I am," easy thing to do that doesn't cost them anything.
The first time around we were asked to post our bra color. Um, really? For a bunch of women who no longer have breasts, this can be kind of hurtful.
Then there was the one where we were supposed to say, "I like it on" and then list where we put our purses. "I like it on the kitchen table." Or some other stupid nonsense. Mildly risque? Because NOTHING says sexy better than mutilated bodies!
And now we're supposed to list our shoe size. So, women's FB statuses will say "7 inches," etc. Again, could be mildly suggestive. And shoe size has EVERYTHING to do with whether or not you will survive cancer. EVERYTHING.
(Edited to add the new game) The latest game has women state their birth month number as weeks and then say they are craving their favorite candy. So, mine would be "I'm 8 weeks and craving Reese's Peanut Butter Cups." This is supposed to make people think you are pregnant. What, exactly does this have to do with breast cancer awareness??? Here's some awareness for you: young women undergoing cancer treatment often lose their fertility due to surgery and/or the side-effects of the treatments. So after having their ability to ever have children taken away from them, you want them to now participate in this awful game that makes people assume these women are pregnant. WTH? Grow up, Facebookers!
(Back to the original post)
So, here's where the sociology experiment comes in.
My cancer chick friends like to post about these games and, oh how we laugh. We post something in response about how these games do nothing to raise awareness and help no one and how they are often hurtful to those diagnosed with breast cancer - to trivialize the deaths of our friends, etc. And after posting, wow! Sit back and watch the fireworks go!
You see, people support breast cancer awareness, just not actual people with breast cancer.
Today I posted what I thought was a well-worded, but strong (in order to get attention) response to the shoe size absurdity. The result was a whole lot of people jumping to support the person who had posted the game, and not one single person saying, "Oh! I had no idea." Not asking for an apology, or anything, just trying to, I don't know...RAISE AWARENESS FOR ACTUAL BREAST CANCER.
I was called bitter and angry (I'm not). And then, the woman who posted the game unfriended me. Because, apparently, it was all my fault (I assume). How dare that breast cancer survivor tell us our breast cancer games are offensive! The nerve! We know better than those breast cancer survivors!
And don't think this was an isolated occurrence. It has been the result for most of us who have posted a "please don't" response to these games.
So, here's the real deal - those games do not raise money for breast cancer research. They do not save lives. They don't do anything.
If you want to show your support for breast cancer awareness, donate money to charities that are helping actual people get mammograms/ultrasounds/MRIs. Donate your TIME. Clean a cancer patient's house, cook them some food, take the children for an afternoon. But don't think that saying "7 inches" on your FB page is doing anyone any good. One person said that "it's better than doing nothing."
No, it isn't.
Here is exactly what I wrote that inspired the craziness:
As a breast cancer survivor connected to hundreds of other young
women diagnosed with breast cancer, I can tell you that we hate
Our lives are not games. Our friends have died.
These games do nothing to up awareness for breast cancer.
Instead of participating in these so-called games (that often
offend cancer survivors), please donate money to charities that
are out there working hard to help those diagnosed with cancer.
The Pink Daisy Project is a grass roots charity that helped me
when I could no longer pay my bills after (Edited for privacy) all because of cancer.
Don't trivialize our struggles by making them a game. Shoe size
has nothing to do with breast cancer awareness.
If you've read this far, then take a look at what this woman wrote. She's a much better writer than I am: