Good Intentions

Do you know of word association?  It’s a game, mixed with a psychological technique, that aims to get a better look at how you think based off your immediate word response to a specific word.  For example, if someone said, “red,” you could say thousands of different things.  For me, I’d probably say “the Devils” because their colors are red and black and they start their season tomorrow, and I’ll be in attendance.  It’s on my mind at the time–and possibly constantly–and that gives a vantage point into my head and my thinking.

So, let’s say, for example, I use this purse on top of a chair.  I’ll say, “purse on a chair” and your snap judgment will be “breast cancer.”  Right?Facebook has been all aflutter recently with status updates from women such as, “I like it on my loveseat” and “I like it on the floor by the kitchen.”  Naturally, this makes all their male “friends” on Facebook do exaggerated “whHHHAAAA?!??” reactions, immediately think about uncomfortable places that their friends apparently have sex, and judge them harshly.  These guys then take notice of a whole lot of their friends doing the same thing.  Tons of girls filling up their statuses and thus all Facebook news feeds, like an erotic epidemic, all with the same “I like it…” starting pattern.

When pressed on it, women would not give up what they were discussing.  It was some sort of mystery that piqued male interest but gave no resolution.  This sort of “behind closed doors” exclusivity does not always breed kindness and understanding.  Naturally, people rebelled to the trend, thinking this was yet another weird internet meme, like “change your profile pic to someone you look like,” but dirtier, and seemingly without a purpose.  So instead of acting favorably, a lot of people (almost exclusively male) rose up with a general “fuck this stupid thing” response; the internet version of crossing your arms, looking down, and kicking at dirt.

That did not go over well.  This male backlash begets a backlash, and I end up staring down this message:

for all those people either annoyed or frustrated about the breast cancer question “where do u like ur purse”…GET OVER IT! If it was ur mother, sister, aunt, grandma, friend, etc that was diagnosed w/ breast cancer you would for shit sure post it!!!! if u don’t like it, don’t read it!!!

…wait…it’s for breast cancer?

Are we really not adult enough to discuss the issue frankly and honestly?  I have had countless loved ones affected by the disease, either by having a scare or taking it head on and coming out on the other side.  There is a truism in that quoted attack above:  if you have a mother, or a grandmother, a girlfriend or a loved older woman in your life, you must be aware of the disease because of its severity and wide-spread nature.  But instead of bringing up the facts, the numbers of people diagnosed and who have beaten it, the best way to check for breast cancer, we have to resort to parlor games?

I just want to get this straight, because I feel like I’m missing a step along the way

1) A loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer
2) People affected believe society needs to have a better awareness of the dangers inherent in breast cancer and the sheer number of people affected by the disease
3) To raise said awareness, there needs to be a fun way that pokes at the issue without raising alarms and resistance to acknowledging the disease
4) Have all women affected band together on social networks and groups to raise awareness
5) Involve purses, since all women have those, and that’s a good signifier for a female-specific disease
6) Refuse to tell the other half of the world’s population of said plan and actions
8) Awareness is raised for breast cancer
9) Profit

And what’s worse with all of this ridiculousness that has popped up is that the conversation has shifted.  We aren’t talking about the issue at hand, but rather the method to spread that information.  The whole thing has been into a Super Bowl ad where everyone talks about the commercial but have no idea what product was being sold.  I’m honestly still not sure if this is all even for breast cancer, or if I just wrote 800 words for something completely off point.

I appreciate the effort and absolutely sympathize with the cause but isn’t there a better way to get this accomplished?  Maybe one where we’re all clearly on the same side, united against breast cancer, and not e-yelling at each other?  I like clarity.  I like it in on my computer screen, in my social movements, and in the mammogram results for all the women in my life.

Image credit up top to Judiane, who apparently took this photo in Paris on my birthday.  Oh what a tangled web this internet is.


One thought on “Good Intentions

  1. wow. you are amazing. i have tears in my eyes from reading this essay. your mother is very proud of you…again

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