Hi friends! I'm going to interrupt the beach dog posts for a minute and touch on something that's really been gnawing on me lately. The latest and greatest attempt to raise breast cancer awareness on Facebook by women posting status updates where they pretend to be pregnant. I've been thinking about writing something about this for a while because it has bothered me so much, but I just couldn't come up with the right thing to say. And then I read a post on the subject that my good friend Jenn wrote. With her permission, I'd like to repost that for you here.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Posted by Jenn
Even though I haven't seen any of these posts for a few days, a friend's recent post coupled with some lively discussion on a discussion board I follow has prompted me to write this. My apologies for the lack of timeliness. Deal with it. :)
So the most recent "breast cancer awareness" game on facebook has been to post a random week and a craving, pretending that you are pregnant and are having a craving for some junk food. Now, I realize that this seems like it is all fun and games. And I won't be nearly so eloquent or vehement as some of the very well-written blogs I have read on the subject. But, here are my two cents.
12.2 percent of women born in the United States today will develop breast cancer at some time in their lives.
When you are dealing with infertility, and someone jokes about being pregnant, it hurts. You may not understand if you've never had trouble getting pregnant, but trust me, it hurts.
So, on Facebook, we are encouraged to show support for a percentage of the female population while humiliating/embarrassing/angering another percentage of the "couple" population. How is that helpful? How does that promote breast cancer awareness? What about the women and men of reproductive age that have cancer, and as a direct result of their life-saving treatments, become infertile? Fertility preservation and fertility rescue is pretty new and not available to most cancer patients. I would think that, if someone lost their ability to have a child because of breast cancer, they may not feel supported by a Facebook status where someone pretends to be pregnant.
Infertility is one of those issues that almost no one ever talks about. And it's a real shame. And yes, as a society we do tend to be hypersensitive to too many things. But please, for the love of all things lovable, please think before you post. Does posting "I'm 25 weeks and craving chocolate" or something similar really help spread awareness about breast cancer? Or does it maybe confuse your friends and family, and hurt the hearts of your friends who cannot have a child or another child? You may not know that they are dealing with infertility, because more likely than not they haven't advertised the fact. But, 10-15% of couples is a large enough part of the population that I can almost guarantee that several of your facebook friends are infertile.
Breast cancer is a terrible thing. But please, don't try to support one part of the population while being insensitive to another part.
I don't mean to get all preachy on you, but PLEASE think before you post, this type of thing really hurts.
And if you really want to support breast cancer, I've got an idea for you...if you're in St. Louis, how about stopping by Paperdolls Boutique in Kirkwood tomorrow night for a private shopping party, hosted by yours truly and my good friend Jenna (a breast cancer survivor), where a percentage of all sales will go directly towards breast cancer research.
Feel free to stop by the boutique (located at 110 East Jefferson Ave in Kirkwood) between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 8th. We'll have champagne and dessert for you. No obligation to buy anything. Just swing by and say hi and maybe give a small donation to our cause. Wear something pink to raise awareness!
If you can make it, please click HERE to RSVP. I'd love to see you all!