Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How to Properly Raise Awareness

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.



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!  


18 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I haven't heard about this at all before now. I don't ever participate in any of the "repost this" crap on Facebook, and this article makes excellent points. Mostly what I don't get is how the hell this is supposed to raise awareness about breast cancer??? makes NO sense - as is usually the case with anything on Facebook. Thanks for sharing this.

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  3. I saw that going around awhile ago and thought "what a dumb idea." Of course, who knows where it originated, but my guess is none of the breast cancer orgs started it. Probably just some random person that wasn't thinking and had a very big FB friends list to blast it out to.

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  4. I completely agree. Once married people always ask "the kids" question. When Dan's lease was up, we got a crossover instead of another compact. There were many "oh, that's 'the kids car'" comments. NO actually, it was our compromise - I wanted a compact, he wanted an SUV, so this was in the middle. I hate people always assuming, always asking. A friend who was married after me recently had a miscarriage, yet still faces these Q's. I recently read someone's response "all in God's time" usually shuts people up & I'll have to remember that. "When are you 2 gonna have a baby?" - I mean really - how do you know we're not unsuccessfully trying??

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  5. PS - OMG I just realized!! Disclaimer: we're NOT actually trying right now & my comment is totally un-related to our conversation last week. Bwahahaaa!! :)

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  6. I haven't seen this on facebook, but, you know I would have bitch slapped someone had I seen it.

    Love you forever and ever!

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  7. I hadn't seen that trend, but reading about it, I thought, "That's disgusting." Not to mention that all those "awareness" trends are dumb, but that one is offensive. Good post, my friend.

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  8. Wonderful post. I had a few Facebook friends do this last week and it was all I could do to not fire off a passive aggressive status update. Maybe I'll post a link here instead :-)

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  9. Great post. I thought the exact same thing, that it's completely insensative. Thankfully, most of my facebook friends have felt the same way and have ignored this.

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  10. Thanks for posting this...and I completely agree! I guess I must have missed that on facebook and am thankful for that as well!

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  11. I agree. Most of my FB friends have reposted that week/craving BS, and I just keep ignoring it. Totally not the right way to raise awareness!

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  12. Great post! All of the facebook stuff to "raise awareness" is such BS.

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  13. I also agree and skipped that status as well.

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  14. Have I mentioned lately how fabulously awesome you are? <3

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  15. So true Sara. There are many ways to raise awareness and supportnresearch for breast cancer but that is just not one of them.

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  16. Could not agree more! And, I'm hoping to swing by tomorrow night!

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  17. I can't even begin to thank you (and Jenn!) for this post. I absolutely cannot agree more.

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  18. I had no idea that this FB thing was going on. I really can't believe what some people are thinking before they post on FB - I guess the point is that they're not. I think Jenn has this right on - thank you for posting!

    Btw, I just saw this post or else I would have stopped by the store last night! I hope it was awesome.

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