RSS
Is Facebook trivializing breast cancer?
Women are posting status updates about where they "like it." What does that have to do with breast cancer awareness?
 
A campaign among Facebook users to raise awareness of breast cancer focuses, ostensibly, on where women like to put their purse.
A campaign among Facebook users to raise awareness of breast cancer focuses, ostensibly, on where women like to put their purse.
Facebook

Millions of women are posting status updates on Facebook saying where they "like it," but the innuendo-laden messages are more innocent — and more serious — than they appear. Your Facebook friends are talking about where they put their purses, not where they feel most frisky. And they are trying to call attention to the fact that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A similar campaign earlier this year, in which women posted their bra colors, created a great deal of buzz and was hailed as a "tremendous success." But if you're wondering what this has to do with breast cancer awareness, you're not alone. Do these Facebook memes really help fight the disease, or are they frivolous and off-message? (Watch a campaign for clicks)

The status updates do a lot of good: It doesn't matter that these status updates are racy and silly, says Jason at BusyBuzzBlogging. They're "for a good cause." And they clearly work — look at how many people end up talking about cancer after unraveling the mystery. As long as these campaigns call attention to the search for a cure, "I'm all for it."
"I Like It On The Floor Facebook Status – Breast Cancer Awareness I Like It"

Facebook silliness has nothing to do with fighting cancer: I'm all for finding a cure for breast cancer, of course, says Meghan Casserly at Forbes. But advertising the color of your underwear and where you "like it" seems likely to have zero "impact on the actual fight against actual breast cancer," unlike, say, raising money for actual research. Call me "the biggest cynic in the free female world, but it's a marketing charade I just can't get behind."
"'I like it on the... ' kinky Facebook meme for breast cancer"

We shouldn't have to sexualize breast cancer to get the message out: It's "troublesome" and "sadly cynical... when breast cancer is sexualized in the service of delivering an actual message," says Tracy Clark-Flory at Salon. And, there's no real message about breast cancer being delivered by status updates about where women "like it." Without a message, "it just seems plain dumb."
"The flirty fight against breast cancer"

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week