I Don’t Care About Your Bra Color, Where You Put Your Purse Or Where You’re Going for 15 Months

I’m all for raising awareness. Cancer. Mental Illness. People understand little about these and other maladies. But telling us your bra color isn’t going to help.

Mood music:

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen these awareness campaigns where women throw some cryptic message on their Facebook pages. One time it was listing a color. Another time it was where they put their purse. The message would be something suggestive like this: “I like it on the desk, or in the closet.”

The idea is to have a little fun at the expense of men. Men look at their female friends’ status updates and go nuts wondering what they are talking about. Then, at the end of a day or week, the punchline is revealed.

Now a new campaign is in the works, according to this message somebody leaked to me:

Okay pretty ladies,

It’s that time of year again…support of Breast Cancer Awareness!! So we all remember last year’s game of writing your bra color as your status? Or the way we like to have our handbag handy? Last year, so many people took part that it made national news and the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise …awareness!! Do NOT tell any males what the statuses mean…keep them guessing!! And please copy and paste (in a message) this to all your female friends! It’s time to confuse the men again (not that it’s really that hard to do ;]) The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to the GIRLS ONLY and lets see how far it reaches around. The last one about the bra went around all over the world.

Your status should say: “I am going to________________for___________ months.”

The day you were born should be for how many months you are going.

This one is particularly bad because someone’s mom or dad or best friend is going to freak out on learning that their loved one is going away for more than a year. It’s in bad taste.

Here’s the problem with these campaigns in general: It first assumes that men are clueless about breast cancer. If you are the spouse or parent of someone with breast cancer, you’re pretty damn clued in. It also ignores that men can get breast cancer too. One of the more famous male victims is Peter Criss, original drummer in KISS.

All the bra color and purse placement campaigns did was leave men picturing lady friends in their bras or having sex on a desk or in a closet. I can assure you, breast cancer awareness was the last thing on their minds.

As someone who has tried to raise awareness in this blog on the risks and remedies for addictive behavior, mental illness and Crohn’s Disease, I know I’m not going to make anyone smarter by announcing the color of my underwear. In fact, that would just be gross.

To me, raising awareness is about sharing your personal experiences, medical studies and tips for something like minimizing the side effects of chemotherapy (if that’s even possible). When you take people on a personal journey, they walk away with a much better understanding of what they can do to help.

I’ll end with what I think is the best example of this — a book by my friend Penny Morang Richards called “My Breast Cancer Sally.” There’s also a blog called “My Breast Cancer Chronicle.”

There are many other blogs out there that raise awareness for everything from breast cancer to sexual addiction.

Seek out those sources. And keep your bra color to yourselves.

My Breast Cancer Sally

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13 thoughts on “I Don’t Care About Your Bra Color, Where You Put Your Purse Or Where You’re Going for 15 Months

  1. I also agree that _IF_ this stuff encouraged more women to get mammograms that it would be worth while. I do not believe it does. I believe it is purely an avenue to allow middle aged women to act like they are still in high school. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against breast cancer awareness or research (why would anyone be against that?), and have participated in raising awareness through events (SGK walks) and fundraising. However, this Facebook thing is just absurd.

  2. I thought i knew a fair amount about breast cancer, but then I did the 39.3 mile Avon Walk. To walk with survivors and families that weren’t as lucky for 2 days and a bazillion steps taught me more than I ever imagined I’d learn.

  3. Thank you Bill, for caring and keeping the positive messages going out, no matter the cause. Whatever it takes to get people to care about themselves and those that they love is what’s important. I agree that the online games are better used for growing cyber crops but respect you other commenter’s thoughts. As to your underwear….! Keep fighting.

  4. Bill, I have to disagree with you on this one. The simple fact that so many woman get involved in it helps the awareness. As someone who lost a friend and has many friends who suffer from this terrible disease, anything that may make a woman go for a mammography a little earlier or more often is a good thing. I think you are taking a very male chauvinistic point of view here. it is not about acknowledging that men can get breast cancer too. It is not about making men crazy about what bra color a woman wears. It is the fact that they are participating that helps raise the awareness. So lighten up on this one Bill 😉

    • I don’t consider myself a chauvinistic person, but OK. I do agree that it’s good if this stuff encourages more women to get a mammogram. I’m simply suggesting there’s a better way to raise that awareness. As for lightening up, I did mention myself in my underwear. That’s lighthearted in a “Toxic Avenger” kind of way. 😉

    • I agree- I put it up as my status- do I think it’s kind of dumb, yes- do I see the connection as far as how it raises breast cancer awareness- not really… But let’s think about something:

      Bill you remembered each campaign. And that it’s about breast cancer awareness. Despite its possibly-twisted mechanism, it’s one of those things where, it’s crazy enough that it just might work! Plus, people just wouldn’t pay as much attention to educational messages, sad to say.

    • I don’t think we (as in women) are unaware of the risk of breast cancer. We know all about it and we know getting a mammogram is important. It’s not awareness that’s the problem, any more than men being aware of the dangers of prostrate cancer is a problem. The problem is getting women to go have a mammogram (or men a prostrate exam). Both are painful, embarrassing, and costly. And at some level, we (men and women) don’t have these exams because we’re scared to death they might come back positive. We’re rather be blissfully ignorant than depressingly informed.

      We don’t need more awareness, we need action. And that is something that can’t be achieved with ribbons, colors, or advertisements. I wish I knew how to encourage that action, but I don’t.

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