Raising awareness of breast cancer? I think not…

There has been a recent meme on facebook where women post up status messages saying things like “I like it on the kitchen table” or “I like it in the car”. Well… I’m here to tell the secret.

It’s about handbags. It’s about where women like to put their handbags.

It’s not about women feeling empowered about their sexuality enough to state where they like to enjoy sexual activities. Instead it’s a childish ploy that is meant to raise awareness of breast cancer. Nothing specifically about breast cancer, just that it exists.

I have several problems with this campaign.

Firstly, it is ineffective at getting a real message across on two levels. The message being communicated is vague. The aim is to raise awareness of breast cancer. If there is a cancer out there that people are not aware about, it’s not breast cancer. messages and stories about breast cancer are all over the media. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s wonderful that this horrible disease is in the mainstream media. I just think that this particular stunt is not necessary as there is so much information about the existence of breast cancer out there being communicated in a far more effective way. It would perhaps be a better campaign if there was some actual important information in it, such as stressing the importance of mammograms and regular breast examinations. This way it would be communicating something that is not widely communicated.

Even then, it is a fairly ineffective way of communicating an idea. The campaign involves leaving cryptic message for all your friends to see, with no explanation why. The only people who do understand what it means are in on it and so have already had the message communicated to them, so it fails to achieve it’s aim of raising awareness entirely.

If you want to make a real difference, don’t post stupid statements on your status, instead go here. One click will provide a woman with a free mammogram!

This post is also found on my other blog, Origin at Infinity.

4 Responses to “Raising awareness of breast cancer? I think not…”

  1. Monday Science Link – Communicating Science and Technology group blog…

    Today’s science link is the University of Melbourne Communicating Science and Technology group blog. Carrying on the theme from last week (for which I received this very nice thank-you – cheers, guys!), here’s another blog by science …

  2. Tze Yang Chin says:

    I don’t think it is such a bad thing, if people do want to play along with it. But I do agree that it is a very ineffective way of promoting awareness. Like you said, the only ones who will understand the message are the ones who are already aware of it. It seems to me it is more “reminder” than “awareness”.

    It would be a whole lot better if people included a link at the end of the message. The sexual connotation might increase people’s urge to click the link.

  3. Bellekitten says:

    Having fun is all well and good. People should feel free to post whatever they want. I just don’t feel that this in an effective method of communication.

    Also, it undermines women’s sexuality by promoting the idea that they cannot be open about their sexuality.It encourages the idea that it is only okay to say these things because they are talking (though cryptically) about their handbag. It may be a bit of fun for some people, but that doesn’t make it a good thing.

  4. jeuann says:

    I think.. it might be difficult to promote the issue of promoting awareness, if you take such a dogmatic stance to how exactly it should and should not be done.

    I see what you’re saying, but.. this was someone else’s idea. What’s so wrong with having a little bit of fun with it. 🙁