I like it when you pick up your purse and do something.

Join the Facebook Group and update your status!

Sarah likes it on the floor. Maya likes in on the banister.

Apparently my mom likes it on the kitchen counter.

I really like it when you don’t put down your purse at all. I like it when you donate directly to research.Or when you run a 5K for the cure or when you tell me about the amazing survivors you know.

Awareness is great; action is best.

I find this whole vague viral awareness campaign genuinely problematic. If you don’t know what I’m talking about go check your Facebook feed.  Last year an anonymous Facebook user sent out a message attempting to raise awareness about Breast Cancer by asking women to volunteer the color of their bra on their Facebook status. This year women are encouraged to post where they like to put their hand bag.

Okay first off, what a mundane idea? Where do I like to put my purse? What if I don’t carry a purse everyday? I’m a student and I generally carry a backpack. Second what does this have to do with breast cancer awareness, at all?

This is totally exclusive to women who don’t carry a purse and men. Most men don’t carry purses, most men don’t get breast cacner. But some do! Either way they are surely just as interested in generating awareness since their wives, daughter or mother might be has battled against this awful disease.

My biggest issue is that this meme encourages women to make provocative statements or innuendoes about an otherwise totally innocuous action. I fear that people are not thinking when they post and they are likely to receive unwanted comments that could potentially lead to sexual harassment. Most of the people are doing this because it fun or funny but they aren’t doing anything more. They’re not thinking about the implications of their statement. They’re not doing a self-exam which is likely to lead to early breast cancer detection. They’re not funding research which can lead to a cure.

What are they doing? Objectifying themselves, being mindless, sheepish and ignoring reality all in the name of “awareness”.

Pink washing at its worse this of year. So just take second and ask yourself is this really raising awareness, is it doing anything?

I propose that instead you post where you like to do you breast self-exam and how often.

I like to do it in the shower, at least once a month.

Where do you like to do it? How often?



Filed under feminism, personal

5 responses to “I like it when you pick up your purse and do something.

  1. Stacey

    Arielle! thank you so much for writing this, I was thinking the exact same thing, though your eloquent words put it together so much better than I could. Plus, I also think that posting “where you like your purse” reinforces the male gaze using a sex sells strategy. Instead of trying to confuse men (and myself) with sexual innuendos, how about we find a way to have an inclusive dialogue about breast cancer, how it affects both men and women and stop cheapening the gravity of breast cancer by using tacky come ons. That way we can stop being aware of breast cancer and start taking action.

  2. Finally someone who speaks the truth! I find it incredible that so many of my intelligent female friends have latched onto this inane trend. It’s merely an excuse to post a provocative statement without having to take responsibility for it.

  3. Right on! So happy to read your post.


  4. Right on! I agree and so happy to read your post.


  5. Arbour Greene

    Has anyone ever thought that maybe some of these fem approaches might be
    male generated, (frat guys gone psuedo) just to see what information can be generated under the guise of feminist blogging?

    I don’t know about you, but not only would I be a bit more critical about the use of neo-liberal approaches that tend to sex up women’s health issues anyways. I’m questioning the use of wealthy media advertising infrastructures that conflate feminist dialogues in a manner that is really only about selling feminism to men.


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