Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer’

Conspicuous Charity and why I hate Breast Cancer Awareness….

October 6, 2010 11 comments

I hate Breast Cancer Awareness.

Well….at least in its current form.

OK you say, “Mr. McDoof you are a cold, heartless bastard.” I say, wait a second…

It is ubiquitous, every girl and every dude who wants to feign a compassionate heart is wearing some sort of pink anything. Now look I hate breast cancer, my aunt got it and is trying hard to recover so I can see how important it is to get checked often, not to be afraid of getting a mammogram etc.

So how about this:

85% of all diagnoses have no family history.
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between ages 40 and 55.

Bam! That’s my mom’s age and many of your mother’s ages. Who isn’t moved by the notion that there are women out there, our very mothers suffering from something that can be stopped. Why can’t we just do that?

Saying “I like it on a chair/I like it on the floor” etc. does not raise awareness for anything, except making me more aware that you are indeed a douchebag. The next time I say “That’s what she said” and you frown at such indiscretion, I am gonna smugly tell you I am raising awareness for prostate/testicular cancer.

Like everything else in life, tough issues like breast cancer need to be met with tough sacrifice and conviction. Waltzing around like a moron telling people you where you like to have sex, makes you an oafish horndog. People might giggle or laugh a little, but you’ve done actually zero work in doing anything for the cause for cancer. In fact, campaigns like these are distracting people from the more pertinent message of screenings and checkups. You wore a ribbon? Awesome, I am glad that I can see one now for the 467,854th time. OK, so I see pink a lot, but I am not sure what I am supposed do….

The most asinine part of all these awareness initiatives is that the people (upper-middle class folks who have the money and time to be able to parade around)  who already know the most about breast cancer issues are the ones saturated with the message. The NFL has caught onto this with a lot of the players wearing pink gloves and shoes, so maybe it would hit a bigger audience. But still while the pink is undoubtedly effeminate and distracting, where were the ads or statements reminding us what many of us men should be doing for our wives, sisters, mothers and daughters? Couldn’t these awareness funds be used more directly for actual research or other initiatives? Something tells me the intention is good, but lacks any real benefit.

It makes sense though, people can pretend they are doing something noble and at the same time face no real cost to themselves. Real breast cancer awareness would actually entail work. Want to really raise awareness? How about visiting a family in a neighborhood that doesn’t have these resources. Want to be of help? How about visiting a woman suffering from the illness and facing a scary and lonely stage of her life. On a scale of 1-10 on doing something about breast cancer, wearing a ribbon and walking around your friends who are already inundated with this message is a 0.0001.

Maybe its me being a cynic, but why does every charity need to raise fanfare to do anything? What value is there is in a parade other than feeling good about ourselves while all you really are doing is causing traffic for everyone else? Is the only way we can donate money to a cause when people walk for a few miles, or if there is an enormous gala more dedicated to showing how rich and generous you are? All of this nonsense is 99% self-congratulatory and 1% “O wait, there’s a real issue here.”

It’s not just breast cancer, apparently there is a LINK event at Circle (korean nightclub)? Are you serious?

What’s the message? “Come support the cause by doing what you do every Friday, getting piss drunk.”  Want to help North Koreans? I will promise you this will do very little to help North Koreans. Chasing fobby Korean girls with overpriced drinks in hand sounds like what old and sketchy Korean men do, not a way to bring freedom to North Korea. You wanna do that, fine whatever, lets not veil in under the premise of charity though please?

Is there something wrong with just, “Listen I am not gonna walk around or do anything, but breast cancer sucks. Can you donate to the cause?” OK, if parading is the only way we can raise money, fine I am all for it, but I wonder what this says about the state of the world right now. I am pretty sure that the reason why every celebrity has their own pet cause is not because of a sudden increase in “kindness” among them. Conspicuous Charity…apparently, our kindness is only worth something if everyone else can see it.

Listen, I hate cancer. Visiting my aunt in person, when she had a thinning head of hair shocked me. Seeing her in such a frail state made me wonder what we could do to help prevent/stop/help. Acting like a insufferable douche pretending to care for a cause is not one of them.

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