I Am Not Pregnant…

Thursday, September 15, 2011, 20:34

… and frankly, I still haven’t got around to testing for any one of the various types of cancers that may be tested for, which have beset both maternal and paternal sides of my family over the years.

But that is not the reason I shall not be posting the pseudo-lie about how far into the Club I am, and what I am craving.

This is the third meme that is supposed to make us aware of breast cancer. In the first one we were supposed to inform people of our social networks of the colour of our lingerie, and in the second, where we place out handbags.

The first was supposed to elicit a nonplussed question; the second was meant to be a double-entendre.

This third statement, for some reason, makes a connection between pregnancy and awareness of breast cancer. Seeing that this condition often leaves women infertile – desperately wishing, in fact, that they were “six months in and craving pickles dipped in hazelnut spread” or some other disgusting concoction of the sort. And desperately wishing that they could have, eventually, breastfed the offspring they will now never have. I find it ‘distasteful’ – on all counts.

It is interesting to note that all three “chain letters”- for that, in effect, is what these things are- concentrate on sexuality. Moreover, they focus on a woman’s sexuality, totally ignoring the fact that males do get breast cancer too.

Would you pass on a message that threatens you with disaster and death of you do not make fifty copies forthwith, and forward them to people, asking them to follow suit? Does it sit well on you to play on people’s emotions and fears, and make them waste time?

Ah, you say, but this is “in jest”… rather as if breast cancer is funny.

It is not awareness of breast cancer that we need; it is education, information, and action about all types of cancers. Not just one of the many types that steal people’s lives when their deaths could have been avoided.

I speak from experience – two members of my immediate family were mis-diagnosed and told there was “nothing to worry about”. By the time someone realised we were not simply “making a fuss about nothing” and picked up all the clues and thought to investigate further, it was way too late for both of them.

However, silly pass-it-on messages are not the only way that the female body is being exploited in a pathetic way with regards to this notion.

Some internet sites have been specifically created for the posting of cleavage – no head, no torso, because “that” is the important part of the female – with the same warped view. And I use the term deliberately.

Because just as sites that show child models made up to look like adults pander to a paedophile’s dreams, so do these sites indulge voyeurs. In both cases, the perverts win hands down.

If you ostensibly want to draw attention to an illness, you do not draw attention to ‘perfection’ – despite fetching slogans about ‘protection’ and ‘reminders’. Just for the record, I also object to pictures posted by women who have had mastectomies, who do re doing this in a bid to counteract the obsession with breasts.

Women are stricken with many types of cancers – most of which effect men, too. However, since (probably) most of us consider man-boobs unattractive, and it is not necessarily those that get breast cancer, it would not be a good gimmick to include snaps of them in any site purporting to “care” about “awareness”.

A woman who has bone, lung, or ovarian cancer, or metastatic colo-rectal cancer, apparently cannot be “represented” by a series of partial snapshots of her sisters sporting variously bejewelled, frilled, striped, or polka-dotted bikini tops. Let’s face it; a face wracked in pain is not “sexy”. Neither are gel-filled prosthesis in a box.

The equation seems to be that if you say you are booting awareness of breast cancer, you can sell pink earrings, special edition pink sweets and rubber bracelets, pink cellular telephones… and have an excuse to parade your assets, if you are a ‘consenting adult’, because it’s “all in a good cause”.

If, like me, you do not pass on the e-mail, the social site posting, or the series of photographs, you are labelled an old sourpuss with no sense of humour.

Being ‘aware’ of breast cancer does not mean you will never get it. It does not mean you are free to compare and contrast photographs, either.

What it does mean is knowing that there are many other types of cancer. It means cooking a meal for a family that has one member so stricken, and offering to look after the children during those interminable hospital visits or stays…

It means getting the patient – male or female – something nice, which they would not think of getting themselves, or cannot be bothered to do so… because they know they might be going to die soon.

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