I got an email on FB from a girlfriend of mine, about the new meme going around – women post what they drink and it’s code for their relationship status! And it’s supposed to help support breast cancer! Or something!
I’m irritated over it for a number of reasons.
First, I don’t define myself by my relationship status or lack of it. The options were: single, touch and go, engaged, in a relationship, married, the “other one”, can’t find the right partner, single but with friends that won’t stop partying, wishes she was single, or wants to get married. Technically and legally I’m single, but that word brings so much baggage with it, especially as a woman in my 30s. I am alone and I am happy with it. Unless something drastically changes in my personality makeup, or I meet a guy who actually is perfect, I imagine I will be alone/single/unmarried etc. By choice. Because I understand who I am and what makes me happy.
Second, posting something secret that men aren’t allowed to know the code for does not help breast cancer. Donating to breast cancer research helps breast cancer. Volunteering at a fundraising event helps breast cancer. Donating your hair to be made into a wig for a woman who has lost her hair due to chemo that she had to have because she has breast cancer makes a difference. Posting something cutesy on your profile on FB does nothing. No, it’s worse than nothing because it gives people the illusion that they are involved in the cause when they are not.
Third, setting it up as a dichotomy of men versus women shows us once again that breast cancer is only an issue for a lot of men because what about the boobies?!?! As if those breasts did not have women attached to them who are beings in their own right, not just as carriers for those lumps of fat that are so appealing to straight men. And women need to save the boobies because in the patriarchy in which we live, a woman who is not sexually appealing to men has no purpose. How about the fact that on average, 100 Canadian women will die every week from breast cancer this year?*
So no. I am not posting this to my status. I am, however, taking a moment to remember my two maternal aunts who died from breast cancer before I was old enough to know them, and I am thanking whatever deity happened to be on duty that my mum did not contract the disease.
* stat from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation website