March 29, 2011

Silence of the Spams

Dear Mom,

I promised you long ago that when the time came that you were too weak to fight, I would continue fighting for you. I thought that fire inside me went out the day I lost you, but yesterday I felt it ignite for the first time in over three years.

You can read Nancy's Point or Uneasy Pink for the full story, but here is the jist of what happened and my two cents (it may end up being twenty-two cents with all I have to say, but who's counting?).

"Feel Your Boobies" is a non-profit organization that campaigns towards young women to tell them to, for lack of a better term, feel their boobies. Despite the lewd comments on their Facebook page from teenage boys and even grown men revealing their desire to grab women's breasts, it's actually a campaign about early breast cancer detection and self breast exams. Who would've thought!

So, whatever, they use innappropriate slogans to appeal to the younger generation (can I exclude myself from this age group yet? I'm pretty sure I stopped fitting in when I was like 12); I can get over that. What has caused an absolute ruckus this past week was when Uneasy Pink, a breast cancer survivor, spoke up on FYB's Facebook wall to explain that comments like, "I can help with feeling the boobies if ya'll need any help!" were inappropriate, disrespectful, demeaning, and hurtful to the people who have been affected by the disease.

Uneasy Pink received an immense amount of backlash from FYB 'fans' calling her 'uptight' and accusing her of not being able to take a joke. I'm pretty sure the only jokes I read on that site are the hundreds of crude comments underminding the importance of self breast exams and making a mockery of breast cancer. Oh, and then more jokes came when all of her comments were deleted by the founder of the organization (or one of her corrupted minions), but she chose to leave all the rude comments that were written in response(Uneasy Pink took screen shots of this as it unfolded, and I highly recommend taking a peak!).

As a journalist, the thought of censorship alone makes my blood boil. Don't even get me started on how I feel about that organization taking away our Freedom of Speech, and yes, our, because I got involved too. Uneasy Pink and anyone who supported her had their comments deleted and were reported by the company as 'spam' so they could no longer comment on public pages. After reading Nancy's Point, which unveiled that FYB doesn't even put a single cent towards actual breast cancer research (research, you know, the ONLY thing that will save the people we love from this disease), I decided it was time to use my voice before it was silenced like the other 'spammers'.

Without hesitation, I posted on the FYB wall.

"Waaait a second... so your entire campaign and profits simply go toward just telling young people to 'feel your boobies'? Maybe I am misunderstanding, but... what's the point of finding a lump if there's no money going toward research to actually get rid of it and save lives? Yes, there are other organizations who raise money for research, but there is still no cure, which means other people need to step up and step in. Any chance you'll consider being the organization to do so?"


My comment was deleted within minutes.

So, let me get this straight. They'll make more money in a year than most Americans will see in their lifetime, yet they'll spend it all on cheeky t-shirts and bumper stickers rather than on cancer research? They'll delete concerns and inquiries from women who are actually (and unfortunately) a part of the cancer community, yet they'll keep comments on a picture of a girl sitting on a pink bicycle from men saying how badly they wish they were a bike seat? That's just downright embarassing. I'm embarassed for them and the freakshow they're running over there at "Feel Your Boobies".

The fact that my comment was deleted speaks more to me than any response ever could, so I have a little message for them in return:

"Although humor is important and helps us get by sometimes, the bottom line is that cancer is not a joke, and it's certainly not a pretty little picture wrapped in a silky pink bow like your organization markets it as. So go ahead and remove our comments, delete the images of what cancer really looks like, block us from your website, and report us to the myserious Facebook police. You've already done all that, and guess what? We're still here; We're still talking; And you will never silence us, so listen up FYB because I have a new slogan for you. It's called:

Feel My Finger.

...And guess which one I'm giving you?"

Love you,
Sami

19 comments:

  1. This is why I adore you. :-) Keep telling it like it is, Samma Lamma. :-)

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  2. Woo hoo, Sami! You go girl. I love this post and your fighting spirit.

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  3. embarassed? I'm disgusted! I might jump on their page just to add my OWN acerbic remark [then again, the mood I'm in today, I beter not!] - money for t-shirts...hmm. Very useful. NOT. Good post girl!
    x

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  4. Good for you, Sami. Your opinion should matter to FYB since you fit into their demographic, except, they never counted on that age group being mature enough to handle the truth. Thanks for speaking out, Sami. Once again, I'm sure your mom is very proud.

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  5. I have tried to leave a comment numerous times on your blog and it never let's me... I am trying it once more on my iPhone this time and see if it makes a difference. I don't want to type the whole long thing all over again but I know that if you donate money towards cancer you have to specifically request it to go there ... I never knew that before!

    Anyway I hope this comment prints finally and if so, at least I found a way to comment on your blog... I've been reading it since the first day you found mine :)

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  6. Feel my finger????? SING IT SISTER!!!!!!! I think we just turned up the volume. Is there an "11" setting? Brilliant post. I am sharing on my FB page right now.

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  7. Feel my finger?

    I feel a new blog crush coming on.

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  8. Strong sentiments. Well written too.

    psssst... "lewd" not "lude". <3

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  9. Sami,
    Like I keep saying Sami, you are amazing! Thank you for chiming in on this!

    Why aren't there more journalists like you?

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  10. Sami,
    I thank my FB friends for introducing me to you.

    Not one thing remotely funny about cancer: ever. A terrific post and a personal note. I'm so moved by your blog. I too, wrote letters (in journal) to my mother after she died of cancer.

    Thank you for putting yours into this blog.

    Hugs,
    Jody

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  11. This story captures the dilemma we survivor/activists face with the BC awareness trends--commercializing and trivializing our serious efforts to end this horrible disease.
    I created a vlog protesting FB's banning photos from the BC Awareness Body Painting Project. THAT is offensive, not the pix!

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  12. Waking up to all of these comments this morning is the greatest feeling! Thanks to each of you for your support and praise (and the typo correction! I hate having typos!!!) we are in this together! Here's to never letting our precious voices be silenced!

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  13. Brilliant, Sami. Too many of us have been silenced in a cacophony of pink talk and boobies brigades. It ends now. It ends with us.

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  14. http://www.studentsofamf.org/

    Hi Sami
    I have MBC. My mom died of inflammatory breast cance when I was 17. I don't have first hand experience with the above group but I wanted to let you know about it.

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  15. Sami
    Very well said. Personally I was never thrilled with the FYB name but was not aware that they did not support research at any level.

    Too bad FYB doesn't share information about the link between what happens in the "boobies" with what happens in the ovaries. For me personally you can have all the awareness in the world but without research you will never find a cure or save a life.

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  16. Sami
    Just checking in. Hope you are off doing fun things with no time to update.

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  17. i am a new reader/follower.. i lost my daddy to cancer last year... i have to say.. i am going to think twice about the garb i choose to wear at the many breast cancer events and walks i go to... while it has been fun to wear shirt bearing saying lie "save the sweater puppies" i do have to wonder if the money going to the companies selling these shirts is going toward the cause at all... i will be doing my research! my dad passed of kidney cancer.. and so far i haven't been able to find a sexy pun associated with that

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  18. THIS POST MADE MY NIGHT. perfectly said. virtual high five. :)

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