Awareness

Cara has an excellent post on Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, both October.  Yet somehow the breasts get all the attention.  And, as Cara points out, it’s not necessarily the right kind of attention.

When was the last time you saw awareness of prostate or testicular cancer accompanied by photos of bulging pant fronts or hot guys in their underwear? Hopefully never. How screwed up are we that we will objectify women’s body parts even when those parts are harboring a grave illness?  

She also points out that black women and older women, who are most likely to die from the disease, are not much noticed in these campaigns.  

How far gone are we that we will ignore the bulk of victims — black women and women over 50 — to create a marketable story? Do we really only care about women’s health when we get to look at thin young white women while talking about it? How do “ideal” perceptions of sexiness and womanhood permeate even this?

Really useful and interesting reflections on  what is reported, which fit nicely into discussions of how knowledge is created.   

2 thoughts on “Awareness

  1. “She also points out that black women and older women, who are most likely to die from the disease, are not much noticed in these campaigns.”

    Still we are talking about ‘survivor stories’ and there is a lot more white women survivors than black women survivors (which highlights another issue).

    As to older vs. younger women I think there is the issue you are highlighting (which in part is older women preferring to see younger women’s breasts), but there is also the fact that these adds serve another purpose. People tend to feel worse about a 30yr old dying of cancer and loosing 50 years of life than maybe a 65yr old dying of it and loosing 10 years of life. To a large extent that is marketing – but it may be the marketing for donations as well as for the magazine.

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