Summary: it’s a “share pictures of your cleavage because of… breast cancer! yeah!” meme. That meta-meme is potent, folks. Got something you want people to do? Claim it’s about preventing or ameliorating or alerting or grieving breast cancer. You are now the untouchable saviour. The end.
— Mary, on Geek Feminism
A surprising number of guys don’t seem to get why so many women found the G+ weekend meme of sharing pictures of cleavage under the guise of “breast cancer awareness” offensive. Mary’s article is a great roundup, with quotes from Christa Laser, Randall Monroe, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Peggy Orenstein, as well as links out to Twisty on I Blame the Patriarchy and Lauradhel of Hoyden about Town … but even so, there’s plenty of whining about “censorship” and mansplaining about how women who feel objectified are just wrong. Sigh.
As M. M. Faulkner said six weeks ago on Pay Attention People in Why Women Users are Important for Google+,
Furthermore, although making a joke here or there, posting a somewhat mysogynist photo, or remarking on women’s love of Farmville may seem harmless enough, I think we need to recognize there is a larger picture. What I am speaking of is a collective conscience that forms when people are bombarded with the same images and messages over and over and over. The message for the past week has been ramping up and it seems to be suggesting that we are simply are not as “ready” for Google’s latest social media network. It reminds us, as women, we are in the “wrong place” at Google Plus.
Of course there are plenty of exceptions. All of the people I’m following steered clear from Booberday, and guys like Randall Monroe and Mohamed Mansour (who worked overnight to get out Filter Stream for Google+) really stepped forward. But still.
A heck of a lot of women have been talking for months about things that make Google+ a hostile environment to women … and Google’s largely ignored them.
I wonder what, if anything, they’ll do in the aftermath of Booberday?
Check out the previous posts in the series: A Work in Progress, Why it matters, #nymwars!, A tale of two searches, The double bind of oppression, Anxious masculinity under threat, and Still a Ways to Go