Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We are on the same side...

“We are on the same side”.
A message received by me through twitter from one of the NZ girl editors.
No kidding!! Only an asshole is FOR breast cancer, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to do anything in the name of fundraising.

*deep calming breath*
Before I start – big props to the women who have the self control to write functionally while still pissed off (I waited ‘til today, so it wasn’t a jumbled spew of rage).
Rachael covers this whole thing very nicely; take a read of what she has to say here.
Boganette made into the news with her tweets, and her post combines her dark humour with a clear cut point.
For those who missed the memo, this post is regarding the NZ Girl website's warped idea of breast cancer awareness by asking women to post photos of their breasts, in exchange for money to be donated to the cause (this is a bit vague at this point).

One of the first computer lessons we teach young people is internet safety.
Don’t give out your phone number or address.
Don’t mention where you go to school.
Sure as heck don’t post photos of yourself that you may regret.
A good basic rule is to think of the person who scares you / creeps you out the most, and then consider if you would like THEM to see what you are about to post.

This is the one of the key issues about the latest "Breast cancer awareness campaign" – they are actively encouraging girls and women to send in photos of their breasts.
It may well be a good idea right now.
It might still feel like a good idea next week.
What about next year? Or in ten years?
Or when you realise the NZ girl site isn’t crashing because everyone thinks those pictures are ‘empowering.’
They just want to stare at real tits for free.
I find it very hard to believe that people marketing-savvy enough to run a successful site like this don’t realise that it’s not hordes of women leaping at the chance to rate breasts.
And I find it bloody irresponsible that a site aimed at ‘girls’ is exploiting them for ratings.

Secondly, and no less importantly. Breast cancer is NOT about breasts!
Breasts are lovely. Cancer is not.
Breast cancer affects men, and women whose breasts are barely discernable, it affects women who have already had their breasts removed.

As an exersize, I would like to suggest some other “cancer fundraiser” ideas.

‘Hit the Sack’ – submit an anonymous photo of a view of your gooch and ball sack in celebration of the preciousness of men’s prostates.

“Leggy ladies” – raise awareness for the 5th biggest in-patient killer in Oz – DVT, and the fact it is most prevalent in women. Send in photos of your legs.

“Don’t be an asshole – get a check up” - submit a photo of your O-Ring and raise Bowel and rectal cancer awareness.

"Feel the burn" – NZ has one of the highest rates of Chlamydia in the world – send in a pic of your swollen balls or discharging Vag, to raise awareness.
(Actually – at least that one is RELEVENT, as it would educate on what the symptoms look like)

If they seem stupid or irrelevant, maybe you need to ask why showing breasts aren’t.
Because they are fun?
Pretty? Hot? Sexy?


I also find it thoughtless that they used the term “pair” when referring to sending your photos in. A fairly clear insight into the fact they were NOT thinking about cancer survivors when asking for submissions.

Urgh, there is so much wrong with this particular “fundraiser” that it is not even funny.
And putting a post up 24 hours later with info on detection and the NZ breast cancer foundation doesn’t really cut it.

This post is shite. I’m tired and frustrated, and tearful.
Sorry that the words aren’t fluent, I’m finding this one a little tricky.


  1. Plenty fluent, SN!

    I really resent the idea that somehow ANYTHING which gets the words "breast", "cancer" and "awareness" in the media more MUST be helping actual breast cancer awareness.

    Or that we should somehow be thankful to NZGirl for shamelessly exploiting people's desire to actually help raise money for breast cancer by essentially bribing them to provide free linkbait boob shots (I do actually consider all such "for every [blah] you buy we donate .005c!" tactics to be bribery).

    Especially when their target market is young women, who may buy into the "it's fun and silly and girly!" vibe now but will be absolutely disproportionately punished for their actions later in life (cf. those faked Pauline Hanson barely-risque photos from a couple of years back).

  2. Hey, thanks for the mention!
    I was pretty mad when I wrote that so I am pleased that I appeared reasonably sane : )
    Yes, this whole issue is just dreadful. I get so frustrated when the 'girl power, this is my body and I am proud' argument comes out - this is exploitation in its worst form, and those poor women who have uploaded their photos are now plastered across porn sites.
    It makes me so sad as I am sure most were really thinking they were doing their bit for 'breast cancer awareness' (whatever that is, nzgirl had not decided exactly where the money would go to...)
    Your other cancer fundraiser ideas did at least make me smile just imagining them!

  3. I'm getting really fucking sick of the NZGirl PR team racing around saying 'Oh look how much awareness we're making'! It's ridiculous. Arguing on the internet about them sexualising breast cancer is not raising awareness. Bullshit RTs like "I got my tits out for cancer!!" does not equal awareness. And honestly, they said yesterday they had the most traffic to the site in 11 years. Then in the same breath crapped on about how much awareness that was. Yeah, fucking brand awareness for NZ Girl. I am so fucking over this. They're only going to need to pay $1k when it comes down to it because I doubt there will be a rush to put more tits on the net after the last lot hit a porn site. FFS. I am so sick of this. Honestly. The NZ Breast Cancer Foundation keeps saying they don't support NZGirl and nobody seems to be talking about that. That PROVES they didn't consult anyone before this marketing stunt.

  4. "No kidding!! Only an asshole is FOR breast cancer, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to do anything in the name of fundraising."

    Exactly! I've now seen their comments along the lines of "one girl found a lump and heaps are booking mammograms", but the results does not excuse the means, of the fact that this was a poorly thought out, poorly executed "campaign" to raise awareness for breast cancer. Awareness for the NZGirl brand, however...

  5. Thanks for your post on the true and horrid face of breast cancer..something that the NZGirl site just missed the point about. Aside from the same concerns I have that others have raised, the fact that there is no age verification monitoring on NZgirl photo upload site blows my mind. Hell what;s to stop well developed 11 - 16 year olds from uploading shots of their breasts!! Secondly what type of message/values are we sending our young impressionable teens girls these days who are already under extreme pressure from the mostly exploitative fashion/entertainment industry to profit from sexualising their young images. How dare NZGIRL seek to sexualise and exploit a dreadful killer such as breast cancer under for their own profit and profile...shame shame

  6. oh boo effing hooo Angie et al. If you don't like it, don't visit the site. If I want to dance a tap dance around a swastika to raise money for breast cancer, I don't see why I can't - and who are you to tell me otherwise? In bad taste? Yes. But hey, I'll get more eyeballs on my cause. So you all don't support nzgirl's reasoning - and you obviously don't understand how someone can conceivably come up with an idea to donate money and boost web traffic at the same time. Appalling! No, that's business, honey. Not everyone can be as altruistic as you part-time bloggers who only get additional web hits when you "whale oil" yourselves off the back of a contentious issue from a popular site.

    oh and you know what? I posted my malformed boobs. The ones which had a melanoma on them which had to be cut out. I did it to contribute and celebrate the fact that not all boobs are equal but they're all bloody beautiful and we should look after them. I didn't seek to sexualise them. But if you see it otherwise then that's your problem. (And believe me, it's a problem, you should check it out. Or are you too busy giggling and blushing?) And if by uploading my photo, my boobs contribute towards a great cause, then that's a bonus.

    But FFS, don't use your breast cancer affected friend or family member to give some sense of justification for your ramblings. "Listen to ME! I know someone who died, so if I'M offended then I'M right." And in the same tone, I'm not going to piggy back on my aunty's breast cancer to make anyone believe my words bear more worth than anyone else's.

    Unbelievable that you all think nzgirl readers are all so naive to believe that the photos they post wouldn't be used by perverted creeps for other purposes. I'd say that's why the majority of them are headless shots. We knew the risks when we submitted the photo. If I go topless on a beach what's to stop some man taking a photo of me and posting it online? That's the risk I take. and if there's a 11-16 year old girl stupid and naive enough to believe her boobie shot won't do the rounds on porn sites, then she's probably stupid enough to do a sex video with her boyfriend and believe he won't show his friends or upload it online. Those are the girls that need to be taught the lessons of Te Internet by their parents. The rest of us smart nzgirls know exactly what we're doing. But thanks for being so outraged on our boobies' behalves.

    I don't expect this post to make it through your stringent moderation, but hey, if you do post it up, I might come back to check. Wooh, notched up another paltry site visit!

    End rant.

  7. Hi anonymous, use a name next time so I don't confuse you with someone else.
    I'm eternally grateful that you came to my tiny, free, PERSONAL site to up my numbers and vomit rage all over my feet. Especially the way you accused us of judging you and then judge us. Ace, pure brilliance.
    I've written a post on MY blog for me and anyone who likes to read it about my opinion on the topic. You dont have to like it, it's my opinion. I dont go reading the NZ conservative site because I think it is idiotic.
    So if you don't like it, don't read it. But thanks for thinking I'm so important you have to write such a long response.
    I couldn't give a smaller shit what you do with your breasts. And don't assume that because I seek protection for the young on the Internet that I'm a prude. You don't know me, I haven't made assumptions about you, don't make them About me.
    You are absolutely right if someone is young and stupid, a "girls" website has every right to exploit them because they will probably post porn in the future any way... WHAT THE FUCK!??? talk about slut shaming. So it's ok for you to do it, but not others?
    I deliberately haven't mentioned my personal experiences with cancer because it is irrelevant to my post. This isn't personal, I object to the campaign.
    Yes fundraising is a business, however at the bare minimum you should say what you are fundraising for and not lie about groups supporting you.
    I don't tend to giggle about tits since I used to see them on a daily basis inside and out, again- quit with the little miss judgey pants.
    Your post has gotten through my policy and usually I'm pretty polite but since you show no pretense of being respectful and shat all over other people who come to this safe place to discuss topics they care about, I'm going to finish on a high.
    Screw you and your horse that you rode in on.
    Im going to leave your post up so the others have right of reply too. I think they deserve that!

  8. The idea that we should just accept the fact that perverts will steal our images for porn is baffling to me. Yes, the internet is 80% porn. Yes, image theft happens all the time. But it is up to the NZGirl editors - whose site is "for teens" as well as "women" according to their Google blurb - to safeguard their readers when THEY are the ones instigating the publication of potentially-exploited photos.

    I'm also baffled by the idea that oh, all these women KNEW their photos would be stolen, that's why they're headless!!! When in fact the NZGirl editors themselves encouraged people to post anonymously, and when in fact if you thought your photo would undoubtedly turn up on a porn site you probably wouldn't post it at all.

    But right, it's the feminists who are treating these women like they're stupid, not the website exploiting their compassion for breast cancer awareness to get profile and pageviews.

  9. I hate this victim-blaming shit: "oh, how could a girl/woman not know that tit shots put on the net would get put ona porn site" etc etc. Well, to be honest, when I was younger I was aware of porn on the net but had honestly never considered the idea that some of it was submitted by the average joe. I knew there was porn, and had seen some of it, but never any of that "hey, here's a vid of my ex giving a blow-job that she doesn't know I put on the web!" stuff. I just believed it was stuff expressly made by porn companies or whatever.

    And aside from that, I can understand how women posting pics to NZGirl would assume that a site purportedly with women's interests in mind would have some protections to stop the images being saved or shared and uploaded to XTube. So the victim-blaming shit needs to stop; I'm tired of reading stuff about how these women obviously knew their pics would end up on XTube and so obviously were ok with it if they submitted anyway. That's bullshit, and not obviously true at all.

    (Not directed at you, Scuba, just the general victim-blamers who've come out of the woodwork, and also Anon in these comments to a degree)

  10. Cheezus Chrust Anon, could you be ANY more sunk into slut shaming that you are now? You're the "right" type of woman, because you give the world full access to your body, but anyone who doesn't or puts themselves out there and then has the temerity to complain about being abused is the "wrong" type of woman?

    Why is it the victims responsibility to stay safe. How about the perpertrator actually be HELD ACCOUNTABLE?

    If anyone wants to be proud of their body, put it out there, that's great. That's choice. But don't think for ONE SECOND that some asshole will use that image to laugh at you, shame you, make you feel like crap. You are beautiful, as we all are, but someone WILL find a way to break you down for being body confident, even if your intention was to fight those assholes.

    We are fighting people who are using people and bodies without any thought for the consequences, NOT the people who are posting the pictures or want to participate. Like Scuba says, we're on your side, and we ARE on the side of breast cancer awareness. But we're not the ones policing you - the people who will use the pictures of naked boobs to critique and hate on womem's sexuality and autonomy are.

  11. Feel The Burn! OMG, am I a terrible person for laughing, then feeling really bad about it, then laughing some more?

    Point well made -- with a black belt in snark-fu to match. Awesome.

  12. Well apart from the fact that I think a lot of this debate gets so personalized I find the message lost this "Hi anonymous, use a name next time so I don't confuse you with someone else" " yeah, don't accept anonymous comments then because "I've written a post on MY blog for me and anyone who likes to read it about my opinion on the topic. You dont have to like it, it's my opinion." belies the fact you are in control of the comments you publish and don't have to accept them...if you are going to exercise your opinion and don't want to deal with people who don't agree then don't take comments and/or figure out the technology so they don't automatically that's what social media is all about.....control the message and how it's delivered, that's what makes it

  13. I do choose to post these messages or screen and delete them. So if you made it through it's because you haven't gotten too personal or offensive, or that I think it will be fun to reply, or give others the chance to reply. I don't care that I don't know who you are anonymous but now I don't know if you are a new confused and cranky anonymous or the old snarky anonymous from before. Not that it makes much of a difference. It just makes it easier when a few non members are having a conversation.
    Always glad to explain if you need clarification on the way things work.
    Gosh I really have to stop replying after 9pm, I'm way sharper.


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