30 January 2012

I Am Aware That "Awareness" Only Goes So Far

I am just going to say this: I think many (though not all) "awareness" campaigns are stupid.  Yup, I said it.  Now I appreciate that awareness is the first step to initiating change, all that" first you have to acknowledge you have a problem stuff," but there does reach a point where it is just folly.   I think we have reached a stage where most awareness campaigns are ways to make people feel better because they are doing something without any of the pesky requirement that you...you know...actually do something.

Do we need another nurse-in to make people aware that "breast is best"?  Nope, we really don't.  How about you all stay home and instead, pitch in 10 bucks so you can donate a bunch of pumps to a local organization in need.  Do we need any more pink themed crap in our homes reminding us that breast cancer exists?  Nope we need to donate money to research or lobby for changes in insurance requirements for mammograms. (Hmm....seems like many of these things center around boobs.  There is probably some deeper social theme that women's cases are only worthy of lip-service, but that may be too much philosophy for this particular rant.)

Not to sound all high and mighty, but for the time I could spend doing internet memes, and the money I can spend on pink magnets I buy yarn and knit hats for babies in Rwanda that would otherwise die of exposure.  Currently I am setting up to make cloth pads for Empowering Women in Africa.   I generally pick a cause a year and go to town.  I made warm woolies for our local social services and knit booties for babies in NICUs that serve low-income populations.  Sure it requires actual time and effort, but now a baby has a warm hat or a girl has the chance to go to school every week of the month. Maybe my hipster is showing believing I can change the world through crafting, but sometimes creating tangible change is all that keeps one going.  Sure feels better than posting where I keep my purse.

I guess all I am asking is to see less $500 a plate banquets in honor of testicular cancer awareness and a lot more volunteering of resources towards helping actual people. 


Anonymous said...

You are exactly right!

btw- we still have the handmade blanket that was given when my son was in the NICU a few years ago. It's a treasured item since it was his first blanket. Keep doing what your doing!