Sunday, October 08, 2006

Proud to be on Page Ten: CafePress Breast Cancer Awareness Shop

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - please read
Originally uploaded by Graphictruth.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

A couple of weeks ago, cafepress shopowners were asked to create and donate designs for a fund-raising and awareness-rasing effort. We were all happy, of course, to show our support.

Today, the results came in the form of a newsletter, and it saying the following:

Breast Cancer Awareness month is a time for people to come together and use the power of community to make a difference.

At CafePress, we've looked to our own community of over 2.9 million users to make this difference - and the response was a rally cry of support.

The CafePress Breast Cancer Donation Shop contains hundreds of products designed and donated by our community of Shopkeepers. will donate 40% of the retail price of all products sold through the Breast Cancer Donation Shop through October 31, 2006 to a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a core purpose of raising awareness and funding breast cancer research and education.

Your purchase today directly supports a great cause, and makes you part of an empowering message of support, survival and prevention.

We at CafePress thank our generous Shopkeepers, and send our own well wishes to everyone involved in this cause.

CafePress Breast Cancer Awareness Shop :

I paged through it to see if my slightly odd design had made the cut. There it was, on page ten of "women's pink shirts."

I was thrilled, of course. It's a huge complement, when you consider how many designs must have been submitted. The top several pages are filled with designs from storekeepers who have proven track records as creators of best-selling designs. If you are trying to raise money for a cause, there is nothing unfair about that! Those of us with less stellar records had best just do a better job, or stop whining. But the design fairly lept from my tablet to the screen and I thought it compelling enough to enter. They thought it compelling enough to list. I hope that at least someone, other than myself, will buy one.

Ok, buy ANY one. Buy the one you like best. Or maybe two, it's a whole MONTH, after all! Now, after completing the sale , Cafepress will say "thank you" by offering you the chance to send a five dollar coupon to five of your friends.

Ordinarily, I would not suggest you spam your friends, but in this case, it's a good cause. But before you send off the message to cafepress with their email addresses, I would first ask you to send them a personal note, explaining why they are going to get that five dollar coupon and a small amount of junk mail from time to time.

Ask them, if they can afford it, to show their support by buying a shirt - and passing the letter and the coupon along to five more friends.

No guilt, no pressure, no icky chain-letter hype. This is simply viral marketing in a damn good cause. Make sure that you carefully select the five people you think would actually welcome the communication.

As a male, I decided to create a design aimed AT men. As I know that you WILL ogle a pert pair, (as I do, and without any visible shame) I know too that any message placed upon the bouncy bits will be sent right to your hind-brain, bypassing your ordinary filters.

So girls, if you wish to do your bit for raising the awareness of the OTHER half of the population that doesn't think this is their issue, take this "Ducks Unlimited" approach. One cannot view, ogle, whistle at or contemplate fondling that which is no longer there.

It might be seen as unfair, sexist and a lewd and lacivious suggestion to hint that you forgo a bra when wearing this shirt - but I assure you, it will be even more unfair to the men!

Should you happen to wear this shirt to school and be forced to turn it inside out because it's "suggestive," I suggest you contact your local newspaper and the ACLU - because publicity like that cannot be bought, it relies on the generous stupidity of others.

That's a Graphictruth for you, courtesy of

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Julia Schopick said...

For an interesting twist on the topic of the "pinking" of breast cancer awareness, please see the link on my website,, to the article "Welcome to Cancerland: A Mammogram Leads to a Cult of Pink Kitsch" by Barbara Ehrenreich. (You can access the article by going to the left side of my site, under “articles of importance.”)

This article will give you a different perspective on the topic! It is a classic.

Julia Schopick

Bob King said...

I shall read it, I promise. But I do observe that as awkward as it is, and unfair as it is to less popular diseases, breast cancer would still be hidden in the "shame bin," with people dying because they were too embarrassed to talk about boobs, much less go get squished.

Even now, there's internet filtering software that will not allow high school kids to research "breast cancer" because breasts are involved. So, while I expect you have much to say that's relvent to the marketing of a disease for profit, and how things would be handeled in a rational society, the fact is that until fairly recently - five years, perhaps. even speaking about breast cancer was a transgressive act. So getting men to wear pink for this day may be kitchy, but that's America for ya, and that's kinda how our brains work.

Kitchy is safe. And now it's possible to deal with the rest of the problem related to the actual treatment of breast cancer, now that we have gotten over the stuttering fits around saying "breasts" in public.

I've never been all that concerned about breast cancer per se; there are a lot of diseases that are objectively more threatening to women, to me, and to people in general. Heart disease and lung cancer both kill more people. But breast cancer and it's treatment is unique in it's ability to attack the self image and self-confidence of a woman directly. Nor did it help that most Oncolgists and surgeons are men, who approach the matter in a deadly pragmatic way, seing the issue as "merely cosmetic" and hardly of importance to any woman over thirty.

By the way, now that I'm of the age and heft that it's an issue for me as well, the next "squish" appointment will be for both me and my wife. Yes, folks, I have man boobs, and they are not immune to risk because they are hairy.

Men can get breast cancer too, and if your medical history suggests that you should get squished, your doctor should be talking to you about it.


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