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Belittling the Cause

tumblr_m3b6iuMI0Q1r0men0I’m confused. Charity shouldn’t be something that one boasts about. Not because it’s not important, or that it’s not something to be appreciated, but rather, because we should all be helping each other whenever necessary. The current trend of women taking photographs of themselves without make-up to raise awareness for cancer irks me (as does the idiocy surrounding Movember and the latest ‘cock sock’ trend). Not because I think cancer is something that should be ignored – we’ve all had an experience with it in one way or another – or that people’s intentions aren’t good. The reality however, is that most women who are posting these selfies, haven’t done anything except post a photograph. It’s technically the same performance that one gives when clicking that ‘like’ button to send militia into Africa to save an orphan with Ebola, a cleft palette and an extra eye from a life of prostitution.

I’m not saying that everyone who takes part in this awareness campaign hasn’t donated something – whether it is time or money – to the cause; but why boast about it, and put it all over social media, as if you are some type of demi-god that should now be worshipped for your sacrifice?

Some may argue that it’s an awareness campaign and this creates awareness. Unfortunately, here’s the newsflash: cancer isn’t a secret. We know about it, we hate it, we’d do everything we could to stop it. That’s why there are millions pumped into cancer research every day throughout the world. PhDs are written about the disease, patient care, family support and pretty much anything else related to cancer, every year. There are so many other things, which are just as important, that aren’t given nearly as much attention. Corrective rape, domestic violence against men, inadequate sanitary access at schools, where children fall into pit latrines and die, are all issues that we seem to ignore. Why not cover yourself in shit and take a selfie to help encourage safer sanitation in our schools?

One, it trivialises the issue, and opens the door for cynics like me to question your motives. And two, if it doesn’t affect the middle and upper classes those people don’t like to think about. And those are just normal people problems. I haven’t even gotten onto animals, the environment or religion. The point however, is that whatever cause it is you are fighting, or whichever charity you are supporting, it shouldn’t be a one-off ‘look at me, supporting x like the good person I am’. It should be something that forms part of your everyday life, and more importantly, it shouldn’t be seen as part of a faddy group mentality, otherwise you risk belittling an important cause all in the name of self-promotion.

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