Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Speaking out in Sugarmag


As someone who has been very vocal in advocating for breast cancer awareness, I was recently asked for my thoughts on an opinion piece that had been written about Pink October. In only occasionally skim through the magazine that it was published in and hadn't bothered with this particularly issue. But, since I was being asked about it, I assumed it must be noteworthy for some reason and went looking for it. I can honestly say I was not at all prepared for what I read...

There were a whole range of emotions. Firstly there was sadness that someone would feel the need to write such a spiteful article. I didn't put anything more than that into as I know the author is well-known for whinging and complaining about everything and seemingly is only happy when there is something to be outraged about.

But I couldn't help but read it again. And again. And again. Each time I just got more and more angry.

Let me be very clear, I was not angry because someone did not want to support a cause that I am very passionate about. Not actively supporting it does not make someone a bad or evil person. My problem here is that someone was that someone was actively speaking against and claiming it was bad to make an effort to save lives. I, unequivocally, condemn this article in the strongest possible way.

I believe that writers and editors have have a powerful platform to reach people. And I believe they are obliged to use that platform in good faith. This is exactly what this article did not do. It is a bunch of mistruths and disingenuous claims that are demonstrably false. That is, of course, what happens when people present these bad faith arguments just to fulfil their need to be a contrarian and dissenting voice. The arguments come from a place either complete ignorance or wilful deceit.

A case in point; the author spoke on how heart disease is more of a concern in her region so why is that not being spoken about instead. If she really as conscientious about that cause as she tries to portray, she would be aware that February is Heart Health Month. I wonder if she will be promoting that when it comes round next year? I think we all know the answer to that one...

That is what truly made me incandescent with rage. The abuse of an editors position to actively try to discourage others for be conscious their own wellbeing the wellbeing of their loved ones simple for her own gratification. I actually found it deeply upsetting at how irresponsible the views expressed in it were and how dangerous they could be.

What also disgusts me is the authors callous attempts to misrepresent breast cancer awareness as nothing more than a marketing campaign with no benefit. To trivialise the hard work of the many that donate their time to it and the suffering of the unfortunate sufferers it aims to help is beyond heartless.

Really, it is no more than tabloid trash and I pray that others see it for what it is. Something that is just there to get a reaction. However, in this post-Trump world that we live in, we are all too familiar with how powerful the media can be at convincing people of untruths, which they unquestioningly take at face value and accept. 

That is what really fuelled my fire to speak out about this. Trust me, I could have said a whole lot more on the subject during what was supposed to be a quick interview on it. In the end, I eventually forced myself to stop ranting. My fear being that if the interview went on for too long, it may get cut due to the amount of space it would take up. 

Oh, and you can be sure that I will not being reading that publication against whilst that editor is still associated with it.


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