A new “Motorboating For Breast Cancer” campaign is getting some backlash, but like “No Bra” day, the “awareness” meme is one that shows how very very useless slacktivism is — to the point of opening doors to simple objectification and advancing the idea that a cause can be helped in these arcane and useless ways.
The “Motorboating For Breast Cancer” thing was showcased by The Daily Dot, and the site explains how the “bros” involved motorboated women — who agreed to allow it so $20 would be donated to “breast cancer” — on the street for the YouTube video.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “motorboating” is defined in the video above, and generally involves a person rubbing their face against another’s breasts and making a “brrr…” sound.
At the end of the clip, a woman says that submitting to a breast cancer “motorboating” is her “good deed of the day,” which again is the same faulty sort of thinking — look, we’re not all going to find a cure for breast cancer. But this sort of feel-good and useless thing has become a culturally pervasive misbelief, that simply buying a pink shirt or pair of socks is “for breast cancer.”
And it’s a cool idea, that everyone benefits, but then we have stuff like this — and the ambient pressure to do a “good deed,” even if it means allowing a stranger to shove his face in your boobs and have it broadcast to the world. Yes, this gets attention and yes, people look, but even in the video many of the women are clearly uncomfortable and the simple implication that saying no to the act is saying yay to breast cancer is deeply troubling.
The Daily Dot says:
“They made $2,080. ‘Save more boobies by sharing this video,’ one dude says at the end of the clip. For every 100,000 views the video gets, the bros will donate another $100. So far, it’s up to nearly 500,000 views.”
And yeah, two grand was raised in the initial motorboating for breast cancer video. But at the end of the day, was it worth sexually exploiting all those women, even if they look like they’re not too upset? Do you think this sort of thing is coercive and wrong?