"That's a beautiful mam."
October 21, 2013 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Mamming is the act of laying your (clothed) boobs on a flat surface. Like a counter. Or a bench. Or the body of a person who is #planking.

Mamming was created by a breast cancer survivor and a supporter to get everyone to "embrace the awkwardness of mammograms" during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
posted by a halcyon day (105 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
stop trying to make mamming happen.
posted by blue t-shirt at 7:35 AM on October 21, 2013 [91 favorites]


I did this once, but that was when I accidentally rode my bike into a bandstand and flew over the handlebars, landing chest first.

Do not recommend.
posted by mippy at 7:37 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


God help us if Lance Armstrong gets any ideas from this.....
posted by HuronBob at 7:39 AM on October 21, 2013 [22 favorites]


Mamming was created by a breast cancer survivor and a supporter to get everyone to "embrace the awkwardness of mammograms" during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

To truly embrace the awkwardness of mammograms, you would need to sandwich yourself between some heavy objects. I suggest a full set of encyclopedias.
posted by 41swans at 7:40 AM on October 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm not sure what to think of this. I'm sort of sick of Pinktober and this does have a forced-meme feel to it. On the other hand, it's not as tee-hee girly-sexy as the no bra days and save the ta-tas bracelets and all that other crap, and I appreciate that the aim is to remind people to actually get mammograms, instead of a vague "awareness" mission.

Besides, finding a shelf of just the right height upon which to plonk your boobs is one of life's stupid joys.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:43 AM on October 21, 2013 [21 favorites]


Everybody should just get s'more mammo-grahams.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:44 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I too am burnt out on Pinktober. Can we do Purpletober next year?
posted by mikelieman at 7:50 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mamming was created by a breast cancer survivor

So this is a thing now? Good to know; shit's comfy as hell.
posted by likeatoaster at 7:51 AM on October 21, 2013


Yeah, what else am I expected to do when confronted with a chest high counter? I hope the next silly contrived fad is using your boob shelf as a snack tray because I will be at the forefront of this new technology.
posted by elizardbits at 7:53 AM on October 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


The beer mugs remind me of a scene from the Simpsons:

"Homer - my eyes are up here."

"I've made my choice."
posted by three blind mice at 7:53 AM on October 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


Unfortunately some of us are small enough that mamming really isn't noticeable.

IBT Club represent
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:54 AM on October 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


Next up, nipple stickers to put on everything! For awareness!

It's funny, literally every single woman on my mother's side of the family has had breast cancer. Every one, from age 39 on up. And they all, to a person, hate all the pink stuff.
posted by nevercalm at 7:55 AM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


So glad that cocktober isn't a thing.
posted by orme at 7:55 AM on October 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


So glad that cocktober isn't a thing.

Um, it's not? Pardon me one sec...

*zip*
posted by nevercalm at 7:56 AM on October 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Someone did this across from me during a business lunch one day awhile back and it was sorta distracting.

But, you know...for a good cause and all that
posted by jquinby at 7:57 AM on October 21, 2013


I think cocktober *should* be a thing. Raising awareness of testicular cancer and that men should check regularly for lumps would be a great thing!

Unfortunately I think that cocktober wouldn't actually work like that :C
posted by Faintdreams at 7:57 AM on October 21, 2013


This has been my lifelong fantasy (if I weren't male) and I am pretty god damn pleased it's an actual thing
posted by MangyCarface at 7:57 AM on October 21, 2013


Unfortunately some of us are small enough that mamming really isn't noticeable.

And some of us are large enough that they inadvertently do it in meetings.
posted by mippy at 8:02 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Raising awareness of testicular cancer and that men should check regularly for lumps would be a great thing!

That's Nutvember.
posted by fatbird at 8:02 AM on October 21, 2013 [21 favorites]


Though the best thing about having a larger bosom is when you wear a V-neck, accidentally drop crumbs down there over the course of the day, and when you get undressed in the evening you find a whole new meal!
posted by mippy at 8:03 AM on October 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


Fucking obnoxious the way they've turned cancer into a meme.
posted by spitbull at 8:03 AM on October 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


Can we do Purpletober next year?

If they did a parade, the co-grand marshals could be Prince, Samuel L. Jackson, and Marie Schrader.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:05 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like that snack tray idea, because I am a huge fan of snacks.
posted by Mister_A at 8:05 AM on October 21, 2013


obvs it should be cockember

but that aside:

I guess just saying: "Hey! Don't forget mammograms can help detect cancer, yeah they are annoying as hell, but go get one eh?" isn't effective enough? We gotta have cute and slightly titillating (srry).

sigh.. ah well I guess I'll go yell at the kids on my grass of something.
posted by edgeways at 8:07 AM on October 21, 2013


That's Nutvember.

Deeznutscember?
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:07 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


cocktober

Can we move quickly to NOvember? Thanks.
posted by eriko at 8:07 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, as some one who does this inadvertently ALL THE TIME I don't really feel a need for what I do with my boobs to become any sort of statement and I don't really need anyone to focus on them in that particular way. Ugh. This feels like just another super, super weird thing in the growing list of cute and socially acceptable/ostensibly feminist ways to focus on that particular portion of my anatomy and it puts me in the unfair and uncomfortable position of being pro-cancer if I complain about it. Yuck yuck yuck.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:07 AM on October 21, 2013 [37 favorites]


It's not even accusations of being pro-cancer, it's "DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT CANCER PATIENTS, HITLER?"
posted by elizardbits at 8:10 AM on October 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


I guess just saying: "Hey! Don't forget mammograms can help detect cancer, yeah they are annoying as hell, but go get one eh?" isn't effective enough? We gotta have cute and slightly titillating (srry).

Yeah, I hear ya, but at least it's a cutesy thing that actually is pointing to a concrete action, rather than being a mealy-mouthed "cancer is bad, mkay" generalized statement. They're not just doing this to say "cancer is bad" they're doing this to say "cancer is bad so don't forget to get a mammogram just in case", which puts them ahead of the game.

Granted, this doesn't make this meme a stellar one in its own right and says more about how crap the rest of the field is.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:10 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Novumvember! It could be Menopause Awareness Month...
posted by jph at 8:12 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is important to keep in mind that, according to our best understanding of how this works, for every 1000 women at 50 who have a yearly mammogram over the course of the next ten years of their life, one will avoid dying from breast cancer, two to ten will be treated for a cancer that never would have harmed them, ten to fifteen will learn earlier that they have cancer than they would have otherwise without this having any effect on their prognosis, and one hundred to five hundred will have at least one false alarm as a result of the screening. It is important to note that this is only true for women who obtain mammograms with no prior suspicions, where coming in to check out a lump or with specific risk factors is significantly more advantageous. However, with the significant amount of harm associated with annual mammograms as well as the benefit that is trivial compared to what is promised by predatory add campaigns, it is clear that there is a lot of education needed about breast cancer, if only to combat the shallow and dishonest bullshit associated with these campaigns.

To understand why the big money interests like the Komen Foundation that we see 'fighting' breast cancer continue to promote the narrative that early detection is a meaningful way to fight breast cancer, and the misunderstanding of tumor biology that it hides, you need only notice that they spend the vast majority of their funds paying themselves to promote awareness, which is not unrelated to promoting more fundraising, rather than actual research into the causes of breast cancer or more effective treatments. As a way to encourage women who have discovered a lump or some other risk factor to get it checked out this is a pretty neat thing, but as a way to encourage women to have an annual mammogram at any age this needs a huge fucking *.
Overdiagnosis in publicly organised mammography screening programmes: systematic review of incidence trends
Objective To estimate the extent of overdiagnosis (the detection of cancers that will not cause death or symptoms) in publicly organised screening programmes.
Design Systematic review of published trends in incidence of breast cancer before and after the introduction of mammography screening.
Data sources PubMed (April 2007), reference lists, and authors.
Review methods One author extracted data on incidence of breast cancer (including carcinoma in situ), population size, screening uptake, time periods, and age groups, which were checked independently by the other author. Linear regression was used to estimate trends in incidence before and after the introduction of screening and in older, previously screened women. Meta-analysis was used to estimate the extent of overdiagnosis.
Results Incidence data covering at least seven years before screening and seven years after screening had been fully implemented, and including both screened and non-screened age groups, were available from the United Kingdom; Manitoba, Canada; New South Wales, Australia; Sweden; and parts of Norway. The implementation phase with its prevalence peak was excluded and adjustment made for changing background incidence and compensatory drops in incidence among older, previously screened women. Overdiagnosis was estimated at 52% (95% confidence interval 46% to 58%). Data from three countries showed a drop in incidence as the women exceeded the age limit for screening, but the reduction was small and the estimate of overdiagnosis was compensated fo
r in this review.
Conclusions The increase in incidence of breast cancer was closely related to the introduction of screening and little of this increase was compensated for by a drop in incidence of breast cancer in previously screened women. One in three breast cancers detected in a population offered organised screening is overdiagnosed.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:12 AM on October 21, 2013 [98 favorites]


... at least it's a cutesy thing that actually is pointing to a concrete action...

true,

gotta go get my curmudgeon-alignment readjusted again... every damned decade.
posted by edgeways at 8:14 AM on October 21, 2013


I found the dog ones cuter than those with the women. God, I'm getting old.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:17 AM on October 21, 2013


Looking forward to March. Did Somebody Say Pizza?
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:20 AM on October 21, 2013


Also, claiming dibs on Colorectuary.
posted by jquinby at 8:22 AM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


You know that there is a miniscule but non-zero chance that a man can contract breast cancer?

Well, I once had an unidentified lump in my chest, and, having been fat enough at the time to have 'man boobs', it was decided a mammogram would be more practical than a full chest x-ray. So, yes, ma'am, I have been mammed. I know what it feels like, and you all have my sincere sympathy.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:23 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay. So, say I'm aware of breast cancer? What now?

What do I do with my awareness?

I'm really tired of awareness campaigns that have no objective beyond BE AWARE! BE VERY AWARE!!!
posted by zizzle at 8:24 AM on October 21, 2013 [13 favorites]


So glad that cocktober isn't a thing.

Oh, honey, every month is cocktober! The Patriarchy wills it so!
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:25 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm willing to say, OK, if you want to do this, go ahead, but how can I tell the difference between someone raising awareness and someone just waiting for service at a slightly-awkwardly placed counter?
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:26 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like that snack tray idea, because I am a huge fan of snacks.

Achetez des pommes! (NSFW)

I wish I could find the Achetez des bananes parody image. You can probably guess the subject.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:27 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did Somebody Say Pizza?

As a matter of fact, October is National Pizza Month! No pink pizzas with pepperoni nipples please.


You know that there is a miniscule but non-zero chance that a man can contract breast cancer?

Just ask Peter Criss. In fact, breast cancer may be more serious in a man because it is likely to be ignored/misdiagnosed.
posted by TedW at 8:31 AM on October 21, 2013


Oh, honey, every month is cocktober!

Well except for Dudeurary, Brogust, Mantember, and my favorite Assarch... but you know, go ahead and have your Pinktober or whatever. {\}{\}{\}
posted by edgeways at 8:32 AM on October 21, 2013


Let's not forget Januacne and AprestlessLegs
posted by Mister_A at 8:36 AM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bustygirl comics has been all over this issue and other bust-related issues for a while, though

(and I know she's done the resting-on-the-table one but I can't find it yet)
posted by emjaybee at 8:46 AM on October 21, 2013


Don't forget the female version of Movember.

Fanuary.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 8:51 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mamming was created by

"Hi, my name is [whatever] and I have this cool meme I invented with the help of a marketing person! It's called [thing]! Ok, pass it on!" is a really, really strange way to deal with the fact that mammograms are uncomfortable; and as Blasdelb's comment above pointed out, their utility is real but limited.

More research into breast cancer is probably going to save more lives than memes and marketing and awareness and self-congratulation and buying moral peace of mind by painting everything pink.
posted by clockzero at 8:53 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Besides, finding a shelf of just the right height upon which to plonk your boobs is one of life's stupid joys.

Standing desks are often the perfect height for this. When I made my partner's standing desk, it did not take me very long to realize that when he is not working I can use it to instantly make my shoulders and back feel better.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:05 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can only pray that prostating doesn't become a thing.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:16 AM on October 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Why don't we have any fun crap like this for mental illness, like a day where I can walk around muttering and swearing while avoiding eye contact with people. Oh wait, we do have that day, it's called 'Tuesday'.
posted by Mister_A at 9:21 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not to be mean or anything, but I used to work scheduling at a call center. We had a certain set of women that would place their large breasts on the chest high cublicle walls around the scheduling department when asking for voluntary time off on slow nights. And I really doubt it was for comfort since the same women would do it with the same guys at the scheduling desk and only when they were asking to go home early.

We had a code name for these women. We called them "proppers."
posted by Samizdata at 9:26 AM on October 21, 2013


I have a desk that converts from sitting to standing at the push of a button. I know what I'll be doing next time I'm alone in the office.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:33 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am not embreasted, but I do enjoy putting things on top of other things. What to do?
posted by Mister_A at 9:51 AM on October 21, 2013


"I can only pray that prostating doesn't become a thing."

It's called dong chim and is celebrated throughout the year.
posted by klangklangston at 10:00 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


We had a code name for these women. We called them "proppers."

Wow, how gross.
posted by elizardbits at 10:01 AM on October 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yay, Blasdelb!

Michelle Lamont wrote in the linked blog post:
"I’m fully and completely supportive of any and all initiatives that work to make sure women have access to early detection. There is simply nothing more important."
She's young, and from that blog entry, I think it's clear that she's basically saying that 25-year-olds should be getting annual mammograms.

Blasdelb wrote: "ten to fifteen will learn earlier that they have cancer than they would have otherwise without this having any effect on their prognosis"

...which is the topic I intended to comment upon — I'm glad Blasdelb covered the rest of it.

I think that a lot of people will read about the issues involved in this and, in the process, look at some statistics of survival rates in the context of different annual exam policies and also just in the most broad sense, such as this quote from a Komen page:
"Early detection is a key to surviving the disease: When breast cancer is detected early, the 5-year relative survival rate is 98 percent, but declines to 84 percent for regional disease and 23 percent when cancer has spread to other parts of the body."
Let's think about what that statistic means. It doesn't (fully, reliably) mean what that page implies that it means, the implication being that you're more likely to survive breast cancer, in a way that is directly equal to those survival rates, if it's detected early. That is, detect it earlier, you're 98% likely to live; detect it later, you're 84% or (even later) 23% likely to live.

But these are five year relative survival rates *. The five-year period starts at detection.

So for the sake of simplicity, imagine a hypothetical cancer which can't be treated and takes on average about six years from early tumor stage to progress to mortality. Now what would happen if you compare the five-year survival rates of a) people whose cancer was detected at a very early stage, b) people about in the middle stage, and c) people almost at mortality. The five-year survival rate would be highest for the first group, less for the second, and lowest for the third even though this has nothing to do with treatment. It's a product of how the statistic is defined.

Now think about how this relates to five-year survival rates when you compare regimens of annual exams that start younger or older. If the age of beginning annual exams is lowered, then all else equal, it's necessarily true that this means that cancers will be detected at earlier stages. Which is the whole reason that people advocate this, of course. But the statistic will show, necessarily, an increase in five-year survival rates simply because of the earlier detection completely independent of treatment.

Five-year survival rates conflate both the effectiveness of earlier treatment (which is what we're interested in) and the mathematical necessity that earlier detection all by itself means that five-year survival rates will be higher with earlier detection.

So you really need context in order to properly evaluate five-year survival rates in the context of discussions of different regimens of regular exams. You can't just accept a set of statistics, like those offered by Komen above, as evidence that earlier exams actually result in more effective treatment as implied by those statistics. It may. And it may not. You need to know how effective earlier treatment really is relative to later treatment. Which is frustrating because this is exactly why we laypeople are interested in five-year survival rates in the first place.

The researchers and physicians who are experts in this stuff pretty much understand this. They know how to correctly interpret these statistics. But most laypeople don't; yet they're presented to laypeople as evidence supporting suggested policies and practices.

And when you realize that these five-year survival rates don't necessarily mean what they appear to mean, then it becomes even more important to pay attention to the things that Blasdelb discusses above. This is why many competent and ethical medical researchers, physicians, and policy advisors are critical of blanket "it's better to regularly exam earlier" arguments. Because it isn't often better. There are real costs — not just financial; not the least of them financial — involved in earlier and earlier regimens of annual testing. Especially with cancer where treatment is, in a word, radical and awful and bad for health in its own right.

* The relative in there means that the rate is normalized against the five-year survival rates of the general population and so can actually be higher than 100% when these cancer patients collectively make up a demographic that is, as odd as this sounds, healthier or less accident prone or whatever than is the general population. So imagine a world where almost everyone is forced to walk around outside where there are killer robots everywhere and people are frequently gruesomely dismembered by chrome-plated overgrown kitchen appliances. But there's a group of rich people who don't have to ever go outside and risk the robots, but are exposed to some, er, exotic carcinogenic mold in their underground lairs that causes a cancer. So if you were looking at the relative survival rates for the people who get that cancer, then it would very likely be higher than 100% because it's relative to the five-year survival rates of the whole population, most of whom are killed at a young age by deadly robots.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:05 AM on October 21, 2013 [14 favorites]


elizardbits: "We had a code name for these women. We called them "proppers."

Wow, how gross.
"

It wasn't a comfort issue. Anyone else (including other female employees) would comment on the transparency of their coworker's attempts to manipulate the scheduling department.
posted by Samizdata at 10:09 AM on October 21, 2013


Now I'm looking around for surfaces on which I can attempt mamming, and coming up short. I don't think it'll make a big difference in comfort level (IBTC member, high-five to EmpressC et al!), but I need to know!
posted by Fig at 10:16 AM on October 21, 2013


"Sometimes women also say sexist things" is not a valid defense for workplace sexism, dude.
posted by elizardbits at 10:21 AM on October 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


elizardbits: ""Sometimes women also say sexist things" is not a valid defense for workplace sexism, dude."

Tell me that when a busty woman in a low cut blouse literally lifts her feet off the floor to lean over the counter directly in front of your face to ask for time off.
posted by Samizdata at 10:31 AM on October 21, 2013


Junkuary
Puduary
Schwartz
Aprick
Hey Hey May
Junk
Choo-choo-ly
Dorkust
Septmember
Cocktober
Knobmember
Dickcember
posted by yoink at 10:50 AM on October 21, 2013


I am not embreasted, but I do enjoy putting things on top of other things. What to do?

Join the Royal Society For Putting Things On Top Of Other Things, I guess? (There really should be some sort of Rule 34 variant for Python sketches. I don't care what you just thought of, they thought of it first.)
posted by The Bellman at 10:53 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tell me that when a busty woman in a low cut blouse literally lifts her feet off the floor to lean over the counter directly in front of your face to ask for time off.

Nope, it's still a gross and sexist generalization, thanks!
posted by elizardbits at 10:58 AM on October 21, 2013 [21 favorites]


The Bellman: "I am not embreasted, but I do enjoy putting things on top of other things. What to do?

Join the Royal Society For Putting Things On Top Of Other Things , I guess? (There really should be some sort of Rule 34 variant for Python sketches. I don't care what you just thought of, they thought of it first.)
"

Rule 34P?
posted by Samizdata at 10:58 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


"We had a code name for these women. We called them "proppers."
.
.
.
Nope, it's still a gross and sexist.


Arguably still better then what I'd call an employee of mine the second time it happened



unemployed.
posted by edgeways at 11:09 AM on October 21, 2013


If your VTO is subject to supervisorial whim to the extent that showing cleavage can affect whether you're allowed to use it or not, I would not begrudge anyone using whatever advantages they can bring to bear against the petty tyrants in charge.

Also who else is slightly bemused that we're making puns about guy junk in a thread about a women's health issue
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:16 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


prize bull octorok: "If your VTO is subject to supervisorial whim to the extent that showing cleavage can affect whether you're allowed to use it or not, I would not begrudge anyone using whatever advantages they can bring to bear against the petty tyrants in charge.

Also who else is slightly bemused that we're making puns about guy junk in a thread about a women's health issue
"

Well, good thing to know I wasn't petty. I never cottoned to it if the numbers said no go.
posted by Samizdata at 11:19 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tell me that when a busty woman in a low cut blouse literally lifts her feet off the floor to lean over the counter directly in front of your face to ask for time off.

I'm a rather short person, and I wonder if you realize just how infantilizing it can feel to be at a counter that is at or higher than chest hight? It seriously makes one feel like a little kid trying to see over an adult-sized counter. I absolutely stand tip-toed in situations like this, and may even lean forward to maintain my balance when I do so. I did not realize until today that it could be perceived as trying to "flaunt my breasts" as opposed to just wanting to feel like an adult when making an adult request.
posted by misskaz at 11:24 AM on October 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


misskaz: "Tell me that when a busty woman in a low cut blouse literally lifts her feet off the floor to lean over the counter directly in front of your face to ask for time off.

I'm a rather short person, and I wonder if you realize just how infantilizing it can feel to be at a counter that is at or higher than chest hight? It seriously makes one feel like a little kid trying to see over an adult-sized counter. I absolutely stand tip-toed in situations like this, and may even lean forward to maintain my balance when I do so. I did not realize until today that it could be perceived as trying to "flaunt my breasts" as opposed to just wanting to feel like an adult when making an adult request.
"

She was bent over the counter with her feet completely off the floor with the counter somewhere around her midsection. I don't think it's the same thing, sorry. And she was somewhere north of 5'10" (which is about my height), so I doubt it was a shortness thing.
posted by Samizdata at 11:32 AM on October 21, 2013


Did the "propping" result in better results for the women, in that they got what they wanted? If so, you can't use sexual attraction to get an unfair advantage (which I assume is the implication here) unless someone lets you, so that makes the HR person equally culpable. Hell, maybe it was common knowledge among the women that you couldn't get the schedule you wanted without a little boob-thrusting. Wouldn't be the first time that happened.

But if HR was not complicit and "propping" didn't work, then why would they do it? Maybe they were just trying to see over the counter.

Big-breasted women get accused of flaunting all the time, when they are actually not doing it. To the point of being resented and called slutty by other people. But if you have big breasts, there aren't many ways not to "flaunt" them...they're just there.
posted by emjaybee at 11:32 AM on October 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


emjaybee: "Did the "propping" result in better results for the women, in that they got what they wanted? If so, you can't use sexual attraction to get an unfair advantage (which I assume is the implication here) unless someone lets you, so that makes the HR person equally culpable. Hell, maybe it was common knowledge among the women that you couldn't get the schedule you wanted without a little boob-thrusting. Wouldn't be the first time that happened.

But if HR was not complicit and "propping" didn't work, then why would they do it? Maybe they were just trying to see over the counter.

Big-breasted women get accused of flaunting all the time, when they are actually not doing it. To the point of being resented and called slutty by other people. But if you have big breasts, there aren't many ways not to "flaunt" them...they're just there.
"

Please see my above comment. Now, all I do know for sure was that I, for one, did not offer the time off for any sort of kindness offered to me. Not propping, not cookies, nor soft drinks offered to me, nor smokes when I was out. I liked being employed.

Besides, employees were not supposed to be privy to performance metrics, so either way around it they were not behaving appropriately. On the other hand, I never reported this behaviour to HR, so there's that.
posted by Samizdata at 11:36 AM on October 21, 2013


(And I would use a combination of a FIFO queue and a RNG for arbitrating ties when it came to time off, and made sure everyone was aware of it. I did however use my discretion to offer days off to people that could make a good verbal case for it.)
posted by Samizdata at 11:38 AM on October 21, 2013


[Folks, this is not the place to try and adjudicate by proxy some specific woman-somebody-worked-with claim, please drop it.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:40 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


cortex: "[Folks, this is not the place to try and adjudicate by proxy some specific woman-somebody-worked-with claim, please drop it.]"

Sorry, I originally intended to share what I thought was a semi-amusing story related to the thread topic until the torches and pitchforks came out.

So all due apologies to all offended parties.
posted by Samizdata at 11:44 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


You think that's bad?

Someone posted a picture that turned up on my Facebook feed. It was some sort of cookie thing-two graham crackers with what looked like a pink breast complete with nipple squeezed in between. With some cutesy name referencing mammograms. I kid you not.

Imagine row upon row of squished boobage staring at you unblinking from your news feed. It was....awkward.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:08 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


St. Alia of the Bunnies: "You think that's bad?

Someone posted a picture that turned up on my Facebook feed. It was some sort of cookie thing-two graham crackers with what looked like a pink breast complete with nipple squeezed in between. With some cutesy name referencing mammograms. I kid you not.

Imagine row upon row of squished boobage staring at you unblinking from your news feed. It was....awkward.
"

I imagine so.
posted by Samizdata at 12:26 PM on October 21, 2013


I'm another man who's had a mammogram, for a suspicious lump that turned out to be just a lipoma ("lump of fat", thanks for pointing that out).

I'm a pervert, so I kind of enjoyed being squished in the big machine. I can see why other people might find it unpleasant, though.

I have a female friend who says that she's going to punch the next person who says the word "awareness" within earshot. WE ALREADY KNOW. Standing around outside a football stadium handing out little pink ribbon pins is not helping anybody. Talking about "racing for a cure" is not contributing to a cure. Sending dollars to research organizations (not awareness organizations) is.

Especially when those awareness organizations (Susan Kamen) are (a) up to their eyebrows in stuff that has been linked to CAUSING cancer and (b) promoting an anti-woman right wing agenda that has nothing to do with cancer and everything to do with sanctimonious hypocrisy.
posted by Fnarf at 12:29 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know that there is a miniscule but non-zero chance that a man can contract breast cancer?

I had not heard about the cluster of cases of male breast cancer around U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune until reading the chapter on it in Florence Williams's "Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History." The linked article, by Williams, includes several photographs of these men post-mastectomy; the photos were taken for a calendar to raise awareness of the issue.

As she notes in an interview, "It’s still a very rare disease in men, too, so from an epidemiological stand-point, when you see a cluster of male breast cancers—such as around the contaminated Camp Lejeune base—it has more potential to pop out statistically. I do think the men affected by Camp Lejeune are particularly compelling and articulate, and that helps too. People are interested when marines get sick, and when tough guys get breast cancer, people notice. That helps."
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:30 PM on October 21, 2013


Oh, how about that. Someone on another thread found them on this link:
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:31 PM on October 21, 2013


(And yes, they called them mammo-grahams. Shoot me now.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:31 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


No bra day irritates me to know fucking end. Like, really. WTF is that supposed to accomplish? And on Metastatic Breast Cancer Day, no fucking less?

Not to mention the idiocy about going to x country for y days.

And the final part of my rant, breast cancer doesn't have sole jurisdiction over October.

October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And Lupus Awareness Month. October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Spina Bifida Awareness.

And you know what comes before October? September. You know one of September's causes? Ovarian cancer, but breasts are sexy and ovaries are not. So let's not talk about the devastating effects of ovarian cancer.

Freaking seriously. I intentionally don't support breast cancer shit any more because it's taken on this insipid and insane cult approach that no longer holds any actual meaning for what is purported to being supported.
posted by zizzle at 12:32 PM on October 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


How does this meme help people get mammograms?

Seems like its just a stupid thing, like how participating in Movember doesn't mean that the mustachioed men you see have actually gotten a digital rectal exam to check for prostate cancer.

Just get the tests and shut the fuck up, men and women.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:01 PM on October 21, 2013


Mammograms are very uncomfortable/painful. Resting your breasts on a conveniently-heighted ledge is, for large-breasted women, very comfortable. I've since had a reduction but there was a time when I would let people go in front of me at the bank because the check-writing table provided unexpected but much-appreciated respite, and there are still times when I'll cross my arms just so in order to give my back a rest.

So no, pinkified marketing person, you did not invent "mamming." You just gave it a stupid name.
posted by headnsouth at 1:10 PM on October 21, 2013


Seriously, after I got a breast reduction I was all running up and down stairs and jiggling them all over the place because IT DIDN'T HURT!!! Wooooooo! Speed bumps ahoy!

Yay for shelfing (what I used to call it).
posted by Sophie1 at 1:41 PM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Awareness campaigns are very strange, and non stranger than breast cancer. In some respects it feels like they've really turned into this "gotcha" kind of thing where it's like hard to criticize them without folks being like, "what, you don't support the cure?" or whatever.

Like, this video of three dudes 'motorboating' women for $20 donations to breast cancer research [NSFW] that's been making the internet rounds is sort of the ultimate example of this, like the women in this video are totally damned if you do damned if you don't, you know?

It's also weird because it seems obvious to me that the mere fact of it being breast cancer, as opposed to any other type of prevalent cancer, along with the fact that it's a seemingly 'faultless' cancer, as opposed to something like lung cancer, which only smokers get of course, is directly related to the insane amount of 'creative,' often cutsey or sexual 'awareness' campaigns.

I have this totally insane idea where instead of having all these private foundations spending millions in ridiculous marketing campaigns and branding cancer, we just re-direct our tax dollars from military spending to health and science research. But I'm a nut so.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:12 PM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I hope the next silly contrived fad is using your boob shelf as a snack tray because I will be at the forefront of this new technology.

Note to dentists: Boobs are not trays for your dental tools.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:18 PM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


41swans: "Mamming was created by a breast cancer survivor and a supporter to get everyone to "embrace the awkwardness of mammograms" during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

To truly embrace the awkwardness of mammograms, you would need to sandwich yourself between some heavy objects. I suggest a full set of encyclopedias.
"

Yeah, someone I know was basically forced to get a mammogram even though she was fairly young (early 30s); I can't even remember why. Absolutely zero risk of breast cancer, I think she had to get an ultrasound for some unrelated purpose and they insisted before she get the ultrasound she had to have a mammogram (things like this are why our healthcare system is more expensive, probably). Anyway, she said it hurt like hell.

I think it would be far, far better to come up with less invasive (genetic?) ways of screening for breast cancer risk and then acting accordingly.

That, and Komen can really go suck pineapples. I mean, seriously. The ridiculous things I've seen in pink this month verge on offensive.
posted by Deathalicious at 4:34 PM on October 21, 2013


I think it would be far, far better to come up with less invasive (genetic?) ways of screening for breast cancer risk and then acting accordingly.

Sure. So would literally everyone. Or rather they'd like more effective screening that was more accurate and had fewer false positives. But they're still at the point, for a lot of people (I live in a rural area and see one aspect of this) of just getting them to go to the doctor at all, much less for annoying stuff like pap tests and mammograms. Public heath stuff is really complex.
posted by jessamyn at 4:46 PM on October 21, 2013


like how participating in Movember doesn't mean that the mustachioed men you see have actually gotten a digital rectal exam to check for prostate cancer.

Movember has raised 443 million dollars to date for funding programs, of which 'awareness and education' is only one aspect.
posted by panaceanot at 6:10 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, someone I know was basically forced to get a mammogram even though she was fairly young (early 30s); I can't even remember why. Absolutely zero risk of breast cancer, I think she had to get an ultrasound for some unrelated purpose and they insisted before she get the ultrasound she had to have a mammogram (things like this are why our healthcare system is more expensive, probably). Anyway, she said it hurt like hell.

I had two mammograms in my early 30's. That was just the policy at the lab my doctor referred me to - if a woman is over 30 and finds a lump in her breast, and there's a history of breast cancer in the family, she gets the double-matched set of sonogram and mammorgram, or nothin'.

And yeah, it was really uncomfortable. And the mammogram was pointless, because both times it was the sonogram that caught the fact that "this is just a cyst, you dink".

...Although the first time did lead to an amusing moment when I was waiting for the exam, and nervously cracked to the lab tech that "you may have a hard time with me, there isn't much to work with." She stopped, looked at me, then nodded at my chest and said "Let me see." I opened my gown to show her - and her face actually fell and she actually said "Oy." ...But that gave way to the discomfort that first time (in addition to getting squeezed between the plates she actually had to grab one of my boobs and pull it slightly to get it effectively sandwiched between the plates and god dammit my boobs are not made of Silly Putty)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:38 PM on October 21, 2013


I followed a meme today, and I didn't even realize it! I mammed! But it was on a mammogram machine, which is less cute than mamming on a pile of watermelons or a coffee shop counter or what have you.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:28 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


What's amazing to me is how breast cancer awareness campaigns have compeltely taken over the colour pink. I've always wanted a Moulin Rouge (Panther Pink) car and if I ever manage own a 64 Barracuda I'm going to paint it Moulin Rouge. But I expect it'll mean a constant stream of comments about breast cancer awareness.
posted by Mitheral at 8:21 PM on October 21, 2013


This is fucking gross. I really want all of this cutesy shit to stop. I want a lot of things to stop. Women who don't need a mammogram every year are faithfully getting them. Women whose lives will be saved by mammograms are not getting them and dying painfully of advanced breast cancer. We need a massive redistribution of mammogram-getting.

But what the fuck. Hi, women with employer-sponsored health insurance (who are, by no fault of your own, more likely to be white and of higher socioeconomic upbringining), please note that you don't really need all of the screening that is being ordered for you. Argue with your doctors and get clucked at and guilt-tripped...and give in because after all, you probably had a relative or friend die of breast cancer.

Hi, women who do not have health insurance (who are, incidentally, by no fault of your own, more likely to be black or Latina), YOU people seriously should go figure out a way to get a mammogram regularly. Disparities! The cost can probably be covered through screenings held by any one of a half-dozen tiny, understaffed, nonprofit social service agencies who are doing their fucking damnedest to help you find them with the pennies they can win through grants.

This shit is all broken.
posted by desuetude at 11:39 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think cocktober *should* be a thing. Raising awareness of testicular cancer and that men should check regularly for lumps would be a great thing!

Wait...how would a meme about cocks raise awareness about balls? I know they're connected, but they are two different things. I mean, the United States doesn't handle advertising for Canada.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:50 AM on October 22, 2013


It's settled, then: Ballgust
posted by jquinby at 9:00 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


The researchers and physicians who are experts in this stuff pretty much understand this.

I would not be so sure. Although, I guess GP's aren't necessarily "experts", but they are the first line.
posted by smidgen at 11:02 AM on October 22, 2013


I wanted to do a new FPP, but, instead, thought I would just leave this here.
posted by HuronBob at 8:04 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


HuronBob, it was actually posted here in March. It's very sad. :(

http://www.metafilter.com/126438/The-Battle-We-Didnt-Choose
posted by zizzle at 8:45 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Blasdelb: However, with the significant amount of harm associated with annual mammograms as well as the benefit that is trivial compared to what is promised by predatory add campaigns, it is clear that there is a lot of education needed about breast cancer, if only to combat the shallow and dishonest bullshit associated with these campaigns.

Is it the responsibility of the patient to 'pace' their mammograms in order to not be overdiagnosed? Shouldn't that be the responsibility of the doctor and other medical experts? If there is harmful overdiagnosis/overtreatment, then I'd look for blame first at the treatment process, not towards awareness campaigns.
posted by suedehead at 9:42 AM on October 23, 2013


I don't see why it should be controversial that it is the responsibility of anyone spending other people's money to fight cancer by spreading awareness to, at the very least, spread an awareness that is at least reasonably accurate to our current scientific understanding. This is not the case for the vast majority of the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent 'raising awareness' of a disease that no longer has a stigma to fight and that has already saturated the public consciousness. Whether or not the value of an annual screening mammogram is more positive than negative is something reasonable people can disagree on, and requires some amount of education of the kind of depth you can't fit onto a ribbon or billboard to understand, but telling everyone to go get them BECAUSE SCIENCE is not only a dramatic misrepresentation of what we know about tumor diagnostics and progression but a colossal waste of incredibly valuable funds.

We desperately need both better diagnostic procedures like transcriptomic profiling and better treatment options, both of which have truly revolutionary options coming soon from the wise investments in basic research that have been made over the last 30 years, but pretending to fund these while bullshitting people doesn't help them. This only continues to happen to support the vanity and greed of the few quite proud and wealthy people who run these organizations at the expense of those they purport to help. They have breast cancer to support, and the profitable systems they've created to do it, why bother actually helping those who have or will have breast cancer?
posted by Blasdelb at 10:10 AM on October 23, 2013


I don't see why it should be controversial that it is the responsibility of anyone spending other people's money to fight cancer by spreading awareness to, at the very least, spread an awareness that is at least reasonably accurate to our current scientific understanding. This is not the case for the vast majority of the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent 'raising awareness' of a disease that no longer has a stigma to fight and that has already saturated the public consciousness.

It seems like you're conflating two different critiques here: A), the scientific necessity, or not, of yearly mammograms, and B) the tendency of certain awareness-based campaigns to neglect funding for valuable research.

A) As for the scientific necessity of the yearly mammogram, it seems like even the questionable Komen foundation defers to other organizations for guidelines on screening, which seems ideal. The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, etc. recommends yearly mammograms after age 40. The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, one of the websites pointed towards by the FPP, even warns of the potential downsides of mammograms.

In general, I see nothing about "encourag[ing] women to have an annual mammogram at any age".

B) The tendency of certain awareness-based campaigns to neglect funding for valuable research:

Sure. I understand and agree with you that awareness-based campaigns also need to fund research, rather than operating only at the level of sexy visibility and publicity. While I don't think awareness vs. research is a zero-sum game at all, I also acknowledge the dangers of having an organization like Komen stand in for 'cancer do-gooder-ism'. No disagreement there.

But I don't believe that the right response to a lack of research is to critique any and all sort of publicity/awareness-raising efforts. This "mamming" thing seems to be benign, goofy, and ultimately helpful. Awareness is important. Research is crucial. Awareness efforts don't weaken research -- only corrupt, mismanaged, and apathetic organizations waving the banner of 'awareness' do. So why blame awareness efforts themselves, especially since this 'mamming' thing isn't being pushed by the Komen Foundation?
posted by suedehead at 4:23 PM on October 23, 2013


Actually, suedhead, I don't want my money even going to research. Cures are great and all, and progress needs to be made sure, but I'd rather support the people with the disease actively by contributing to organizations that assist with medical payments, or finding child care for random hours, or buying groceries.

I prefer the day to day supports that are so very much needed and so lost in awareness campaigns. My son has autism, and I feel this same way for much of April.....
posted by zizzle at 5:28 PM on October 23, 2013


Something that actually would help me now and would have helped me as a teen in educating me about breast cancer would be showing me a silicone model of a woman's chest with a simulated lump in it, and showing me on the model how to examine the model for a lump and thus how to examine my own breasts, and having me find the lump on the model. All the silicone in the US that is used on fake breasts and money spent on pink ribbons, but none of it for this.
posted by onlyconnect at 7:19 AM on October 24, 2013


Something that actually would help me now and would have helped me as a teen in educating me about breast cancer would be showing me a silicone model of a woman's chest with a simulated lump in it, and showing me on the model how to examine the model for a lump and thus how to examine my own breasts, and having me find the lump on the model.

I hear you, and wished for the same thing. But the reason that BSE's actually work is more a thing about getting you in the habit of feeling yourself up enough that you know what your own unique "normal" breasts felt like - which is actually how you're able to tell what "not normal" feels like. Meaning - for example, I realized through practice that I was actually naturally a little bit "lumpy" normally, and I should only worry if I hit a different kind of lump that wasn't there before. (Well, actually with me it's a bit more complicated than that, but my body is weird. You get the idea.) It's just that "perform BSEs so you can become familiar with what your own breasts feel like because that way you are better able to catch it when something abnormal does come up" is much harder to remember than "perform BSEs to catch lumps". Which kinda sucks because everyone gets all confused for the reasons you've discovered.

Although, when I complained about that to my doctor ("I know I should be doing this, but what am I looking for? what will it feel like?") she told me to imagine that someone buried a Tic-tac in one of my boobs somewhere, and to try to feel around and find where it is. That helped me a lot.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:19 AM on October 24, 2013


"So why blame awareness efforts themselves, especially since this 'mamming' thing isn't being pushed by the Komen Foundation?"

This specific campaign seems to be geared towards promoting a way to feel more comfortable with mammography equipment, which I don't think anyone here is doubting is itself a neat thing aside from how weirdly prurient it kinda inherently is. What gets my bra in a twist are the abstract 'awareness' campaigns, distinct from anything that could be meaningfully described as public health education, that dominate our conversations about breast cancer and that actively mislead the public about the value that mammograms have. Whether screening mammograms, which are importantly distinct from diagnostic mammograms, for women over 50 are worth recommending is a thing reasonable people can certainly disagree about - but lying, both actively and by omission, to the public about the benefits they have to convince as many women as possible to have them done is not.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:50 AM on October 24, 2013


"Whether screening mammograms, which are importantly distinct from diagnostic mammograms, for women over 50 are worth recommending is a thing reasonable people can certainly disagree about - but lying, both actively and by omission, to the public about the benefits they have to convince as many women as possible to have them done is not."

Yeah, and you can see that in the quote from a Komen page that I noted in my earlier comment: "Early detection is a key to surviving the disease: When breast cancer is detected early, the 5-year relative survival rate is 98 percent, but declines to 84 percent for regional disease and 23 percent when cancer has spread to other parts of the body."

There is no way to read that without concluding that more regular screening, period, is unequivocally a good thing and that those 5-year survival rates directly represent reduced death rates as a result of treating cancers earlier rather than later.

And the problem is that people's intuitive common sense tells them that more and earlier regular screening is necessarily a good thing — the reasons why this isn't true are difficult for people to get their heads around. Meanwhile, there's a whole bunch of people who have strong economic incentives to encourage this misunderstanding.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:40 AM on October 24, 2013


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