Chole Angyal, a senior sociology major at Princeton University, discusses the complexities of an on-campus campaign to raise money for breast cancer research. This year, the campaign ads turned sexist (and juvenile):
Every year at Princeton University, the student group Princeton Against Cancer Together (PACT) holds an event called Manicure for the Cure, where they bring in beauty school students to do manicures for Princeton students in the days leading up to spring formals. Formals are this weekend, so advertisements for Manicure for the Cure are all over campus.
To advertise, they’re using the slogan “Save Second Base.” The phrase “second base,” in case you don’t know, refers to foreplay involving breasts, as in “I kissed Jenny under the bleachers and made it to second base.” “How far did you let him go, Jenny? To second base?” If it sounds antiquated and ridiculous… that’s because it is.
Anyway, “Save Second Base” is a slogan that’s used nationwide by breast cancer research fundraisers. And it rubs a lot of people the wrong way. After all, curing breast cancer isn’t really about saving breasts, it’s about saving women’s lives. So it annoys people, but there was no reaction on campus when Manicure for the Cure used the slogan last year. I think people mostly made their peace with the slogan, figuring that at least it was raising money for a good cause.
But this year is different. This year, the organizers of the event, in an attempt to include men, are offering massages in addition to manicures. To advertise these services, they made posters that said: “Gentlemen: Save Second Base.”
And that is when the proverbial poop hit the fan.
Keep reading … The comments that follow her essay are a great example of the mindset that needs to be changed. You’ll find more opinions voiced at Equal Writes, a Princeton student blog on feminism and gender.