The facebook purse game

I wrote a letter to Salon today. 

I was going to run it here, with expanded explanation and links, but I’m sick from the chemo tonight and need to lie down again before I vomit.  So here it is, along with suggested links for awareness, action, and where to donate.

23 Responses to The facebook purse game

  1. D'Lyn says:

    Susan, I’ve found the “purse game” offensive and an excuse to post innuendo on Facebook with no possible benefit — certainly not for breast cancer. This was my Facebook post today:
    “I like your purse wherever you can easily access your credit cards and make an online donation to STOP breast cancer.” And then I read your letter to Salon. You’re right.

    I’m praying for you.
    – d.

  2. The purse game was sent to me, but the message I got last month specifically mentioned it wasn’t something that had anything to do with raising awareness for anything and was simply a social experiment to see how we’re all connected through the people we friend on FB. Kind of like Kevin Bacon degrees of separation. I suspect there may have been a few different incarnations of this status update game being passed around FB, but the one I received made mention of a social experiment, and nothing about being an awareness campaign, etc. I’ve played the Kevin Bacon game, so this to me was the same thing, only with a status update.

    I feel as though Facebook has a tendency to become an electronic “Telephone” game and it troubles me how some messages get garbled and then take on a life of their own occasioning hurt feelings.

    Obviously now that it’s become something different than what I had initially participated in, I’ll be deleting my status update so no one thinks I was playing along in that manner.

    Oy vey.

    Susan, please rest up, we need you to have the energy to continue to raise real awareness through your words and actions.

    I like it in my reader. (your blog, not my purse!)

  3. VMcG says:

    I’m so happy you wrote the letter to Salon. I first came across the purse game on Facebook about eight months ago when it wasn’t connected to any cause. It was simply a silly game and it was in Spanish of all things. It came to me from South America, where I have many friends (I didn’t play it then because I figured my friends in this hemisphere would have no idea what I was talking about). Recently it came to me again from a friend suffering breast cancer and I couldn’t figure out how it became connected to the cause (and I didn’t play it this time because I figured my friends in South America would wonder what took me so long!)

    I hope you are well. I think about you often and wish I hadn’t been out sick when you were in town last time.

  4. Mama Echo says:

    Thank you for this post and link. I have posted your link as my status update on facebook. (instead of playing the game…)
    I hope you are able to get some rest tonight and feel better tomorrow.

    And? I had a thought as to why your feet might be hurting more… One of my friends is an aesthetician and she said that the largest pores on the body are located on the feet. Maybe the chemo drug molecules are too large to come out of any pores except those on your feet? Not that that helps combat the effects… Just a thought as to why your feet are reacting the way they are.

  5. I love you. I’m sorry you’re so sick today. And I’m so glad you spoke up.

    Sending hugs. Gentle not nausea inducing hugs.

  6. You? Are amazing! ((((Feel well soon)))).

  7. lisa says:

    i am so terribly sorry. as soon as i saw this new ‘breast ca thing’ on facebook, i was reminded of last year, and the whole bra thing which was a fucking fiasco. would it be ok if i copy and pasted your article in Salon? or would that be illegal? i dunno susan… my thought is that people need to be educated NOW…if you don’t want me to copy and paste I totally respect your wishes…

  8. I hope you’re feeling better! You are such a powerful voice, even when you are having such a terrible time, I admire you more than I can say.
    Breast-cancer awareness is becoming more and more commercialised here too, and you have taught me to look at the campaigns with critical eyes. You’ve made me think (yet again!). Thank you.

  9. *m* says:

    Great letter, Susan. Feel better.

  10. Blair Stephens says:

    De-lurking to say thank you for writing the letter to

    Last year, I participated in the bra meme on FB and as a follower of your blog, I was brought up short by your reaction. It was a hard lesson for me that day, but your words and your passion for life pulled me away from any defensive reaction and really made me think.

    I did not participate in the purse game, despite being tagged by several people. Instead, I posted a link to your article on, and I linked to your blog post about the % of money actually going to breast cancer from pink products. And I donated to the American Cancer Society.

    Thank you for taking time out of the most important battles and war, the ones for your life, to teach the rest of us something about how to really support the cancer fighters out there.

  11. Susan says:

    Facebook is so unbelievably trivial that I’m hardly surprised at this nonsense, but thanks for saying it, I’m going to post the reference to your letter.

  12. samantha says:

    thank you for writing this. i made a facebook status criticizing it the other day, and people went apeshit and attacked me for it. 30 comments later, nothing was really resolved. i just posted you letter to salon with a nice “fuck you” to those who acted like i was bashing obama or something.
    anyway, you’re 100% correct. i’m really happy you said something so publicly.

  13. ilinap says:

    Your words have had a lot of power among my friends. Keep writing, my friend.

  14. Barefoot Liz says:

    I’m so sad that you are feeling so sick from the chemo. Please update and let us know how you’re doing.

    • whymommy says:

      It sucks. But I can still function well in the mornings and the chemo has NOT TOUCHED my mind, which is all kinds of wonderful. I’m here. I’m pushing forward. Thanks.

  15. lauren says:

    I read your letter and then found this blog. Well said! Thank you.

  16. Minky {moo} says:

    I hopeyou didn’t mind but I linked it on facebook and a bunch of my friends did as well. I thought it was well said. No one thinks those participating are knowingly hurting others, but I thought it was a brilliant view that needed to be read by everyone. You are, as always, well spoken and even minded. I hope you’re feeling better.

  17. Love this, Susan! Thank you for posting it. I get SO frustrated by all the facebook “activism”. Remember when people were posting that “no one should lose their house or die because they don’t have health insurance”? Every one of those posts drove me crazy because what did they do? Nothing! What would hundreds or thousands of phone calls or e-mails to Senators and Members of Congress have done? Something! I feel like people click like or buy something with a ribbon (of any color!) on it and feel like they have done something. And, you’re right: they haven’t!

  18. Donna W says:

    I shared what you have to say on Facebook, because most of us really don’t know.

  19. Melissa G says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve read your blog for a long time, and after dealing with this purse meme on facebook, I posted a link to your letter to salon for everyone on my friends list to read… Thanks for sharing your thoughts…They are inspirational..

%d bloggers like this: