They’re big. They’re teensy. Men and women love them.
They also harbor sickness, with invasive breast cancer hitting 1 in 8 American women. Hence, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
But is all breast cancer fundraising good for women?
How about “motorboating” for donations? What’s “motorboating,” you ask? Well, it isn’t just a splash-filled ride on a zippy boat. In modern lingo, it’s the act of pressing one’s face into a woman’s cleavage, shaking one’s head side to side like a revved up motorboat and making a trilling engine noise.
Therein, when it comes to YouTube channel Simple Pickup, lies the rub.
Simple Pickup, founded by a group of dorky guys who create videos about hitting on girls, posted a video this month supposedly promoting breast cancer awareness by promising to donate $20 toward breast cancer research for each woman who consented to being “motorboated” on camera and then $100 for every 100,000 people who looked at their video.
They raised $7,000.
However, their donation was recently rejected and refunded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, who cited sensitivity to their community. In response, the Simple Pickup dudes posted another video slamming “a small minority of haters” who found their tactics offensive.
Look, money for breast cancer research should be celebrated. Awareness, yes! But how people go about raising that money shouldn’t be ignored. True, the women being “motorboated” consented to this, getting their chests briskly nuzzled like a surprised puppy, but many in the video laugh uncomfortably.
So are these Simple Pickup-ers opportunistic creeps, or well-meaning, er, also creeps?
New York City resident Renata Espinosa, a longtime feminist who has known multiple victims of breast cancer doesn't love the questionable tactic.
“I find these guys pretty repulsive. Yes, it’s great that they want to give money to a breast cancer charity, but couldn’t they have put their heads together and come up with something a little more, you know, appropriate?” asks Espinosa.
Demeaning women in the name of helping breast cancer is like some kind of heinous version of a joke headline you'd read in The Onion, she added.
Espinosa suggests that a feminist-friendly donor could step in and match the funds Simple Pickup raised.
"Yeah, dudes, we get that you’re self-described ‘pickup artists,’ but that doesn’t give you a pass to act like sexist idiots. Thanks, but no thanks,” she said.
The T-shirt and apparel brand with a saucy name commits 5 percent of every sale to its non-profit arm Save the Ta-tas Foundation, and was created in 2008 to support independent cancer research.
Their fun approach to awareness always takes a playful tone, with T-shirts proclaiming “Save a life! Grope your wife!” and “I love my big ta-tas.”
Fikse’s grandmother and aunt both had breast cancer, and she’s spent 10 years involved with other cancer survivors and fighters.
“I’ve seen the death, destruction and despair that cancer causes. I hate cancer. That’s a lot of money that would do a lot of good,” says Fikse, adding she wouldn’t have a problem taking Simple Pickup’s donations for Save the Ta-tas.
“That way, that money still has a positive benefit. If they raised this money by legal means and consenting adults, then it should be used to fight cancer. There’s a heart behind it for the women saying ‘yes’ to being in the video.”