Halo: Reach tournament to support breast cancer

The name of this Halo: Reach tournament, "Fight Like A Girl," is enough to get me to raise my hackles, but don't worry, these women mean well. Kari Toyama and Tasha Pettengill have been running the FLAG Halo tourney for five years, every October, in association with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Anyone can enter, and the $10 entry fee ($20 for groups) goes towards breast and cervical cancer research.

A separate effort has begun to promote breast cancer awareness in the Reach community. Here's the trend:

It'd be really cool if you joined the group of us in Halo: Reach wearing our "rose" (pink) colored primary armor. Heck, a few of us even have our service tag's as "BCAM" (standing for Breast Cancer Awareness Month).

Other users have pointed out that changing armor colors and service tags won't do much to fight cancer, and it's true -- it really won't. The trend is meant to "raise awareness," but often such movements feel futile, since most people are already well aware that breast cancer exists. You're probably better off donating by entering the FLAG tourney if you really want to make a difference via video games.

It's flattering to see a predominantly male community donating to research a cure for a disease that couldn't befall any of them -- although many users have pointed out they have girlfriends or relatives with breast cancer, not to mention that some unknowable number of Halo players are indeed female.

I do feel some sympathy for the gamers who posted questions about supporting other diseases, particularly about testicular cancer. It's a rant that often appears in threads about breast cancer, and it's not a novel thought. Why do breasts get so much attention? Hmmm.

I realize that these dudes probably haven't spent much time considering why the media would prefer to focus on women's breasts rather than male genitalia. Here's a hint: it might have something to do with the male gaze, guys. Note how sexualized breast cancer awareness ads often are. Sex sells -- as long as it's female sex, that is. But why should that be the case? (And doesn't it seem kind of creepy that female sexuality is being used to "sell" cancer awareness?)

Anyway, as long as it didn't become some immature contest about which charity is better or more important, a "Reach For Your Balls" tournament could catch on ... and it'd be an excuse to make teabag jokes.

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