Sisterhood Blog

For the Woman Who Has Everything, a Hanukkah Pap 'Shmear'?

By Edmon J. Rodman

  • Print
  • Share Share

For Hanukkah, what do you give the woman who has everything? According to CBS, a pap “shmear.”

As part of a CBS Cares public service announcement program, the station has recently begun running 10-second spots suggesting just that. Two Hanukkah- and two Christmas-themed public service announcements urge viewers to get their wives, or their “women,” the gift of Pap for the holidays.

“Want to do something special for your woman this Hanukkah?” a man asks in one of the announcements. “Schedule her a Pap smear. Just a shmear could save her life. Give the gift that will light up her menorah.”

Watch the promo here.

My wife caught the spot for the first time the other night and couldn’t believe her ears. “Light up what?” I heard her asking. She thought she had accidentally tuned into “Saturday Night Live.”

Even though good health care is trés desirable, I’m thinking that a trip to the gynecologist for a Pap smear is not what comes to mind when women think about their most desired holiday gifts.

And blogs have been quick to take note: “I’m sorry,” writes Sarah Wurrey on her eponymous blog, “Did they really just compare a vaginal exam to … cream cheese?”

It seems they did, using a play on the words “smear” and “shmear” that many women, and men, may not have much stomach for.

Why the need to spread the word this way?

According an accompanying statement on the CBS Web site from Dr. Marcela G. del Carmen, Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School: “In the US, there are about 2-3 million abnormal test results found each year. An estimated 11,070 new cases of cervical cancer and 3,870 deaths from this malignancy were reported in the United States in 2008. Worldwide, there was an estimated yearly incidence of 500,000 cases and 250,000 deaths.”

Ironically, the commercials come on the heels of some other contested Pap smear news (this time without the deli references).

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced recently that women should begin getting cervical cancer screenings at age 21 instead of 18, and that women could wait longer between screenings.

I don’t want to understate the importance of preventive medicine, but for Hanukkah gifts, Paps don’t seem the way to go. But books are always nice. (Or, you can ask Congress for a health care bill.)

On Hanukkah, the only thing we’ll be shmearing at my house will be applesauce on latkes.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Pap Smear, Hanukkah, CBS

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.


Comments
Little Chicken Wed. Dec 2, 2009

Great piece. And surreal! So much so that you inspired me to write something on my blog about it. (www.littlechickenmedia.com) What I don't get is the tone of condescension in the promos. Why do men need to make doctor's appointments for women? Next up it will be breast exams for Passover! Thanks for the fun read.

Harriet Wed. Dec 2, 2009

Fabulous piece. I think CBS deserves a lot of credit for its Chanukkah Chutzpah. I may never think about a shmear in the same way again, but they definitely have raised awareness with this crazy message!




Find us on Facebook!
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.