I don’t believe that anyone has been maliciously stewing over the thought of saving “boobies” over lives when supporting breast cancer awareness. But these campaigns are not showing acceptance and equality to all women, especially those who decide they are way more interested in saving their lives rather than their “tatas.” With campaigns like these, we are teaching objectification of women and ignorance about an extremely deadly disease.
Save the woman and not the “boobies.”
This is the first gripping thought that enters my mind when thinking of the “Save the Boobies” campaign. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for fighting against breast cancer and raising funds for a great cause, but I feel that we as a society must understand how movements like this slow the furtherment of women’s equality.
Breasts do not make a woman nor does lack thereof make a man. If we can come to an agreement that only a person (and his or her unique qualities) makes a person then I feel that we can care for one another, your grandma, your brother, and even the neighbor you’ve never spoken to down the street, much more deeply.
An extremely empowering article by Lara Huffman, a breast cancer survivor, demonstrates my point exactly. In it, Huffman says:
“After hearing each [doctor] confirm that I should indeed have the surgery, I didn’t look at them and say, ‘No, I don’t accept your recommendations. You figure out a way to save my breasts. You hear me, doctor? Whatever it takes, and I mean whatever, you save my breasts!’ Of course not. Breast cancer had me backed into a corner, and the only way out was a double mastectomy.”
I don’t believe that anyone has been maliciously stewing over the thought of saving “boobies” over lives when supporting breast cancer awareness. But these campaigns are not showing acceptance and equality to all women, especially those women who decide they are way more interested in saving their lives rather than their “tatas.” With campaigns like these, we are teaching objectification of women and ignorance about an extremely deadly disease.
Doesn’t it feel wrong to anyone else that breast cancer research is receiving some part of its funding from a sexually derived campaign? We are belittling the intensely destructive nature of breast cancer by supporting such ideas. We don’t need the word “boobies” plastered all over the web in order to truly spread awareness about the devastating effects of cancer. We shouldn’t make excuses for our culture by defending things campaigns like “save the boobies,” that don’t seem to me to be dedicated to the betterment of mankind; they are only dragging us down as a populace and not helping to lift all of us up.
Let’s just put breast cancer into perspective for a second. Women who are at risk for breast cancer include those who have dense breasts, engage in excessive drinking of alcohol, and those who smoke cigarettes. However, many other factors are included in determining risk. Other major factors for breast cancer include naturally occurring hormone spikes and dips in a woman’s life. At least three hormonal spikes and dips happen at in most women’s lives. Menarche (date of the first menstrual cycle), menopause, and pregnancy also cause hormones to fluctuate.
With that being said, most of us know at least one woman who falls into one of the above circumstances. Now, think of that person going through one of the most grueling treatments a person can endure. A quote taken directly from one such “booby” campaign reads,
“We want to remove the shame associated with breasts and breast health, and this message represents our positive approach to breast cancer dialogue.”
Should the message not be to support those diagnosed with a life changing illness? I have personally never found shame in my breasts or breast health…ever. The fact that such a thing has been suggested is truly insulting. Now, breast cancer dialogue could possibly be a scary thing. However, I’ll say once again in my own personal experience I’ve never been ashamed to talk about breast cancer.
Many women choose to go through breast reconstructive surgery after mastectomy surgery. But doesn’t seem unfair that women should feel pressure to have this procedure performed? Breasts were biologically put on a woman’s body for the purpose of breastfeeding – not for any other reason. No individual should be made to feel that they will be less of a woman if they no longer have breasts.
Anyone who has been affected by breast cancer in one way or another will understand the devastating struggle that these women go through. If breast cancer has touched your life in one facet or another then naturally the possibility of losing that individual became very real. I’m assuming that breasts became the least of their worries when a loved one or your own life may have been in jeopardy. Of course, each woman’s struggle is her own and I cannot speak to how hard it must be to go through such a thing. I also cannot speak to your feelings about your own breasts, but I’m pretty sure that your loved ones were more scared to lose you at one point or another, not “second base.”
Amazing breakthroughs have been made within breast cancer research. But this fact should not let us be complacent and overall let us act in a truly silly manner about a debilitating concern. We can sit around wondering what happened to all the boobies or instead we could just stop the let’s not objectification. I suggest that we continue to put forth funding for a noble cause, and share our stories and triumphs with breast cancer, but with the true goal of saving a life and not a body part.
Trisha is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan and promotes an all around healthy lifestyle. She enjoys gardening, blogging, gaming, and her two cats. You can find her here on twitter @thatdangvegan or That Dang Vegan blog.