October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s just around the corner. Which means pink be-ribboned items are popping up everywhere and everyone is looking for donations for their Relay for Life teams. I don’t have anything against that. But last night, walking through the academic building where I have class, I saw all sorts of flyers stuck on every classroom door imploring me to SAVE THE BOOBIES! This immediately struck me the wrong way. “Save the boobies? I thought we were trying to save women’s lives.” I said to a classmate as we both noticed the signs. “Ugh, have you seen the save the ta-tas bumper stickers?” she asked, “Usually they’re on cars driven by women!”
Whatever happened to, y’know, saving WOMEN? Sometimes, in the great big battle against the evil that is cancer, breasts are a casualty, but WOMEN can be saved. And aren’t they more important than the sum of two of their body parts?
I got home and ranted about this weird ad campaign to my husband, and later hopped online to find out that the ever-awesome Kate Harding had just written about the exact same thing on Jezebel. She put it quite clearly and succinctly:
Dead human beings of the female persuasion = meh. Lost tits = crisis!
I have watched family members and friends suffer the ravages of breast cancer. And as they braved chemo and radiation and surgery, I can tell ya, they weren’t just fighting for their boobs, they were fighting for their LIVES. Sometimes, mastectomies took their breasts, but they kept on fighting. And when we try to get others to join the fight against breast cancer, we shouldn’t trivialize their struggles and pain and losses by making it all about boobies. Breasts are nice and all, but WOMEN are the ones we’re fighting to save.