I would argue that my boobs are probably the equivalent of a man’s balls. Not everyone has big ones, but I do (relatively speaking), which means that I have the “boobs” to say what’s on my mind. I have the “boobs” to tell it like it is.
And I have the “boobs” to call party foul on all this Breast Cancer Awareness nonsense.
In recent years, people have started to outcry some of the fallacy that is the month of October. Earlier this week I read Slice of Humble’s really nicely put together post on it; today I read an article off my Google News aggregate as well. People are starting to speak up against all this Think Pink, cutesy awareness crap.
The problem with Breast Cancer Awareness month now is it’s been made cute. It’s all vodka martinis dyed pink and cupcakes with little flags sticking out, shaped like a young, perky set of boobies.
It’s bumper stickers that say “Save the Tatas” and football players wearing hot pink bandanas.
Every goddamned grocery item you buy during the month of October is slathered in pink. All month we celebrate women’s breasts and how beautiful a woman is and how she should protect that beauty. And it’s groups like Milfs Against Breast Cancer.
I have a few things to say about all of this.
There is nothing beautiful about breast cancer. Women are beautiful creatures, yes; but if a woman loses her breasts to a horrible disease she is still a woman, and a beautiful one at that.
There is no “saving the tatas”; there is only saving the life which is the only important thing.
Breast cancer is not vodka martinis and cupcakes. It is not a party. It is not a celebration.
Life is a celebration. Awareness of life is a celebration. But if we continue to spend all the money made on these fundraising, awareness campaigns just funding more awareness campaigns, the money that is needed to save lives will never come. A few of my friends said it perfectly this morning: rather than throwing lavish parties and putting hot pink bandanas on football players, how about use that money for mammograms and treatment of the uninsured?
Facebook status updates cannot and will never cure cancer. No one gives a shit where you put your purse or how long your arm is, or whatever the fuck those stupid games are about.
Does anyone remember when that whole Facebook child molestation awareness thing happened, and everyone changed their profile picture to their favorite childhood cartoon? Yeah, the National Institute of Justice against Child Abuse and Maltreatment issued a statement during that about how awareness campaigns are cute, but energy should be placed into finding real funds to help those in need.
I think we should all take a fucking lesson from that.
Have you ever wondered how much of your money donated actually goes towards breast cancer research? You know, when you are perusing the aisles of the grocery store, seeing everything slathered in pink, and patting yourself on the back for giving to the cause every time you buy your fucking pink box Cheerios?
Very little of the profit from those purchases actually goes toward breast cancer research. Numbers fly around everywhere, but the real kicker is that only about 15% of funds donated actually make it in the end to research. Just what the fuck is that?!
Think about how many new procedures, new medications, side effect mitigation, and other possible outcomes that 85% of funding could have done over the years.
Breast cancer is not sexy.
But this is different than Article 1. I don’t mean that breast cancer is not sexy, like it’s not beautiful. I mean that it is not boobies, tatas, women in low cut shirts, and MILFs.
Breast cancer can happen at any age, but the vast majority of cases are in older women. Older women with saggy boobs, that wear button up pinafores and spend all their time knitting. Older women who would never in a million years refer to their sag bags as “tatas,” or allow someone to call them a MILF.
It often feels as though these women are being left out of the campaign, or for the most part not the focus when they are the group of people that are at the highest risk and need the most awareness.
Another one of my longtime family friends this morning said this final point perfectly: “not to diminish breast cancer, but more women die each year from heart disease than any type of cancer.”
Where are the heart disease awareness campaigns? Where are the “Save the Love Button” bumper stickers and the products covered in red? Where are the Facebook status updates about heart attack awareness? Where are the free bottles of aspirin and the goddamned football players wearing red bandannas?
The point is this: awareness campaigns are only as good as the action they inspire. For breast cancer, that doesn’t just mean women feeling themselves up (as so many commercials eloquently put it). It means more research, more options, more eradication. Prevention is only one step, and sometimes (a lot of times) the people that do everything the “right way” still wind up with breast cancer, and forms that are incurable right now.
Above all, women are beautiful and sexy and awesome whether they have boobs or not. Ovaries or none. Heart disease or no heart disease. This seems to just be another example of how society has tried to insist that women be perfectly put together. It’s always “save the perfect image;” never “save us as we are.”
To them, the booby cupcake-baking, Save the Tatas-wearing, MILFs for breast cancer awareness-touting, Facebook game status updating morons: my “boobs” and I would kindly ask you to SHUT THE FUCK UP.