Friday, September 25, 2009

"Get Felt Up and Prevent Breast Cancer"....??

Over 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Roughly one in eight women either has, or will develop, breast cancer at some point in her life. Each year over 40,000 women die from breast cancer. About 1,700 men will be diagnosed and 450 will die each year from breast cancer.

These are sobering statistics. Breast cancer is a serious problem that needs some serious attention. Unfortunately, it’s getting the wrong kind.

This a Canadian PSA made by an organization called ReThink Breast Cancer. The intention is to get men interested in breast cancer awareness and fundraising efforts. They’re not the only ones. The following are just some of the t-shirts you’re likely to see people wearing.

Not to mention the slogans like "Save a Life, Grope your Wife" and "My Boobs are Killer." There are others. I’m sure you’ve seen or heard them.

So what is the problem with all of these? Once again, women are being sexually objectified. The adds are concentrating more on the loss of boobs for the sake of men’s amusement than the loss of countless women’s lives. Is that really the message we want to be sending as a society? It's as if we're saying: "Well, we don’t really care about all these women dying, but the loss of all those boobs...oh, no!" It’s assigning women a value based on their sexual worth, and that is not ok.
What about the women who survive breast cancer because of a mastectomy or double mastectomy? Are we saying that their lives are worth less? And, although women are much more likely to have breast cancer and die from it, what about the men who have breast cancer, do they not count at all?
I am a huge supporter of funding cancer support and research, but this is not the kind of attention that we want. There are a number of really awesome organizations that fight against breast cancer in a way that is empowering to women (and men) who have breast cancer. Let’s throw our support behind those!
For alternative ways to support breast cancer patients and survivors please visit


  1. You're totally missing the point here. The object of it isn't to objectify women, it's getting awareness out there, trying to find ways to support research so that there are ways to PREVENT breast cancer... you know... so that women don't HAVE TO HAVE A MASTECTOMY.

    I'm all for women's rights (as I am a woman) but seriously, this is taking it TOO far.

  2. Although I understand your point, I feel that I have to respectfully disagree. Of course we want to find ways raise awareness and eventually prevent breast cancer. I just think that this is not the way to do it. It's belittling and disrespectful to anyone who has breast cancer.

    It's interesting to point out, as other feminists have done, why is only breast cancer sexualized? I mean, you don't see people going around wearing shirts that say "Save the Male G-Spot" to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

    Of course I am supportive of efforts to raise awareness and prevent breast cancer just as I am with other cancers, however you won't see me wearing one of those shirts anytime. This is the point I was making in my blog.