Your Source for Feminist Discourse

Cancer is NOT sexy.

A common phrase that all of you have heard before is “Save the Tatas”. I don’t know about you, but personally when I think about a woman fighting a life-threatening illness, her boobs are the last thing that I think of.

Objectification of women’s bodies is something not uncommon in society today. You can see it everywhere you look, it’s inevitable to hide from. This one particular place that you see, rubs me the wrong way for many reasons.

Over the past few years of personally taking part in Relay For Life and other events to support people fighting cancer, it has become apparent that cancer has affected everyone’s life in one way or another. The idea of making a non-profit (and such a popular one at that) that has such a strong focus on the idea that we should “save the tatas”, and forget what this fight is all about, makes me sad.

I appreciate the “Save the tatas” campaign in the aspect that it is raising money for an amazing cause. Cancer is a disease plaguing our world, and I believe research to find the cure for cancer is an amazing cause that I really believe everyone should get behind.

My issue with this is how they decided to frame this idea of fighting cancer. The idea of making a joke about this horrible disease honestly disgusts me, especially to make a joke that quite frankly, isn’t funny. It adds to the sexualization of women which shouldn’t be a joke in the first place, especially when they are trying to fight something that could quite easily kill them.

I think it’s so interesting that with this whole campaign, they focus solely on the idea of saving women’s breasts, once again making them a sexual object. What they don’t do though, is talk about how men can get breast cancer as well. Even though it is more common in women, men can still get breast cancer, and it’s important to recognize that we should be supporting everyone experiencing this terrible disease, not just women.

The other thing that I disagree with about this campaign is that the wording and shirts always have some form of pink on them. The gender binary/ gender norms cannot help but to be suppressive in society, and I hate that because this is looked at as a cancer that only women would get, why wouldn’t it have pink in it. If you cannot tell by any of my posts yet, I really hate the gender binary.

To wrap everything up, while we got mesothelioma explained and other importand researches done, I think it is absolutely ridiculous that we can sexualize things as serious as cancer. We are putting a life-threatening experience for people and making it about whether or not they will still have boobs. Seriously society? Is that really all that we care about?

As far as nonprofit work, I appreciate them in the aspect that they are raising money to support a cause that needs it, but at the end of the day, I absolutely hate the way Save the Tatas has framed their campaign.

2 Responses to “Cancer is NOT sexy.”

  1. theelephantintharoom

    To add on, after a mastectomy often women are asked if they would like to undergo breast reconstruction surgery. While this is positive for some women, this surgery can be dangerous and uncomfortable, leaves breasts without feeling or function (that they are intended for other than being aesthetically pleasing), and doctors often pressure women to to have the surgery; this shows just how much our society values breasts over the woman.

    I really love this post, being someone who used to love the “save the tatas” campaign.

    Reply
    • thewanderingotter

      I think this is a super interesting point, especially when medical professionals will encourage individuals to go through this potentially dangerous surgery, just for looks.

      Reply

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