By now, we’ve all seen enough pink shirts and pink ribbons to remind us that it is October. In recent years, October has become synonymous with breast cancer awareness. Thanks to many commercials and campaigns, I am sure we are all aware of the existence of said disease. Although I am glad there is a month dedicated to learning, I am also a little apprehensive. What frightens me most about this month is the overuse of one word: boobies.
Each year, countless organizations across campus sell items, host events, and wear shirts with messages such as “Save the Boobies” or “(Insert word that begins with B) for Boobies”. While I appreciate the effort and acknowledge the nobleness, I can’t help but think how wrong these messages are.
These organizations spread the idea that a woman’s two most valuable possessions are her breasts. A much more sympathetic slogan would be “Save the Woman”. It is important to realize that sometimes a woman’s breasts cannot be salvaged. It is completely okay if a woman decides on a life-saving double mastectomy (partial or full removal of breast). Breast cancer is one of the only diseases where there is a mass campaign to save said part. How silly would it be to focus on keeping an ailing body part?
Another problem I have is the prevalent immaturity that comes along with this topic. Grown men giggle every time they get to say boobies and cringe every time they are forced to say breast. Cancer of any body part is very serious and I would prefer if those tasked with educating others would be as technical as possible.
All in all, I respect this month and all it stands for. Mammograms are often offered at a reduced price, groups and teams are raising money for research, and most importantly, we are celebrating the survivors. I encourage everyone to find out as much as you can and remember, saving “second base” is not nearly as important as saving the woman.