#WorthRevisiting: You Don’t Help by Objectifying Me (Or: Why I Hate Breast Cancer Awareness Month)

imageWelcome to Worth Revisiting Wednesday, hostsed by Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb. This is a chance to pull a good post from the archives and share it again! With every October, we are bombarded with pink ribbons and other merchandise. But are we off-base in how we’re going about this awareness? 


Sweet

Once again, we are approaching Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which seems to bleed more and more into September with every passing year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for ethical breast cancer research and treatment, but even putting aside the insidious Susan G. Komen Foundation – who is more wed to abortion than actually helping women detect breast cancer – the month is filled with phrases and images that do nothing but objectify women.

It seems that for every sweet picture with inspirational words, you get one that’s lewd. It’s perfectly okay, it seems, to use derogatory language while discussing breast cancer. And so over the years we’ve progressed from, “Get screened for breast cancer,” to, “Husbands! Feel up your wives!” (With T-shirts and bumper stickers to match!)

Tame by Comparison to Others

I’m suddenly surrounded by pleas wrapped in lewd language, crude pictures, and objectifying images. And they’re being spread by women.

Female Equivalent of Truck Nutz?

I can’t, for the life of me, understand why we have to make things so base. Is there truly no other way to reach people any more?

Yeah, that’s all they’re for.

Must we be crude and continue to push towards the pornographic in every area of our culture?

Crude Terminology Required

Do we have to use degrading terms to refer to ourselves?

Seriously? What’s wrong with people?

And act in ways that further objectify women? Why are we encouraging this? What does this do, aside from titillate?

Is it necessary to have things like this on a T-shirt you’re wearing out in public? And mind you, I haven’t even touched on the “funny” stuff that is even more sexual. (And trust me, I’ve seen some of it out in public.) All of this is the tame stuff. There is some truly horrible stuff out there being sold under the guise of “breast cancer awareness” that is more fit for the advertising section at the back of Penthouse than anything else.

I don’t mind all the pink, even if it’s just completely wrong (and possibly an evil act) to have NFL players wearing bright pink shoes and gloves.† That’s far easier to explain to young children than some of the things I’ve shows above. We keep saying that women ought to be treated as equal human beings, with dignity. And I agree with that completely. Every human being deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

But I think that this kind of merchandise – these kinds of slogans – do exactly the opposite. It objectifies and dehumanizes women. It makes us all about our body parts.

It’s not about saving a woman’s life from a devastating disease; it’s all about saving her boobs so men can gawk at them.

It’s not about helping someone avoid illness that will take a toll on her entire family; it’s about making sure we’re not in a world without breasts, because what a shame that would be.

It’s not because I love my wife; it’s because I love her Ta-Tas.

Women, if you’ve been buying these things, thinking it’s cute and funny, think again. You’re helping degrade, objectify, and dehumanize women. You’re helping men see us as nothing but pieces of meat, with some parts being more delectable than others.

There are ways to help raise awareness of breast cancer (though I’m a bit incredulous that we really need to raise awareness much more than we already have) and to encourage women to get an annual mammogram that don’t involve such crude language. We don’t have to sink down to such a level to get men to care. Appeal to our better natures.

Act like adults when you’re doing it.

Let’s take a stand! Let’s make a pact that we’ll refuse to further objectify women with these ridiculous slogans and offensive merchandise. We can – and should – do better.

re: evil and wrong-ness of pink on football players: Pink is so not a manly color. Seriously. And it totally clashes with most of the uniforms, Miami notwithstanding.

2 thoughts on “#WorthRevisiting: You Don’t Help by Objectifying Me (Or: Why I Hate Breast Cancer Awareness Month)

  1. Love this! You put into words all my annual interior grumbling and griping during October, including the absurdity of the NFL players and officials in pink. It’s especially ironic to see the players accused of sexual assault sporting those pretty pink wristbands.

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