Its the emphasis on breasts. The over-emphasis. In one way, its kind of a "duh" statement. Of course there is talk about breasts...its breast cancer. You can see this in many of the slogans and team names for these awareness events: save the ta-tas; save second base; boobie crew; you name it. I've even seen pre-pubescent boys sporting bracelets that say "I love boobies." Presumably this helps raise awareness among the middle school crowd? (As if middle school boys weren't aware of breasts, even if a little afraid of them!) Or how about men wearing shirts declaring themselves "official inspectors," offering their "services" for women who need help with their self exams.
Is the goal of all of this is to save a pair of breasts? Have we failed if breasts are not saved? Does life cease being meaningful without them?
During the 3 Day walk, as well as the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, there were tons of signs saying things like this, people wearing huge fake breasts, making a joke of it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against finding levity in a bad situation. In fact, I would venture to say I have a pretty good sense of humor and let a lot of stuff roll off my back. One series of signs got to me, it said:
"Imagine a world without boobs."
As if it were painting a picture of some worst case scenario, apocalyptic world. Yeah. Well, its not so hard for me to imagine. I don't have them, and I'm probably not ever going to get them. I'm flat as a pancake. But you know what? Its not the end of the world not to have had them "saved." They key point is that I'm still here. Here's the thing....even without breasts/boobs/ta-tas/a rack, breast cancer may still come back and claim my life.
You see, its not about the boobs. It's about women's lives. Trust me, you can live without boobs. Breast cancer in the breast(s) isn't what kills women. It is when it metastasizes to other body parts that her fate is sealed.
I know that our society will never get away from these silly slogans and over-emphasis on breasts. It brings out a little pre-pubescent silliness in everyone. Perhaps this is the first level of "awareness." 20 years ago, people were ashamed to even say "breast" cancer. I suppose this is some form of progress. I just hope we can move beyond this adolescent level of addressing the issue and realize that its not about the boobs....its about the women. Finding a cure means more than saving breasts.