Monday, November 1, 2010

It’s not about the Ta-Tas

Save the Ta-Tas. Save 2nd base. Save the boobies. All phrases I’m sure we’ve heard a million times within the context of breast cancer, yet whenever I hear them, my first thought is always this.

Are we all still in 2nd grade here, people??

I mean seriously, “boobies”? 2nd base? Do actual adults ever use these words in conversation? “So I was doing my breast exam the other day, and I found a lump in one of my boobies.”

Let’s just acknowledge that the correct terms are along the lines of breasts, boobs, or best of all, Boobages.™

Next, we get to the real problem. The fact that any and all of these slogans, campaigns, what have you , are totally missing the fucking point. Do the prostate cancer folks worry about saving the balls? Are there little bracelets all over the place with “Save the Balls!” printed on them? No. That would be a no.

Because it’s not about the balls, or boobies, or what have you. It’s about our lives at stake here, and I think most of us would tell you that that’s a hell of a lot more important than the aesthetics of the thing.

As in, if I were told tomorrow that the only chance of saving my life would be to have both of my boobs gone, yes, I’d be pissed off, but I wouldn’t actually have to think about it, weigh the pros and cons, what I should do. It’s not much of a decision to make, now is it.

So why is the emphasis on just the outward appearance part of things? On the sex object aspect of it? Isn’t “2nd base” the term guys in high school use? So why are people using that term as if all that matters is to preserve for the guys something that gives them pleasure? What the hell is that all about?

Don’t get me wrong – when I was first told my only choice for dealing with The Cancer was a mastectomy, I was devastated. Crushed. Gnashed my teeth and wailed. And found better doctors who were a bit more cutting edge in their thinking, no pun intended. And I’m disgusted that here we are so many years into all this money being poured into breast cancer research and treatment – supposedly – and yet the treatments are essentially still the same: slash and burn. That’s bullshit. Losing your breasts is a huge deal.

But it’s not the biggest deal.

Our lives matter more.

All of this is to explain my new slogan that my friend and artist Jennifer Pick has helped me put on a t-shirt. One that sums up my sentiments perfectly:

No, this isn’t one of my many famous get-rich schemes. Would that it were – but these t-shirt designer websites, while wonderfully awesome and convenient – do not give you the designer much of an actual cut of anything. Which is fine. I really just wanted to get the word out, about where I think our priorities should be.

Which is here: saving our lives.

Because in case anyone didn't realize it......we’re dying out here.

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