Stop Saving the Boobies. Save a Life Instead.

On the same day that Angelina Jolie wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times about her preventative double mastectomy, I saw an ad on the side of a bus on my way to work. The ad was for some breast cancer prevention event, and it was called something like Save the Boobies, or Life for the Tatas, or some other ridiculous slogan whose specifics I can’t remember now. I only remember that it involved one of the many words we have in our language to talk about a woman’s anatomy in ways that make us giggle like we’re eight-year-old boys.

I’m tired of it. I’m a 41-year-old woman, so I’m in breast cancer’s wheelhouse, if you will. I don’t have it, and my chances — as far as I know, anyway — aren’t much higher than anyone else’s. But I’m a woman, and so I’m surrounded by pink products and ribbons and races for cures, and I’m tired of being asked to save my boobies, or rescue my tatas. I’m tired of other people creating cute slogans about potential death with words that typify our juvenile relationship with my breasts.

Instead of saving the boobies or rescuing the tatas, shouldn’t we be much more interested in saving the life of a mother or a sister or a daughter? Isn’t a woman with breast cancer — or a woman with incredibly high chances of getting breast cancer, as in Jolie’s case — much more than her breasts?

Does sexism in our society really run so deep that, even when a woman is potentially going to die of cancer, we really only care if her boobies are saved?

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