Old, but this is the closest I can get to a love poem.
There are two overall problems with the general rhetoric around breast cancer that I wish to address: the first is the issue of the sexualization of this type of cancer, and the second is the corporatization of the same.
Using phrases like “Save Second Base,” or “Save the Ta-Tas,” on t-shirts that are supposed to be supporting breast cancer research completely devalues the lives of the women who are affected with this disease, as these messages shift the emphasis of the goal of a cure from ensuring that women live healthy lives to ensuring that men are provided with a vehicle for sexual pleasure. Evidently, these slogans are not meant to be taken in earnest. No one is seriously suggesting that the only reason that breast cancer should be cured is so that men can “score” with women. In fact, these shirts are meant to be silly. But in a culture that routinely stresses that the main purpose of the women’s bodies is to provide pleasure to men, this attempt at humor simply becomes insulting.
There is nothing sexual about someone dying of breast cancer. There is only horror and sickness, and to suggest that the purpose of finding a cure for this disease is to restore the body’s ability to please someone else, even facetiously, reduces the dying person to a body and makes a cruel joke of their pain. And what message does this send when a woman’s “boobies” have been removed in a double mastectomy? Is there nothing left to save? And is she somehow less of a woman?