Why “Save The Tatas” Is Gross, Demeaning and Counter-Productive


I’m sorry I’ve been such a shit with HayLadies! updates this week, y’all. But in my internetive exploits I did run across this amazing post on Speaker’s Corner in the ATX about “Save The Tatas” and related breast cancer awareness campaigns. Appropriately, it’s titled: Fuck ‘Save The Tatas.’ Here’s why:

There are survivors living with conditions and scars (both physically and emotionally) that remind them daily of the cancer that haunted their bodies and minds, that continue to haunt them with every check-up at the oncologist’s office or every daily morning prevention pill.  Focusing on breasts and breasts alone obscures the reality and the faces of the people who are at the center of the fight against breast cancer.  It reminds the survivors who either don’t have their breasts or have scars across the breasts they do have that they are now not as wholly feminine as they once were (and they never will be).  They may have beaten the cancer but they lost their breasts, the things everyone seems to actually care about.

Read the whole thing in its entirety–and since October is breast cancer awareness month, don’t hesitate to share this powerful piece with people who think boob-centric fundraising and awareness programs are totally cool and funny. ‘Cause they’re not cool and funny. They’re dehumanizing.

About andrea grimes

Andrea is a journalist living in Austin, TX. She has a master's degree in anthropology and did her thesis work on gender and stand-up comedy. Seriously. Also, she has a bunch of cats. Three of them. Is three a bunch? Discuss.
This entry was posted in activism, body image, breast cancer, health care, media, reproductive health. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Why “Save The Tatas” Is Gross, Demeaning and Counter-Productive

  1. Good Gravey says:

    Oh not another one of these! A kiwi young women’s magazine had a similar thing here, and it also caused outrage. In part because it encouraged young women to send in photos of their breasts (yes – it did) but also because it was all about “save the breasts, who gives a shit about the women”.

    It is so rage-inducing that in a subject so serious that women are reduced to nothing more than a pair of breasts.

    They might have good intentions, but are seriously misguided. And I know this may come across all man-splainy, but it still pisses me off that people still do this.

    I’ll see if I can dig out some blog posts on the subject when this happened here.

  2. Pingback: Sunday Slacking – Yeah, I wish :D | Evil Widgets

  3. Good Gravey says:

    It was NZGirl magazine – http://www.nzgirl.co.nz/know/our-favourite-breasts-aka-ive-got-a-lovely-pair/.

    It not only invited young women to send in pictures of their breasts, but invited readers to vote and comment on them. Supposedly in the name of raising awareness of breast cancer. When the photos started appearing on porn sites, the outrage grew, but the magazine remained unapologetic (at least no real apology or understanding of what they had actually done).

    The wonderful ScubaNurse wrote this post in response: http://history-herstory-scubanurse.blogspot.com/2010/12/get-your-tits-out-for-girls-educational.html

    One of the things I find really disappointing is that this is the second demeaning exercise I have seen where (I am really ashamed to say it) we had it here in NZ earlier. The other is the Edmonton “Win a Wife” competition – http://copelandcommunications.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/edmonton-radio-stations-win-a-wife-contest-not-degrading/

  4. SARAHLEE says:

    I completely agree that this whole “Save the Tatas” campaign for breast cancer is the wrong way to go. It’s sad that even in an attempt to raise awareness for cancer, there is objectification of women. Even more sad that it encouraged women to participate in blatant objectification with the photos of their breasts. I guess understand that it perhaps shows support or awareness, but definitely not necessary.

  5. cgray47 says:

    No way! Somebody mentioned BREASTS in a campaign for BREAST cancer awareness?!?! How dare they! It is so STUPID to get offended by campaigns that say “Save the Tatas” Or “Save Boobies” or whatever they decide to call themselves. They are about Breast Cancer Awareness. And guess where Breast Cancer happens. In BREASTS. So of course the names they choose for their campaigns are going to mention breasts. They aren’t trivializing cancer or trying to demean people. They are trying to get the word out about the cancer. And they work. I disagree with people being able to vote on pictures of breasts but I fully support sending in pictures of your breasts to support breast cancer awareness. Because we should be proud of them whether they’re scarred or missing or whatever. And we should want people to know about this very real cancer that really affects women and their breasts. That is real feminism. Not this whiny ‘get offended over every little thing’ kind of feminism that this blog apparently practices whole-heartedly.

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