Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and sheds thousands of lives every year. It mainly affects middle-aged persons and many of those have to undergo a masectomy as part of their treatment. Yet, a new trend awareness advertising is glossing over what breast cancer really means. This trend centres around hetero male sexual gratification and uses language which focuses on saving the breasts, hooters, tatas and boobs rather than saving people . As Sara Florence points out:
"A campaign that utilizes images of young, healthy women with supple, and more to the point, present breasts is not exactly sensitive to the needs of the demographic it’s supposed to be supporting. Furthermore, using sexualized humor to make light of the rather harrowing experience of actually losing one’s breast to a deadly disease is really just twisting the knife.”
So what is the problem here then?
Well, firstly there is no reason to sexualise a life-threatening disease. Breast cancer doesn’t just affect breasts, it affects people. Persons. Human lives. Secondly, breasts do not solely exist for nothing other than hetero cis male pleasure. Finally, what is the point in supporting a disease that mainly affects women, while simultaneously objectifying and sexualising their bodies? These campaigns might raise a bit of cash and awareness, but they are mainly undermining the status of women in society.
"When a campaign to raise awareness and funds to fight a deadly disease appeals to the potential loss of a sexual object, rather than the potential loss of a human life, it sends a powerful message about what our society values. The sexism of breast cancer awareness normalizes the view that women are sexual objects rather than subjects with agency and dignity."