October 6, 2012

Save The Boobies

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is upon us. Although we hear about breast cancer research and awareness all year, October is a month filled with more—more awareness, more activities, more fundraising, more exposure.

All over the United States, towns, cities, and states will have fundraising walks and runs as well as support other activities. Television will promote breast cancer awareness in the shows, commercials, and news programs. Pink will adorn everything from our cars to our children’s trick-or-treat bags. We’ll feel like one big bottle of Pepto. And I love it.

Few things make me happier than to see the pink ribbon of breast cancer awareness. This is not just because I’m a woman and breast cancer affects mainly women. I love that people are aware and making others aware of a disease that is downright scary. What I also love about it is that National Breast Cancer Awareness Month makes us think about cancer, all cancers. We cannot mention one cancer without others popping into mind. This, I think, is the goal.

It’s not just breast cancer that is scary; it’s all cancers. Awareness of one naturally makes us think of all others. That pink ribbon says more than think about breast cancer. That pink ribbon makes us think about all cancer. And that’s good.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), breast cancer is the fifth major cause for death in women. Furthermore, with the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. That’s enough to concern any woman. Though men can get breast cancer, the CDC states that less than 1% of breast cancer cases are men. So, really, the focus of breast cancer awareness is on women.

This is not some campaign on my part in memoriam of some lost relative or loved one. I have been lucky enough to not have been touched by breast cancer’s dangerous tentacles. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be just as aware of something that on average will affect 12% of women as notes. That percentage is too high for my comfort. That means approximately 1 out of every 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. That’s scary. And if I haven’t been affected by it yet, that only means that I will be in some way soon. That alone is worth my concern and interest.

Breasts are important for a couple biological reasons, the least of which is attraction.  Of course, they provide milk for our babies, but they also attract our mates and without attraction, we’d have no babies, so breasts help with procreation. That alone is enough to want to save them, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month gets that.

Several campaigns utilize the desirability of breasts to make people aware and also solicit funding. This is one form of objectification I can get behind because it’s not about making women less or showing them only as sex toys. This objectification manipulates those to make people aware.

When we see shirts that proclaim, “Save the Boobies” or “Hope” or just the pink ribbon, let’s spread the word. Let’s make others want to save our boobies and save their own. And lets’ take it a step further and think about saving us from all cancers. The more awareness, the more research, and the more research, the better medication and attack plan we have. So let’s start saving all those body parts!

For some great information on breast cancer, please see’s comprehensive report. It’s worth your time not just for yourself but also for those you love. And isn’t that what Breast Cancer Awareness is all about—saving what we love.

Image Credit: serazetdinov / Shutterstock

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Email


Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

Send Rayshell an email