By Peggy Orenstein
April 19, 2011
Last week, a federal judge stopped a Pennsylvania school from suspending two girls from school for wearing breast cancer fundraising bracelets that proclaimed "I ♥ Boobies!" with a nod to their 1st Amendment rights.
Well, score one for free speech.
And zero for breast cancer.
Those ubiquitous rubber bracelets are part of a new trend: sexy breast cancer. There is "Save the Ta-Tas." "Save 2nd Base." "Project Boobies." "Feel Your Boobies." "Jingle Jugs." And, of course, "I ♥ Boobies" itself.
These campaigns aim to bring a fresh, irreverent approach to the youth market, but beyond that, their agenda is, at best, mushy. There is "breast cancer awareness" of course, but given that each October everything from toilet paper to buckets of fried chicken to the chin straps of NFL players look as if they have been steeped in Pepto-Bismol, I think that goal has long since been met.
Sexy breast cancer groups say they promote (with a wink and a naughty nudge) the importance of breast self-exam for young women. Sounds good, right? Yet experts no longer recommend self-exam for anyone, let alone high school girls. The unfortunate truth is that even when scrupulously performed, self-exams neither detect cancers earlier than they would be found otherwise nor offer any survival benefit. So where's the "awareness" in spreading that misinformation? The only "♥s" involved are those of women who have or have had cancer, women like me, and our hearts break at the thought of millions of dollars wasted.
The intention is to raise awareness If these teens gain such awareness early they can practice it during thei adult lives. I really think this is more a puritanical knee-jerk reaction to I Love Boobies!
I believe anything that effectively gets this message out there serves the real needs of women young or old.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost