A Man Informs Women That Their Breasts Are Dispensable

It’s always so cute to see a guy dictate to women which of our body parts we should value:

I know I’ve said this before, but let me say it again: the problem with breast cancer is not that it takes breasts. Let it take them! Breasts aren’t all that important, really. The women they’re attached to are. . .

We don’t need to save breasts. Pace Westley, there isn’t currently a shortage of them. What we do need to save is the women they’re attached to. Women need to get breast exams and pap smears and colonoscopies and ECGs and regular check-ups because women are important. Their lives are important. Their health is important. Their breasts? Not so much.

Given that breasts are the second most powerful erogenous zone in a woman’s body (not in a man’s, though, so I can see why this blogger is getting so confused), it might be a good idea to leave the decision as to how important they are to each individual woman to that woman. Because people who see women as “attached to their breasts” are probably not the best experts on the complex balance of sexuality within each female body and cannot have any idea whatsoever how that balance might be disturbed by a mastectomy.

Do you see me write any posts advising men to just lop off that cancerous testicle because it isn’t that important anyways? No, you don’t. Because as a person who has no testicles, I don’t believe I’m entitled to an opinion as to how important they are to those who have them.

For some women, losing a breast is a tragedy and the end of the world. For other women, it definitely isn’t. Nobody has a right to screech that other people’s breasts “are not important.” They might not be important to you, but their owners might have a very different opinion. Women are not a monolith. We are not robots who all have the same specifications. We care about different things and value the same body parts in different ways.

There is overall too great a drive to shame women who refuse to have a mastectomy. Television shows love to depict such women – who do nothing more than exercise their authority over their own bodies – as vain and stupid. However, the attempt to impose one’s values and one’s vision of what is right onto another people’s bodies is always – and I repeat, always – a way of exhibiting a deep-seated aggression towards those people.

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22 comments on “A Man Informs Women That Their Breasts Are Dispensable

  1. Given that breasts are the second most powerful erogenous zone in a woman’s body (not in a man’s, though, so I can see why this blogger is getting so confused), it might be a good idea to leave the decision as to how important they are to each individual woman to that woman.

    This is too general, Clarissa. I know several women who have, or claim to have, no erotic sensation in their breasts at all. I also know several who have extreme sensation there.

    And, of course, I know many women for whom I do not know the answer to that question at all.

      • I think the male writer was trying to reassure women that their physical appearance is not such a big deal because he probably hears all over the place that men want women to be physically perfect, and he wants to reassure them that this is not so, at least in his case. This is obviously not an argument he can win, though, because a guy telling women “don’t worry about your boobs!” is still a guy telling women what they should look like.

      • That’s pretty self- involved of him if he believes that all women sit there worrying about the impression they make on him. Maybe he needs my posts on narcissism. :-)

  2. Like so many issues of this kind, the choice should be entirely personal. Individuals to a considerable extent confront lifestyle choices that help or hinder the developments of such illnesses. If women or men drink a lot, eat fatty foods, becomes obese, live sendentary lives, they aceptnauate the risk of cancers. If they are misffunate to succumb, they have choices between surgery or drugs. These choices may have life-duration implications. Families may provide guidance. But ultimately the choice should be that of the individual.

  3. I know I’ve said this before, but let me say it again: the problem with breast cancer is not that it takes breasts. Let it take them! Breasts aren’t all that important, really. The women they’re attached to are.
    Damn and here I was leaving it up to the owner of the breasts in question to decide how important they are. I’m sure he means well and is trying to say that a woman’s value isn’t calculated by her cup size but the wording just sounds off and I’m not even a woman.

    And nevermind caring about the entire woman right?

    Do you see me write any posts advising men to just lop off that cancerous testicle because it isn’t that important anyways? No, you don’t. Because as a person who has no testicles, I don’t believe I’m entitled to an opinion as to how important they are to those who have them.
    Thanks. And as someone who does have them I hope that if in the event that someone close to you does develop testicular cancer you care about the entire person.

  4. The message could have been conveyed better.
    “1. Your breast health is important. So is the health of your heart, digestive tract, lungs, and the rest of you. There are many good screening tests for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart health, lung health, cancer of various internal organs and of skin. Many of these screens require only a physical exam or a blood sample test. Ask your doctor (or nurse practitioner or physician assistant) if you should have routine screening at this time.

    2. If you have breast cancer, you have several options for treatment, several types of surgery removing some or all of the breast, and options for post-surgical reconstruction. After you have recovered from the shock of first hearing the “cancer” word applied to you, ask about what comes next. It is OK to take notes when the doctor explains the treatments.
    3. Your ability to cope with a cancer diagnosis may surprise you. There is life after diagnosis. Decide what is most important to you, and talk with your doctor about how to best achieve your goal.”

  5. I thought about the social pressure on women to have Breast reconstruction afterwards. Read a post (forgot where) about a doctor turning to a husband, not a sitting there woman, to talk about the topic, as if it was a given. “Must stay sexually attractive for a husband” idea, I guess.

  6. I thought about the social pressure on women to have Breast reconstruction afterwards.(el)

    You mean like the social pressure for a man to have a bigger cock or a bigger paycheck. Hmmm…….

    • “What??? I was dead serious this time, I think, maybe………damn.”

      – Yes, the issue is serious, but you have this funny way of putting things. I’m trying to make a compliment here, OK? :-)

  7. Pingback: Global Feminist Link Love: April 21 – 27

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