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Letter: Breast cancer shirts diminish value of life

Breast cancer shirts diminish value of life

Recently I was in a store on Elmwood Avenue, following the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I saw a mother and her 10- or 12-year-old daughter wearing pink shirts. Printed on back was the name of the woman in whose honor they participated. Printed on front were the outlines of two baseballs over their breasts and the words “Save Second Base.” It reminded me of the promotional materials with the slogans “Boobies” and “Save the Tatas.” And it leads me to ask some questions.

Has breast cancer been reduced to the need to sexualize even the diseases that strike women? Are breasts such a large part of female identity that we aren’t valued without them? Does that mean, therefore, that the need to save the sexual aspect of a woman is more important than saving her life? How do the women in whose honor these items are worn feel? What message is being sent to the young girl wearing a shirt that says “Save Second Base” about the reason to find a cure for breast cancer and what’s really important about women in general?

Stop diminishing the importance of women’s lives and the losses so many have endured due to breast cancer. Treat them with respect and dignity. Honor the ways in which women contribute to the world around them. We are so much more than our body parts. Race for the Cure to save the life, not the breasts.

Ann Kern

Amherst