Opinion: Politically Correct?: Save the what?

Opinion: Politically Correct?: Save the what?

Katie Gebel and Samantha Higgins sport Cats For A Cause t-shirts, Oct. 31.

A couple of weekends ago, while visiting Roosevelt University in Chicago, I was shocked to see a huge pink banner made out of butcher paper stating “save the tatas.”

I knew this sign bothered me, but I could not pin point why. I let the idea of saving one’s “tatas” for breast cancer awareness simmer inside of me for a couple of weeks.

But now, after seeing multiple posts on facebook and wristbands with slogans like “I heart boobies” and “save a breast” during Breast Cancer Awareness month, I finally found the root of my agitation.

My grandmother is a two-time survivor of breast cancer and has had both breasts removed.

If anyone approached me while she was going through her surgery and subsequent treatments and told me they wanted to save her “tatas,” I would have surely punched them in the face. And I am not a violent person.

The foundation that is manufacturing this gear and these slogans is called To Save a Breast. They focus on flashy and sexy techniques to grab attention.

My problem is something so serious and life threatening shouldn’t be so demeaning and sexually exploitative.

This isn’t just a feminist issue either. There is also a movement pushing for catchy slogans to support testicular cancer stating things like “feel my balls” and “I heart balls.”

It seems fine until someone close has the cancer. If my dad had testicular cancer, I can’t imagine anyone in my family wearing a shirt that says “I heart balls” to support him in such a hard time.

I know these slogans are just trying to be funny and catchy. And they’re also raising money. In the past year the To Keep A Breast foundation has raised over $2 million selling their kitschy wristbands at $3.95 a piece.

Something so serious shouldn’t be belittled in the name of marketing.

I am not naive. Sex sells in America. I just wish our tastes were more refined when it comes to saving lives. The National Cancer Institute’s site reports 226,870 new cases of women and 2,190 news case of men were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Let’s all band together and beat cancer with a new marleting campaign. I see hot pink wristbands 1.5 inches thick with the number 628 stamped on them. That’s the number of people a day diagnosed with breast cancer on average. I see black t-shirts with “I know someone” in five-inch hot pink letters across the front. Because we are all touched by breast cancer. After all, it’s not just the “tatas” we’re saving, it’s a life.