Interior design junior Afnan Dahduli said some breast cancer campaigns are inappropriate.
“Some of them attempt to be funny as well, and I don’t think it’s a funny matter at all,” Dahduli said. “Maybe some of the inappropriate ads try to add some humor to calm patients, but I think a lot of them are unnecessary.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many students are sporting “Save the Boobies” or “Save the Ta-Tas” bracelets or shirts. Some believe that these campaigns focus more on the breasts than on the women; others believe they are effective tools to spread awareness.
Breast cancer awareness should do more than make people aware of the breasts, Dahduli said. She said it should also make people aware of the obstacles women with breast cancer face.
“You do have to think about the negative effect in terms of the women’s movement and the advances women have made,” said Sonja Watson, women’s and gender studies professor. “If this reinforces sexual stereotypes of women, then that’s definitely not a positive.”
These campaigns can make light of the seriousness of the disease and may even isolate those who have lost their breasts to cancer, Watson said.
“On the other hand, the campaigns that focus on the boobies can also be viewed as direct marketing to a younger generation,” Watson said. “It brings awareness to the cause, brings in more money to breast cancer research and sheds more light on breast cancer awareness.”
Biology sophomore Angel Abraham spends some of her time volunteering at different breast cancer awareness events.
“I feel like those phrases get people’s attention and motivate them to start thinking about breast cancer,” Abraham said. “But I do feel that a when it is overly-used as a campaign method to promote awareness that it could be degrading the disease.”
Abraham said cancer societies and different groups that support breast cancer awareness should limit their use of these slogans. Instead, there should be a greater emphasis on community events that provide information to the public about the different preventative measures and the cancer itself, Abraham said.