I'm Fully Aware of Breasts

Bloggified by Jake on Thursday, October 1, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so plan on seeing pink shit all over for the next 31 days. The NFL has announced players will be wearing pink wristbands and shoes (the one's pictured on the right belong to Cincinnati's Chad Ochocinco) and will have pink ribbon decals on their helmets.

Why?

Is the problem with having a tumor grow inside your breast the fact that so few people are aware of it? How many people have never heard of breast cancer? The official word from press releases is:
"It's about two words that were considered taboo in public conversation 25 years ago..."

Okay, the 80's were a weird time. We were nearing the end of the Cold War and suddenly had a realization of our collective mortality. In 1983, people who watched The Day After were shocked by the movie's contention that surviving a nuclear war might be a bad thing.


This flew in the face of the zeitgeist of America, which was about immortality. The Reagan administration had us striving to be proactive, especially after the Malaise Era of Carter. The very basis of Reaganomics was that you were the master of your own destiny. If you wanted to be successful, you would be! If you weren't successful, you didn't try hard enough! If you wanted to survive nuclear winter, you just had to want it bad enough!

This attitude made cancer, AIDS, and other medical maladies a tough subject. It was pretty clear that cigarettes caused lung cancer, but until 1985 labels merely said smoking was "hazardous to your health." AIDS, which was nicknamed "gay cancer" for a while, barely received any funding for research until the 1990's.

Add our fear of death to our long-standing American puritanical fear of discussing anything that goes on with the parts of our bodies covered up my bathing suits and it's no wonder breast cancer (and testicular cancer for that matter) was a taboo subject 25 years ago.

However, it's not 25 years ago anymore. Today, you can't watch a sporting event on TV without a barrage of ads reminding you that middle-aged-to-elderly men are fucking women against the will of nature thanks to Just for Men, Cialis, Enzyte, and Viagra. In 1984, the courage to discuss child molestation, date rape, or sexual assault on a TV show warranted a "very special episode":

Today, we have a version of Law & Order that discusses nothing but child molestation, date rape, or sexual assault.

The point is that NFL players aren't wearing pink wristbands in 1984. Major League Baseball players weren't swinging pink bats in 1984. This isn't about bringing breast cancer into the collective consciousness of Americans who are willfully ignorant because they are afraid of acknowledging terminal diseases and/or naughty body parts. Instead, it's about pandering and being behind the times. Why not have a month of games demanding women's suffrage or drawing attention to this country's need for some kind of proclamation of emancipation for the slaves?

I understand that more than 170,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year, but the NFL's goal is not to cure breast cancer, only to raise awareness, which is what I find disingenuous. I will be shocked if one single person who watches a football game in October is led to look up how to perform a proper techniques for doing a breast self-exam because she saw Drew Brees wearing pink shoes.

The suggestion that anyone watching an NFL game, much less a majority of viewers, might be unaware of breast cancer and its dangers is pure ignorance. The only reason the NFL has any interest in Breast Cancer Awareness Month is because it hopes that using its multi-billion dollar machinery to raise a couple thousand bucks to research a woman's problem will draw attention from the annual handful of domestic violence charges raised against its players and the fact that the highest ranking women in the NFL employ wear short shorts and shakes pom-pons to the beat of Jay-Z songs during commercial breaks.

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