#NoBrainDay

Today on twitter we have yet another trending hashtag that encourages women to reveal their bodies online. I noticed this, was very disturbed by it for a whole raft of reasons (mostly to do with pervy men) and that was it. A little later I found out that #NoBraDay was ostensibly in support of raising awareness of breast cancer and then I couldn’t leave it.

Let’s put aside the convenience of a campaign that gets young women to show off their tits (how the men love that kind of campaign and are, as we speak, typing with one hand). Let’s also leave aside the bullshit that says you cannot criticise this without being labelled a prude (from feminists, no less). What really, really annoyed me was the disgusting insensitivity shown to the very people this ‘campaign’ is supposed to be for: women who are battling or have survived breast cancer.

I have never had breast cancer. I have never had a visible part of my anatomy removed. That doesn’t prevent me from understanding how devastating that must be and how thousands of women baring their beautiful cancer-free breasts can’t possibly help those women feel better about themselves. Especially the ones who have had breast tissue removed.

My aunt died of breast cancer at the age of 49. She had refused to have her breasts removed because she feared that without breasts her husband would leave her. She died when she had a chance to live. Part of what informed her decision is the way society fetishises breasts and makes women feel incomplete, unwomanly and undesirable without them. What this hashtag does is reinforce this toxic idea.

For many breast cancer survivors, wearing a bra is necessary for maintaining a pre-cancer shape and maintaining their former shape is very important to many survivors and for complex reasons. In this light, the trite idea of casting off your bra is deeply insensitive.

Clearly, no one has consulted with either breast cancer survivors or breast cancer charities because if they had, this hashtag would never have happened.

By all means, get your tits out online if that is your thing…but don’t pretend this has anything to do with breast cancer awareness.

Badly done, twitter. Badly done.

I give the last word to Hazel, a survivor…

hazel2a

hazel1a

hazel3

3 thoughts on “#NoBrainDay

  1. I happened to click on the hashtag on Twitter to see what it’s all about and I saw ur tweet. I have also read the above blog post and I agreed with what u say!:)

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  2. Well. To me, every day is “No bra day” – by which I mean that I just wear a shirt and a jumper, and no bra underneath. Nothing interesting to see there.
    That sort of “no bra day” I could get behind, as a means of raising awareness that women’s breasts are totally allowed to be saggy or flat, or whatever.

    “My aunt died of breast cancer at the age of 49. She had refused to have her breasts removed because she feared that without breasts her husband would leave her.”

    So sad. And of course, fetishizing breasts more and more (as this hashtag probably did, I won’t google the pictures) will ensure that women will make that same decision over and over.

    When will women finally understand that by imitating porn, we will not further any feminist causes? Men already look at porn, if such was likely to make them respect women more, it would have already happened.

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  3. “When will women finally understand that by imitating porn, we will not further any feminist causes? Men already look at porn, if such was likely to make them respect women more, it would have already happened.” Excellent point and thank you for your comment

    Like

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