CNN's text for a piece about a new kind of breast cancer reconstruction surgery read: "Cancer Survivor Gets Her Girls Back." (My italics). Yup, you saw that correctly. I think the patient called them her girls and was referring to her own breast. But still.
We have evolved to the point of being able to say and write the word "vagina," can't we just call breasts breasts?
I am thrilled that we are finally in the thick of the pink-backlash. I used to cringe every time I went for my mammogram in the shocking pink office, handed my pink robe and changed in the pink dressing room. Breast cancer isn't cute or pretty or pink. Slate's DoubleX ran a special Burn-your-pink-edition which spotlighted Peggy Orenstein's piece in the New York Times magazine.
As Orenstein writes, pink sugar-coats a very real illness. Anyone who has gone through the cancer ordeal knows it's a whole lot different from running a 5K or walking from one Avon water stop to the next. Or as Orenstein put it, "a funny thing happened on the way to distigmatization. The experience of women with cancer, women like Rollin, Black, Ford and Rockefeller-women like me-got lost. Rather than truly breaking the silences, acceptable narratives of coping emerged, each tied up with a pretty pink bow."