Wait Just a Minute! Words Matter!
Recently I stumbled upon a blog post with this title “Breast Reconstruction Makes Breast Cancer Patients Whole Again After Mastectomy.”
This particular choice of words immediately made me bristle. In fact, I found them down right irritating.
I think it’s the definitive nature of the statement that annoys, no offends me.
Breast reconstruction makes breast cancer patients whole again after mastectomy.
It doesn’t say breast reconstruction might help make you feel better about yourself. It doesn’t say it might make you whole again. No, it says it will. Hmm.
I couldn’t get the statement out of my head. That’s usually a sign a blog post is percolating.
This is when having your own blog comes in handy!
This particular title was on a plastic surgery website, so maybe it’s not all that surprising, but yet…
I applaud them for trying to educate women about the process of reconstruction and the options available to them. This is a good thing. However, making implied judgments about the decision is over-stepping in my view.
With or without breasts, women are whole; either way they are complete human beings.
A woman who chooses not to have breast reconstruction is not any less whole.
The fact that I did choose breast reconstruction does not make me whole either.
Somehow this all ties in with part of the reason I don’t care much for the tactics of various breast cancer awareness organizations like Feel Your Boobies, Save the TaTas and Second Base. They feed into this notion about femininity (and wholeness) being embodied primarily by a woman’s body parts, specifically her breasts.
In my opinion, even if unintended, that message is in there.
But this post is not about those organizations.
Once again, I spotted this particular title on a website that, in my view, should know better. This was a professional website geared to helping women who are balancing facts, opinions and harsh realities while trying to make life-changing decisions.
In my opinion, whoever penned this title should have chosen their words more carefully.
I know they meant well by this statement. I understand their point. I chose breast reconstruction myself. I get it. But still…
There are many reasons a woman chooses to do or not to do breast reconstruction.
A woman is whole no matter what route she takes.
How we say things matters.
It’s just that simple.
Words do matter.
Note: I recommend a visit to The Scar Project where breast cancer is not a pink ribbon. The Scar Project questions and defies society’s standard of beauty. These women are “whole” as well as beautiful.
When has someone’s choice of words offended, annoyed or angered you?