WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Breast Cancer Month — Substituting crude for creative means no class

Babbs in the Woods

I don’t get easily offended. Not anymore. Not after raising three sons and living a military lifestyle that took us everywhere.

But I am disgusted during the month of October when people try to be oh-so-clever with breast cancer awareness campaigns that use edgy, vulgar and/or juvenile slogans. You know what I mean: using words like tatas, rack, boobs – all inserted in cutesy slogans that Madison Avenue feeds us. The type of phrases that 7th grade boys would wear on their bracelets because they can now get away with wearing the word “boob” in school. And many of our sisters in the outdoor industry hop on this roller coaster in the name of fun and games and fund raising. They substitute crudity for creativity.

Why does this bother me? Well for one thing, guess what? Men get breast cancer, too. Only about one percent of breast cancer occurs in men, but it still happens. Do we think less of a man who has to have a mastectomy than we do of a woman who has the same operation?

And, for another thing? I have friends who lost their breasts to cancer. Does that mean that makes any of them less of a “woman?” Does it mean that if a woman survives but doesn’t “save her tatas,” that there’s something less attractive about her because two lumps of fatty tissue are no longer protruding from her chest?

And yet another thing … I nursed my babies. That’s the original intent of breasts. So why do men have nipples? No clue. Don’t care. But, that’s why they’re there.

Ultimate in class — not.

So “save the breast cancer slogans” and just don’t go there. I know, some of you are thinking, “But, Babbs … they are just using the breast to get to the real point – that women need to be vigilant about mammograms and health issues.”

There are little girls watching us, men and boys watching us and other women watching us … for crying out loud women in the industry. Forget about saving the tatas and think about saving grace and class and what’s refreshing about life. Think about what it means when impressionable little girls look at that trashy slogan splashed across your chest, or even worse, a guy’s chest.


And that’s one of the main reasons we love, and I mean love, Casting for Recovery. This fine non-profit hosts fly-fishing weekend retreats for women who are recovering from or who are experiencing breast cancer. The two-and-a-half day retreat offers fly-fishing instruction along with methods to gain self-esteem, make new friends and also provides a forum to broaden understanding about breast cancer treatment.

According to CFR: Knowing little about fly fishing, women learn the basics while experiencing a spirit of trust and sharing that cannot be put into words.

Participating at your own comfort level, you will find new strength, joy, and confidence, leaving the retreat with a belief in your ability to master the challenges ahead.

The Casting for Recovery program has generated a wide circle of survivors whose new-found understanding and enthusiasm creates ripples outward in their communities, among their friends, families, and colleagues, helping improve the quality of their lives. Learn more about Casting for Recovery.


Kathryn Maroun. Fully clothed while fishing. Submitted photo

This philosophy falls within the line of thought of one of our favorite fishermen, Kathryn Maroun, who, along with her husband, established Casting for Recovery in Canada in 2004. Kathryn recently blogged about the importance of being a classy role model. She would never wear a set of antlers across her chest.

Let’s replace crude with “creative” and “classy.”

  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.


The Conversation

  • Casey says: October 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    At the very most, I am mildly amused by the crassness. Are we supporting breast cancer research because we love ‘tatas,’ ‘headlights, ‘racks,’ and ‘boobies’? Or are we supporting it because we want to shorten (and ultimately stop) the miserable experience for those who are suffering and have suffered through it. And by suffering, we mean truly. Chemo. Radiation. Exhaustion. Nausea. Dying. t’s not just about cleavage, folks. I have never worn anything that says “I <3 Boobies." Regardless of what it is supposed to represent.

    On another note, there is actually a book called Why do Men have Nipples? and the answer is this: In the womb, before any type of gender-specific genes have been expressed, nipples are formed. Apparently this occurs sometime during the basic development of the baby's skin, which occurs well before any type of sexual development. Furthermore, the default sex of a baby is female, until the DNA instructs otherwise. Interesting stuff, huh?

  • Bill Bowers says: October 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Another great column, Barbara! Classy and poignant. And a friend of mine is a male breast cancer survivor.

  • Marti Davis says: October 16, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I’m with you Barb. Support and awareness can be and should be handled without crude and demeaning catch phrases.

  • Ellen Benitz says: October 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Amen Barb! It seems my FB page is full of sites trying to get me to buy these shirts and frankly I wouldn’t wear them! Just ’cause it’s pink doesn’t mean it supports breast cancer either. If folks really want to support awareness then they need to make a donation directly to the Susan B. Komen foundation. Thanks for giving us an opportunity to sound off about this.