*drags soap box over and steps up*
I have boobs and I’m not afraid to use them!
If you play on Twitter, then you may be aware of #boobiewednesday or #boobiewed. If you aren’t, then I’m happy to explain it.
Every Wednesday, women and men all over the world put up various avatars displaying either bare chests or cleavage. Some are actual pictures of the Twitter user, some are pictures of models they find attractive. Whichever picture they choose, its purpose is to capture your attention. The question is asked: What is #boobiewednesday? And that is when the awareness begins.
I have been putting up an avatar of my cleavage for almost two years now. I do this every week to assist the @boobiewed team in bringing awareness to the Twitter community. The whole purpose of Boobie Wednesday is to remind women and men to do their monthly self-breast exams and to have a yearly mammogram. In addition, they also invite cancer survivors, family members, and supporters to send in their stories to be posted on the site. It’s another wonderful way to help educate people.
It takes a lot of courage to post a picture of your cleavage or bare chest for hundreds, possibly thousands, to see. Some are fake breasts, some are real breasts. Some are the reconstructed breasts of cancer survivors who have had mastectomies. I commend the men and women who do this weekly. I am very proud of my breasts and I am happy to display my cleavage if it helps bring awareness.
However, not everyone approves of how Twitter users support #BoobieWed. And, ya know, that’s okay. There are, of course, people who put up avatars just to get attention for themselves, and that’s okay, too. What someone chooses to show publicly or on Twitter is their business. To each his or her own.
Here is what you need to know: The BoobieWed crew has never asked, nor required, their supporters to show their cleavage or bare chests. The one thing they have asked them to do is to use one of these hashtags: #boobiewed or #boobiewednesday. That’s it. It’s that simple.
Last week some things happened on Twitter that deeply disturbed me. When I signed on, I noticed that two of my Twitter friends and me were being harassed because of our cleavage avatars. A women that none of us knew approached all three of us at once and began shaking her electronic finger at us. She accused us of degrading and objectifying women because we chose to put up avatars displaying our cleavage. She said we had no self-respect, no standards, and that we were oppressing women everywhere. She called me a hussie, a twit, and a slut. And she has, of course, deleted those tweets. But here’s the thing: she did all of this in the name of “feminism.” She accused me of being a feminist who did nothing but support the status quo. She brought up issues of salary and the differences between men and women and then said that I shouldn’t complain about these things if I was just going to show my “tits” all over Twitter and objectify and oppress women everywhere. She also attacked the @boobiewed Twitter account.
Now, let me just say that when someone comes at me like this, I feed them to my tweet stream. So that is exactly what I did. And my followers ate her alive. I sat and watched the stream erupt and the fight went on for about three hours. This woman made a lot of people angry. Men and women. People were on fire over this, and I really can’t blame them.
My point in telling you this story is not to lambaste this woman again. My point is that a very important movement got twisted into something so wrong and ugly it made me take pause and wonder why. All in the name of feminism? Really? This is not the first time Boobiewed has taken hits from so-called feminists, but I have never seen it this bad before.
I have never claimed to be a feminist. I do however, claim that as a woman, as a citizen of the United States, and a Twitter user, have the right to show my cleavage if I choose to do so. And you have the right to not look and to not follow me on Twitter. You also have the right to disagree with my choice. But the minute you start being nasty and insulting, you’ve lost all credibility. If exercising my rights as a woman to show my body upsets you that much, then that is truly your problem. Telling me I’m wrong and shaking your finger at me and then telling me what I should or should not do seems an awful lot like telling me to get in the back of the bus or that I should hide my body because it’s shameful or that I don’t have a right to own my body. How, then, can you be a feminist claiming you support equal rights? Isn’t that the same thing as oppressing me?
Boobiewed is a wonderful cause. Every day, the team sends out information that helps educate the masses. It’s another way to support breast cancer awareness. The people that support it do so in the manner that they are comfortable with. I’ll tell you something else. Every week I get the typical “Hey nice avi” tweet from a man, I say, “Thank you.” Then I tell him why my cleavage is on display. I also ask him, “Did you know men get breast cancer too?” At least once a week, someone answers me back with, “I did not know that.” So please, do not tell me that this does not raise awareness. That it doesn’t serve as a reminder. Because I know it does. Women on Twitter tell me every week that if it was not for #boobiewed, they would forget to do their self-checks. This is good stuff, people, and I will continue to support the team for as long as I stay on Twitter.
Thank you to the @boobiewed team for what they do week after week. It’s not always easy when you have to deal with some of the negative backlash that comes when you stand on the front lines. I vow to stand with you always, though. And to the woman who went on a rampage last week: You’re in my prayers. It’s very clear to me that whatever you struggle with truly has nothing to do with my avatar or anyone else’s. Whatever it is, I hope you find peace with it.
*steps off soap box*
Much love to you all.