Porn or Promise?

breastcancer

As I train to walk the Avon Breast Walk to raise money for breast cancer (and my specific interest in providing funding for low-income women–and men–dealing with this illness), I plan to highlight various aspects of this disease.

This one caught my eye. I lifted the words from the Change.org petition. Have you heard of Change.org? It’s a brilliant, grassroots effort (brainchild of my friend, Adam), and it’s changing the way people are heard. Suppression isn’t as easy as it used to be.

Here’s the story, straight off the petition:

The SCAR Project is a series of photographs of young breast cancer survivors shot by photographer David Jay. The SCAR Project is an exercise in awareness, hope, reflection and healing. Its mission is to raise public consciousness of early-onset breast cancer, and to help young survivors see their scars, faces, figures and experiences through a new, honest and ultimately empowering lens.

Yet Facebook has been removing photos from The SCAR Project page. They’ve even banned David Jay, internationally known photographer and founder of the project, from posting for 30 days. They also asked Anne Marie Giannino-Otis at Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer to remove post-mastectomy photographs from her Facebook page.

Facebook says these photos violate their policy — essentially putting these images in the same category as pornography. The Scar Project, Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer, and other pages like them do not objectify or sexualize the human anatomy. They document the physical and emotional toll of women and men who have undergone mastectomies. They raise awareness of the disease and reinforce the need for early intervention and research toward a cure. This is the reality of breast cancer. BREAST CANCER IS NOT A PINK RIBBON.

As a woman living with Stage IV breast cancer, photos like The Scar Project help me feel a little less alone in what I’m going through. With so many young women facing breast cancer diagnoses, I know these photos give them hope, too. By removing the photos, Facebook is sending us a message that our struggle with this disease should be kept in the dark.

Facebook needs to update their policies to support men and women fighting cancer and living with the scars of the disease. According to Facebook policy, breastfeeding isn’t the same as nudity: “We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and we’re glad to know that it’s important for mothers to share their experiences with others on Facebook.” So, why is breast cancer considered a violation? Women fighting breast cancer are also beautiful, and I can’t think of a more important experience to share with others than one that raises awareness of the disease and helps other women who are facing treatment.

Facebook recently listened to users who asked them to strengthen their policies around hate speech against women, so if enough of us ask them to take a stand FOR the fight against breast cancer, they’ll have to listen.

Tell Facebook these photos aren’t offensive, and they need to update their policies to support people fighting and living with breast cancer.

In the end, over 20,000 people agreed that this is crap. FB has changed their policy. Click on the link to see.

https://www.change.org/petitions/facebook-stop-censoring-photos-of-men-and-women-who-have-undergone-mastectomies?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=26252&alert_id=LAHgLGOemR_uIJWSPDmlj

This is healthy living at its best. You see something that’s wrong. You tell other people. They see it too. You take one more step as a change agent–you do something constructive. Change happens, and we all evolve. (www.gethealthywithjamie.com)

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About jamieweilhealthcoach

I'm on a mind-body-spirit journey. At first, I thought health was about the physical body, but I'm discovering it's so much more than that. I've learned that it's more about serving and connecting with others than anything else. It's about being in the world in a blissful way. Before I blog, I meditate on what my readers need to hear--what will inspire them. Then, I write it. (www.getstrongblog.com)
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7 Responses to Porn or Promise?

  1. Janet says:

    When I first heard of the Facebook/SCAR Project controversy a few weeks ago curiosity got the best of me and I went to SCAR Project website to learn more. I was in awe of these brave individuals and thought the pictures were beautifully done.

  2. Raena Korenman says:

    One needs to wonder about Facebook censorship….they allow countries to rant about other countries (ie. Arab sites about Israel), allow the print of often treasonous or downright dangerous comments…. But breast cancer, mastectomies are pornographic? It could happen to mark Zuckerbers mom or dad just as easily as millions of others!

    It is not porn, it is life saving, no different than an amputee photo. And shows strength and pride In doing what was right to save a life!
    Cousin,
    Raena Endick Korenman
    2 years post double mastectomy

    • Yep, Raena. They were looking pretty sketch. In the end, though, they sent an ambassador to the woman who initiated the petition, had a conversation, and did the right thing. This change thing–it’s powerful. As Susan and I walk through the streets of San Francisco on the Avon Breast Walk this Fall, we will do so with you close to our heart! Thanks for weighing in and congrats on your survivor status. I’d love to hear your personal story if you’d be willing to email it to me: jamieweilwrites@gmail.com.

  3. What a spectacular and important post Jamie! Thank you so much for shining light on this FB debacle, and the happy ending that can happen when people speak out. Breast feeding and breast cancer recovery are all beautiful (not the disease but the battle against it). It is most definitely not pornography, and a great snag to catch them on… if feeding is acceptable to be viewed, why would the battle against and recovery from this often fatal disease not be?
    Thanks for this inspiring and empowering post Jamie, and I will be cheering you on during your walk this Fall. I will look into what is happening up here and see what I can join.
    Cheers, Gina

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