Monday, October 10, 2011

Darn those things

I apologize for the inconvenience, but the IBC awareness proclamation signing has been moved to Thursday, October 27th at 1:45.  Attendees should arrive 10 minutes before the signing.  If you want to come, please RSVP to hollyasman at gmail dot com.

I continue to be amazed by society's lack of respect for breasts, real or fake.  My friend Torey just sent me a link to this news article describing a woman who was embarrassed by airport security.  She survived bilateral mastectomy and had tissue expanders in place prior to future reconstruction.  This is a standard procedure for certain types of reconstruction because you can't just make a breast out of nothing; you either need to add tissue from other places or stretch the tissue that is there.  For the latter procedure, a plastic surgeon inserts this hard, fill-able pocket under the pectoral muscles and gradually injects saline over the course of several weeks until the new "breast" is of the desired size.  This is pocket is called a tissue expander, and it is replaced by a saline or silicone implant after the expansion is complete.  

These tissue expanders must have looked unusual on the x-ray, perhaps even bomb-like, and this poor woman was more or less harassed about them although she had proper medical documentation.  The officials did not allow her to present her documentation and insisted on feeling her up in front of the other passengers.  I can think of so many reasons that this would be awful, public humiliation aside--the breasts themselves were probably quite sore, and the woman is in the midst of a difficult breast transition period both physically and mentally.   Poor thing.      

Isn't it ironic that her real breasts were real and cancerous bombs, but her reconstructed breasts were the ones accused of suspicious activities?



  1. Proper use of the term irony! Teachers everywhere salute you!

    Airport security brings out the worst in everyone. Not to defend what happened in the situation you describe (and I read a similar story about a guy who had to show off his ostomy bag), but I do not envy TSA workers. I was flying Chicago-Boston on Sept 11 this year - of all days for airport security to have to be extra careful! - and listened to one person in line after another hurl abuse at the security agents.

    That said, would security personnel benefit from more awareness of, for example, post-surgery treatments/therapies/prostheses for folks dealing with cancer? Absolutely! And this is why it's so awesome that your sisters organized the proclamation. Advocacy and awareness are the first steps toward concrete action - whether it's better information for women and their families, more rigorous diagnostics for doctors, or more refined procedures for security agents when confronted with cleavage that looks non-standard to them.

  2. I have been sharing this and everyone is appalled. People are ignorant. Very sad.

  3. I know, right? That's why things such as our Proclamation are so important.