Opinions

Staff Editorial: Breast cancer bracelets cross lines

The issue: Students are wearing “I heart boobies!” bracelets to school.

Our stance: There are better ways to raise awareness without being offensive or insensitive.

Looking around campus all semester, students have been sporting new, controversial “I heart boobies!” wristbands.

These are from the “I heart boobies!” campaign by The Keep A Breast Foundation, a non-profit organization created to raise breast cancer awareness among youth.

Schools nationwide from California to Florida have banned the bracelets because they believe the word “boobies” is inappropriate for their halls, according to a CBS News article.

CBS News also reported that two million bracelets were sold during October, which is designated breast cancer awareness month. Proceeds from the sales went to breast cancer research and education.

A hot-selling commodity, the bracelets have become a controversial object rather than a teaching tool.

What was intentionally intended to be a light-hearted way to raise money for cancer research has instead become offensive to many people, at least when worn by students at a school.

Depending on the person, the bracelets can be interpreted as extremely crude or even as borderline sexual harassment.

Wearing these bracelets is inappropriate for weekends, let alone the school environment.

According to Brophy’s student handbook, “Brophy believes in the inviolability and integrity of all persons: that we are created in God’s image and are of inestimable value. For these reasons, any form of harassment is completely contrary to this belief.”

Though Brophy’s student dress code policy does not specifically ban the wearing of wristbands with inappropriate slogans, Brophy forbids students from wearing any type of clothing that advertises sexual exploitation or displays “obscene or suggestive lettering.”

Regardless of the intent, flaunting “boobies” on your arm is certainly suggestive.

As a newspaper it is our job to advocate for the First Amendment of the Constitution and the Freedom of Speech. However, this is not an issue of unjust oppression.

Just as the First Amendment does not allow you to yell “fire” in a crowded public place, it also does not allow you to flaunt inappropriate material in a school environment.

Ultimately there are better ways to raise awareness for cancer.

The Brophy baseball team found a way to support breast cancer last year by sporting pink instead of standard Bronco red.

They wore “pink shoelaces and wrist bands, and have pink ribbon stickers on the back of their helmets,” according to azcentral.com.

This year faculty members are doing their part to support cancer research in a productive and still light-hearted way.

Mo-vember is a charity event during the month of November. A team of faculty members is currently sporting moustaches to raise money for prostate and testicular cancer research.

It would be a plus if next year the administration could allow students to participate in Mo-vemeber, if they had sponsorship for the fundraiser.

Even if that does not happen, there are surely more productive avenues to raising awareness and funds that don’t involve branding names of anatomy parts in a school environment.

Staff editorial by Eric Villanueva ’11, Ian Beck ’12, Michael Mandeville ’11, Rohan Andresen ’12 and Alex Stanley ’12
Staff editorials represent the view of
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One Response

  1. No one has ever been trampled in a stampede by the yelling of the word “boobies.” The First Amendment is not bent to keep people from being offended. The only cases in which free speech is blocked is when it ACTUALLY compromises someone’s safety, as in the case of yelling “fire” in a theater.

    It is a sad day when people are offended by a reference to a body part in the diminutive. It is an even SADDER day when those are the people we listen to.

    Like mustaches, boobie bracelets raise awareness. Unlike mustaches, however, they ALSO contribute financially. If you’re arguing on merit, the bracelets have far more. I do not believe that it is remotely justifiable to ban something with great merit simply because a few people MIGHT be offended–by the word “boobies” of all things.

    The Mission, which all have seen at Brophy plenty of times, had all sorts of boobies. Boobies are beautiful and natural. When someone can somehow make something beautiful and natural into something offensive and ban-able, I think there are some priorities that we need to re-think.

    — A slightly confused and disgruntled alum

    Un-professional Post Script: Really people?! “BOOBIES”?!

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