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Florence Williams - Breasts: A Natural & Unnatural History
July 10, 2012 4:44 PM   Subscribe

Your Breasts Are Trying To Kill You: Slate reviews Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence WIlliams (an edited excerpt from the book re: breast milk in The Guardian - includes breastfeeding photo). NPR interview with Williams (41 min. audio and text highlights); a brief interview with Williams in The Star and a long interview in Maclean's. A recent piece by Williams in Slate: A new set of reports shows that federal policy on chemicals testing neglects breast health. Subject found via a post on IBTP discussing the ban, and then partial retraction of that ban, on allowing breast cancer survivor Jodi Jaecks to swim topless at a Seattle public pool - includes topless photo. Some may consider the photos noted NSFW.
posted by flex (19 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also by Florence Williams in Mother Jones - How a Bunch of Scrappy Marines Could Help Vanquish Breast Cancer: Exposed to poisoned water at Camp Lejeune, these vets may hold the key to a scourge that kills some 40,000 American women—and a few hundred men—per year.
posted by flex at 4:50 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I KNEW IT!!!

As if it's not enough that they ache, skew my posture, give me back, shoulder and neck problems, drain my wallet through pricey specialty garments that invariably cause more pain and discomfort, make my clothes never fit right, make sleeping comfortably impossible, create a gravity well for stranger's eyes and almost anything I eat, and let's not even start talking about density and mammograms... I always knew they were just hanging there, waiting to kill me.


Gives new meaning to 'killer rack'. Fucking boobs.

Also, great post! Thanks!

posted by ApathyGirl at 5:15 PM on July 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


(an edited excerpt from the book re: breast milk in The Guardian - includes breastfeeding photo)

You're going to cop heat from the lactavists for including that warning.
But as I am in the office just now I will thank you for it. And I will be sure do read these once I am home, as I am somewhat interested in the topic.
posted by Mezentian at 5:18 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


One only has to be a woman with larger boobs who has rolled over exactly wrong one night and wound up with a face full of your own tits to realize that your boobs are trying to kill you. Thus, I keep mine caged in a secure truss device except when showering.
posted by strixus at 5:25 PM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


The thing about a good self-examination taking 7 minutes per breast is why I suspect a lot of women (including me) don't do them on anything like a monthly basis.
posted by immlass at 5:33 PM on July 10, 2012


immlass: "The thing about a good self-examination taking 7 minutes per breast is why I suspect a lot of women (including me) don't do them on anything like a monthly basis."

Plus the cheery "and you need to press hard enough for it to hurt!"
posted by Lexica at 5:47 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Re: The breast cancer survivor being bravely prevented from spreading her shocking and subversive message about survival and acceptance, I don't understand why if the city is okay with women going topless at public beaches, a different facility run by the city is not okay women going topless. Why is the pool held to a different and seemingly arbitrary standard of "family-friendliness". They don't explain that in the story.
posted by bleep at 5:54 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


One only has to be a woman with larger boobs

As a woman with small breasts, I often feel like I'm not even allowed to comment on breast related issues because I apparently haven't suffered enough. But breast health issues like this affect everyone, so there you go.

Also, seriously what am I going to do with these things for 7 minutes per breast? Start doing laps?
posted by cabingirl at 6:36 PM on July 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


No offense meant, cabingirl. I've been on both ends of the spectrum, and I know the trials and tribulations of a small cup size.
posted by strixus at 7:27 PM on July 10, 2012


That Jodi Jaecks story really starkly illuminates the absurdity of US policies regarding women exposing their breasts in public. Almost as much as John Ashcroft having Justice's breasts covered.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:32 PM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow. Boobs are so scary / dangerous that, even if you have them surgically removed, you are not allowed in public without covering up where they used to be.

It's a strange world...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 7:34 PM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some company or other was giving away a Kindle on Facebook. You just had to like them and comment in the post. "Plus 100 free boobs!" they wrote. Obviously they meant books, but my entry was "Awesome! I hope I win. I've always wanted a fifty one-some!"

I didn't win.

A friend of mine is raising money for a breast cancer walk. She needs $1,800 to participate. No obligation, but her link is here. She's walking in honor and remembrance of a coworker who died of breast cancer. 39.3 miles!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:44 PM on July 10, 2012


Mine are not only trying to kill me, they are most certainly planning on taking several others as well.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:57 PM on July 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


A woman with no breasts is not allowed to swim topless. Hmm.
I always thought that if the Taliban took over my city then I could shave my head bald and go veil less. I guess not!
posted by swooz at 8:01 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Interestingly, one of the issues about her swimming topless was that it would possibly inhibit conservative Muslim women from wanting to share the public pool.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 9:35 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


[A couple of comments deleted; boob jokes and/or explaining how much you love them not really helpful here.]
posted by taz at 12:22 AM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Conservative Muslim women tend not to go to public pools in any case.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:19 AM on July 11, 2012


Imagine if America actually grew up and got over it's fake modesty.

What, too fantastic an idea to even consider? Yea, I guess you're right. My bad.
posted by Goofyy at 6:32 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


America. $5M over an exposed nipple. Cancer survivors have to cover their shameful bits. But shootings on prime-time TV are A-OK.

Yay, America.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:59 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


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