Thursday, February 7, 2013

I am still a WOMAN

This week the St. Catharines Standard ran the picture you see
above under the heading,
"I am still a WOMAN".

The newspaper photo included her face

and took up 3/4 of the front page.

It was shocking,

and the reader was supposed to see it as

a visual punch in the jaw to cancer.


But it was very wrong.


Her statement that she is still a woman is absolutely true.

And to publish a picture of the face and naked torso of any

woman in our community should be seen as totally

immoral at worst, an assault on her dignity at best.
But sick people are vulnerable people.

And sick, pretty, young women are vulnerable AND exploitable.

Try to imagine the photo of a man who had lost

a testicle to cancer posed on the front page

in a similar manner.

The Standard usually does an outstanding job giving voice to

the struggles of the people in this community,

but not this time.






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Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm assuming she consented to the use of her photo in this way by the newspaper. Surely no publisher would be stupid enough to use it without consent?

The Episcopagan said...

She did not have a problem posing for the picture.

She is sick and she is someone's daughter but not the daughter of anyone on the newspaper's editorial board I'm sure.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

There is a lot of this in the news lately. One woman did a whole photo shoot with a photography friends of hers; she wanted to show that women are still beautiful. Another photographer took an assortment of photos to create a book (I think it was a book). So it's becoming quite common. All of these women are consenting to this, of course, and it looks like it's becoming popular. I haven't given it much thought, and I'm not quite sure how I feel about all this.

momto8 said...

was the implication it is breasts that make a woman?!

The Episcopagan said...

Thgere is a diference when women take their own pictures for their own purposes. There is also a difference between a book and a newspaper. This was so big and SO on the front page it became sensationalism. And although legally the newspaper had the right to publish it - morally I think they were wrong.

Jane said...

I have noticed a lot of women cancer survivors posting these kinds of pics of late. And yes, I agree that you'd never see a man posting the same kind of intimate pics of himself. I wonder why women feel the need to?

Society has made women's breasts such a focal point and we can all remember the agony of going through puberty - the teasing and feeling like you were under a giant microscope, worrying that you'd never quite measure up. These women obviously feel their femininity/womanhood is in question now that their breasts have been removed. I agree with you that they are very vulnerable.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I will say that if she felt comfortable with it. If to her this was a way to stick it to cancer, we might take something away from her sacrifice by saying that she is a sick woman.

I heard the parents and relatives of many of my clients, saying things like, "He/She doesn't know what she/he is doing." "It's trauma." "Before she/he was sick/broken, s/he would have never..." and you know what? Those were the painful comment.

These kind of physical 'loses' change a person. And I'm talking from the point of view of someone who has lost a few chunks.

Let's hope that she is a strong-minded lady who understands exactly what this article/picture means and that she is proud of it and facing life with eyes opened and teeth bared. Sometimes (and now I'm talking for me) that is the only way.

The Episcopagan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Episcopagan said...

Such a difficult image and so many points of view and ways to look at it. Thanks, everyone. Just to clarify, when I wrote that she was sick i meant physically sick not mentally.

I believe the newspaper is very proud of the image as yesterday they were using it as their status picture. Certainly we have more cancer in this area than in most other areas of Ontario and the fight against this decease must go on.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi Francie!

I kept seeing your icon pop up on the blogs I follow, so today out of curiosity, I checked out your blog. I'm so glad I did! So glad that I became a follower.

That image in the paper was certainly provocative. A smaller photo in the paper might have gotten the point across without the sensationalism.

I am curious as to why there is so much cancer in your part of Ontario?

Have a good weekend!


This is interesting and thought-provoking. I am also not sure how I feel about this. My immediate reaction was yes! you ARE still a beautiful woman! It obviously meant something positive to this lady to do this. But I understand what you are saying as well. Again, interesting and thought-provoking!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

VERY thought-provoking post. I would love to know the story of how the picture (and the headline) came to be.

Doug Jamieson said...

Like some of the other commenters, I am ambivalent about this. Certainly, I hope she is not being exploited, but she seems to be a very brave young woman making a powerful statement. If the latter, I applaud her.

I think it is healthy that we can now talk about these things openly.