Oh brother. David Jay, a professional photographer who counts among his work a project titled the “Scar Project” in which he posted photographs of female cancer victims and their accompanying mastectomy scars on Facebook, recently celebrated the big social site’s turnabout concerning a decision it made in May when Jay first posted the photos. At that time, Facebook banned Jay for 30 days, ruling that his photos violated Facebook’s Puritanical nudity policy.
Soon after being kicked off Facebook, Jay tweeted about what happened and got the attention of 53-year-old Susan “Scorchy” (her screen name) Barrington, a New York City-based woman with stage IV breast cancer and founder of the blog The Sarcastic Boob. The next day, Barrington put together a petition asking Facebook to reconsider their policy and, with the help of Change.org, secured more than 20,000 signatures in a little more than a week.
“These were not sexualized images objectifying women— these are images of what breast cancer really is,” Barrington says. “It’s so much more than just a pink ribbon. Breast cancer is still the fastest killer of women ages 18 to 34.”
In response to this quickly popular petition, a representative from Facebook contacted Barrington and Change.org to quickly squash the notion that the site is against the mastectomy process. They confirmed that they are not trolling the site to censor these kinds of images and admitted that they needed to clarify some guidelines, especially with regard to photos like these that raise awareness, help with healing, and give so many people hope to beat the disease.
Facebook posted the following statement regarding the new guidelines:
“We agree that undergoing a mastectomy is a life-changing experience and that sharing photos can help raise awareness about breast cancer and support the men and women facing a diagnosis, undergoing treatment, or living with the scars of cancer. The vast majority of these kinds of photos are compliant with our policies. However, photos with fully exposed breasts, particularly if they’re unaffected by surgery, do violate Facebook’s Terms. These policies are based on the same standards which apply to television and print media, and that govern sites with a significant number of young people.”
One of my Facebook friends lauded this. Called it a “victory.” A victory for what, I must ask. I don’t understand what it is that drives feminists/liberals/cult of mammary oncology types when it comes to random and pointless public displays of “recognition.” It’s all about “awareness.” I do believe we are all very, very aware of breast cancer, and cancer in general, for the scourge it represents to a modern society that prides itself on eating correctly and utilizing science to conquer the unkown.
I wonder if Facebook would be OK with male cancer victims posting photos of lone remaining testicles, diseased and excised prostates, or even the aftereffects of a penectomy? I doubt it. Men are poor cultivators of self-pity and are pathetic at egregious victim peddling, and they sure can’t depend on women to do it for them as they are too busy fixating on their own tits.