Anger at Donald Trump and what he represents, isn't new; at least it isn't new for me. But somehow his comments about the bodies of girls and women, have reached a new low, something that is personal and cutting.
A propos of cutting there are way too many people, women in particular, who have had breast cancer with the inevitable consequences of chemotherapy and surgery. Some women choose to do breast reconstruction, while many younger women are apparently deciding to "go flat", for reasons of comfort and athleticism. An organization actually exists to support women who want to "go flat" after cancer for different reasons. One of the reasons is the fatigue that comes from multiple surgeries, particularly after the trauma of surgery resulting from cancer.
It's been pretty widely documented, the traumas of cancer and chemo and losing hair all over the body. Then there is, for those of us who have chosen against reconstructive surgery, the conundrum of whether to use the prostheses available, and as such to exercise the right to remain anonymous--as in not declaring oneself an obvious cancer survivor--at least in public. And there is of course the choice to remain bra-less and try psychologically and through dress, to limit the shame and self-consciousness of not hiding the flatness.
But let me cut (pun intended) to the chase. I have been leaning toward a gradual shift to bra-less-ness. It didn't start out as a political statement or even as a physical issue. It's just been happening, with the sweat and at times annoyance of wearing it, and the comfort coming without it.
Just recently, however I've started to channel my plentiful supplies of oppositionalism, to consider the flatness as a show of pride. Look, I know as much as anyone that in America, young and full chested in a woman is the deal. It is, as Donald Trump, might say, the beginnings of being worthy of a "10". At the same time, I have witnessed a shift in certain places, where older can be beautiful, even with wrinkles--and where women can feel okay in their bodies--at least in concept.
So, if I haven't made myself clear already, this blog is really about Donald Trump, and the effects he can have on girls and women of all ages. This does mean that he can't have an effect also on men's perception and tendencies (past and present) to objectify and thus abuse women and demean them. It is actually an effect of listening to Trump's degrading comments about women that I begin to I see in my mind's eye a tee shirt coming about being flat chested on purpose. It's not about really wanting to start a fad (although that might make me ever more comfortable) but about making a statement. Even those of us who have been cut by cancer deserve a sense of dignity in our bodies. Don't you think?
I have no intention of being known for having breast cancer, for making myself the bearer of pink ribbons galore (wow has that damaged my vision of a color I like!). I do, however, fancy myself adding to the voices of women and girls everywhere about deserving respect, both for our physical beings and for the human nature of all our parts.
Cancer cuts, and chemo cuts and mutilation cuts and sex trafficking cuts, as does the humiliation at the hands of anyone who is or seems to have power over us at a given time. So, if there is a chance for women to use our votes, and for the men who love us to do the same, to make sure there is not a misogynist leading our country, now is our time. This is personal, as it is political, and shows the political being Donald Trump as ruthless in being willing to offend all of us, based on race and gender, immigration status and looking anything like Rosie O'Donnell.
Trump's comments (see the political ad by Clinton on Mother Jones) are not unique in a world where many still demean women and in some places even have a right to own them. It can be easy for many of us to forget how many women across the globe are still oppressed, and how even in America, there is still a great deal women are up against in terms of respect and wages, to name a couple. Cutting down the status of a woman based on her appearance is a backward and sadistic tactic by someone who relishes in his power in general.
On a more personal note, it feels liberating to me to go bra-less some of the time. However here my urge is to defend myself and other women against Mr. Trump who has his own idiosyncrasies (physical as well) to be sure. In an attempt to be really kind, if this were the only barrier to his stability on personal and political levels of Donald Trump, perhaps he then would see his way to getting psychological help for his prejudices. But this is not the case.
I hope that women with cancer, past or present, will see the light here. We can't afford to go backwards to the demeaning of women or any shape or size and to sending them into depression and worse. And while of course, there are other populations that suffer the indignities of insult and rejection.
Another affirmation--or just an affirmative statement--the one in my head right now, is "Even those whose breasts have been cut, we can be a 10. We are women; we are people; hear us; see us, let us see each other."