Rant: (please do not read if you fear negative emotion)

An angry woman is…Unattractive? Empowered? Humorless? Got into a little back and forth last month commenting on an article. I agreed with said article that the “save the ta-tas” slogan can be offensive. Yes, the intent of the slogan is to remind women to get mammograms to detect breast cancer, but is it to save women’s lives or their breasts? To me, those 3 words are pretty clear which is to be saved—yes I know that people behind the slogan would say mammograms save lives, and that is their intent, blah blah blah…but that’s not what it says. I know some people don’t have a problem with it, but I wish the person who responded to my comment had not suggested I get counseling!

Why is it that if a woman (and anyone really) expresses anger or other negative emotions, (and is anger always negative—can it not be made positive?) therapy and/or drugs are automatically suggested? ALL feelings are valid, and I think my anger (which is quite common in cancer patients recently out of treatment), motivates me to action. How can the status quo be challenged unless we act, demand answers? And, yes, the status quo of how the fight against breast cancer certainly needs to be challenged.

So, what is wrong with this desire/motivation to act and challenge? I know from my conversations with other cancer patients (in my support group, see I AM doing therapy) that being angry or depressed or bitter or whatever is valid and ok. This societal pressure of “think positive” or quash the negative is so oppressive! Why are some people uncomfortable with anger? Why do they think people who experience anger cannot also experience happiness or humor, and need counseling? Do they suggest counseling to make the angry person feel better, or themselves? Probably the latter. I pity people who think life should be nothing but positive emotions. Didn’t someone once say if you aren’t angry, you aren’t paying attention?

Author: Cancer Curmudgeon

Oct 2010 diagnosed with Stage 3, HER2+ Breast Cancer. Completed treatment Jan 2012. Waaaaaay over pink. Applying punk rock sensibility to how I do cancer.

4 thoughts on “Rant: (please do not read if you fear negative emotion)”

  1. Oh my goodness. Needing counselling just because we express a little anger seems a touch extreme to me. Then again I’ve been accused of being an angry redhead on numerous occasions – so many that it makes me laugh! As I see it having a full range of emotions is a positive thing and being able to express them is also positive. Bottling it all up doesn’t help us one iota…. so let it out. We can’t be responsible for other people’s emotions, they could chose to have a little patience with our point of view rather than questioning our mental health 🙂


  2. Thanks so much for the follow. I’m returning the favor.

    Seriously, it took me about two sentences to figure out we may have a similar take on this cancer bs.

    I, too, am Not censoring myself, which I think you’ve already realized if that was you exploring my blog recently.

    If it helps any, I’m giving you permission to feel, experience, share and vocalize, anger or any other emotion that happens to come along . . . I myself, have variously been angry, pissed off and sometimes even f-ing (in case you’re not into the cussing thing) pissed off (but you get what I’m saying. :))!

    Feel free to reach out directly if you’re so inclined.


  3. “The status quo of how the fight against breast cancer certainly needs to be challenged.”

    Cancer Curmudgeon, I agree! I think all of the “pinkness” has painted breast cancer as less of a monster than it really is — and it does us all a grave disservice because (in my opinion, anyway!) we are missing the point.

    We SHOULD be angry. Rose-colored glasses haven’t brought a cure or a vaccine, but maybe some anger and honesty will.

    Thank you for telling it like it is!!


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