Opinions

All the hits and too many tits

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Amp 90.3 is a radio station that knows what women want: sultry come-grab-me breasts. This summer, hundreds of women will participate in the radio station’s contest “breast summer ever,” in order for the chance to win a $10,000 breast augmentation — follow up surgery, treatment and any extra costs must be covered by the contest winner. To honour this occasion, the Gauntlet awards Amp radio our inaugural Outstanding Enforcer of the Patriarchy Award.

Amp contestants will send in a picture of themselves, where judges will deliberate — obviously intensely and fairly — to decide on who is most deserving of this vehement prize. Ten finalists will be chosen and their pictures will be posted so that listeners can rate which candidate they want to have the biggest (or most shapely) knockers, considering all factors of course.

Women and men undergo plastic surgery all of the time; since 2000 cosmetic procedures have increased 49 per cent, according to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons. After an individual has thought long and hard about what is a life-changing decision, it is their prerogative to fix what they deem to be a major adverse affliction. What Amp radio is doing with this contest, however, is thrusting young women into a surgery that should not be taken lightly.

Amp is telling women that they are not good enough the way they are and suggest other women follow in the winner’s footsteps.

According to the National Institute of Medicine, 25 to 40 percent of individuals who get breast implants need correction surgery to fix something wrong with the first one. That is at least one of four women who are put at risk because of a ‘beautification’ surgery.

Why, then, do over 250,000 women get breast implants in America alone? The obvious answer is pressure from media that show us what the ‘ideal’ woman is supposed to look like. Calgarians have to face a much more monstrous feat —Amp radio does not portray fake women, but they encourage local women to go under a knife because the opportunity presents itself. Misogynistic contests like Amp’s “breast summer ever” tell women to look for faults where none exist.

Worst of all is how this competition caters to the 16–24 male audience. There is no better way to reach out to hormone raging males than to bolster them to objectify women. Amp radio is blatantly encouraging a rise in patriarchy that has no place in our society.

Such contests are, unfortunately, common. Reality shows like Fox’s The Swan took women they deemed “ugly” and changed them, through various cosmetic surgeries, into what five judges thought to be “beautiful.” Journalist Jennifer Pozner was probably right when she said the series was “the most sadistic reality series in a decade,” although we don’t like to pick winners.

To be sure, we are constantly bombarded by advertisements encouraging us to change our image — either through a new car, cologne, clothing or, yes, breasts. Using attractive people to sell products is nothing new. Amp’s contest, however, preys on the insecure to make it particularly worthy of censure. So stay classy Amp radio.

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Comments

You\'re failing to take into account that it is \"augmentation,\" not just \"implants.\" Some women suffer from severe back problems because of large breasts but cannot afford to have them reduced. The words \"augmentation\" and \"implants\" are not synonymous, and you should not use them as such.

If the winner had a mastectomy, they would very likely also be covered for breast reconstruction in Canada.

Talk to fifty women and fifty men about this subject. I can guarantee that well meaning men are more concerned about the issue than women are. But the fact is, we don\'t need you to defend us and stop us from being objects blah blah blah. Let us do what makes US happy. If that happens to be breast augmentation, so be it.

According to the CBC, breast reduction is covered by Canadian healthcare if done for medical reasons (back pain for example) thus the contestants would be unlikely to go with the reduction option.

ReRe, the point is moot because augmentation means:

The action or process of making or becoming greater in size or amount.

You can\'t argue Amp originally conceived of this competition to aid a women\'s back problems. They may be saying that now, but that\'s not what they originally anticipated. Also, read Geoff\'s comment.

and if the contest winner is a breast cancer survivor? Not everyone entering this contest is a stripper.

Furthermore, as men you really have no right to be so outraged on the issue because you really do not know what it is like to have breasts.

@ReRe that argument was made in my first year nursing class. \"You\'ll never know what is like to have a baby.\" A pretty good conversation killer, and credibility killer at that.

And, yes, men have breasts. Some of us are quite well-endowed, too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gynecomastia

@ReRe You are fooling yourself if you think that it\'s only men who are upset over this contest. Breast cancer survivors are an exception and I can guarantee that there would be no complaints if the contest was \"Give a Breast Cancer Survivor a Breast Augmentation\", but alas, it is not.

@ReRe
1)Look at the list of editors working for this paper. Most of them are women.
2)A hypothetical women wanting to do something with her breasts, whatever that is, is not a problem. The issue is that a very real radio station is exploiting a situation that should be a personal choice and not an event paradeded around to increase ratings. That is exploitation.

It is not exploitation if you make the conscious choice to take part in something. In Canada, we are fortunate enough to have the freedom to do basically anything we want to (assuming it is legal). We persue our wants and desires, and if a woman uses this opportunity to attain something that she wants there is nothing wrong with that!! If you don\'t like the contest, don\'t vote and don\'t participate. In a country that is always fighting for rights and freedoms it is interesting how oppressive we can be supposedly for the sake of equality for women.

No one is saying that they shouldn\'t be allowed to have the right to make such a contest, no one is suggesting opression.
People are just using their freedom of speech to say that the contest is in bad taste.

This is one of the most well-researched and written editorials I\'ve seen published in the gauntlet in a while, and it\'s a shame some people (okay, maybe just one person) decided to react apparently without reading it the whole way through, making no solid criticisms of any points in the article.

The editorial board\'s position can be summed up in one line from the fourth-to-last paragraph:

\"Misogynistic contests like Amp’s \'breast summer ever\' tell women to look for faults where none exist.\"

This isn\'t a matter of Amp\'s free speech. No one is saying they shouldn\'t be allowed to talk about breasts on their radio shows (or at least not here). Nor is it about helping cancer survivors, or women whose breasts are too large or whatever other legitimate reasons for plastic surgery there may be. Although Amp may accept such women as eligible contestants, that is clearly not in the spirit of a contest asking listeners to rate women on the defectiveness of their bodies all the while pandering to the penises of young men to perpetuate the idea that the women are born (or grow into bodies that are) in some way inadequate.

This isn\'t a matter of a bunch of men feeling like they need to protect women, either. I would be equally disgusted by a contest that promotes penis enlargement (I guess \"Penis Summer Ever\" just doesn\'t have the same ring to it), which I think is perhaps as sensitive of a topic, albeit with no real market to exploit through a contest like this (as a man, I know what it means to have a penis, though I agree I don\'t know what it means to have breasts).

Free speech, in this case, comes down on the side of the editorial board, who have chosen to use their soapbox to make well-researched, fact-based criticisms, rather than desperately grasping for anything (be it inaccurate definitions of the word \'augmentation\' or constitutional law) to justify their own irrational opinions.

Bravo, gauntlet editorial board. I dislike a lot of things, and you\'re not one of those things.

I don\'t think that contests like this one make women feel badly about themselves; it actually does the exact opposite for me! When I see women with low self esteem undergo a public transformation I laugh at how shallow and impressionable they are, then I thank my parents for bringing me up to be a confident, well adjusted person. Contests like this don\'t make most women feel inadequate, they make us happy that we aren\'t that foolish. I doubt that this contest will make people \"follow in the winners footsteps,\" nor will it encourage \"a rise in patriarchy that has no place in our society.\"

Give girls some credit, boys. We are not all dummys with a low sense of self-worth.

(Also, arguing about definitions is kind of stupid and not the point of the article...)

The winner of the contest was a transgendered individual who cannot afford breast implants. Encouraging patriarchy? I don\'t think so.