I find it increasingly alarming that women get (you should pardon the expression) the short end of the stick so often. For instance, earlier this year, a woman was escorted from the Berkshire Square Mall in Reading, Pennsylvania, because she was breast-feeding her child. Somehow that qualified as indecent.
In the course of my training for the Marine Corps Marathon, I have banded with a group of like-minded lunatics for online cameraderie, training tips, success stories, struggles, injury complaints, and, of course, discussions about beer. Several weeks ago, I made reference to a fund-raising group for breast cancer. Len, a grizzled sage in his 60s, commented that he was surprised it had gotten through the censors that many non-moderated boards have in place. Come on, it wasn't like I had said tit cancer, or anything. Besides which, a breast is a body part. We talk an awful lot about body parts on the message board-- specifically hip flexors, and groins, and piriformis muscles, and plantar fascii, not to mention everybody's favourite band, the ITB--and in my opinion (one shared, no doubt, by Susan Patron) a breast is just another one of those body parts, like an elbow. Or, yes, a scrotum. Or whatever. It's not sexual. It's not dirty. It's just there.
And several weeks later, the post got edited. It now says "**** cancer". (personally, I think it should say "breast ****" because if anything's a dirty word, it's cancer, but that's another story for another soapbox.)
Then, completely unrelated to anything except a discussion about whether or not we would be allowed to use iPods on the marathon course, I made the comment that if it came down to me and Mile 22 and if whether or not I heard an Eric Bibb tune was the difference between finishing the marathon or not, I would rather have my iPod than "have to fly his blues ass down to DC to sing to me." And my friend Lee immediately noticed that I had just said "ass" where formerly I had not been able to say "breast".
Well, you can probably see where this is headed, can't you. It's true that I ranted quite a bit in capital letters that a breast is just another part of the body FOR GOD'S SAKE and they should get off it already. It's true that Lee and I had quite a fit of the giggles and are probably going to get scolded by other board users about going off topic. It's also true that I immediately made everyone swear that if I bonked along the back eight miles of the course, they would come up to me, look me in the eye, and simply say the words "ass cancer" to get me going again. And it's true that we did a test run with a part of the male anatomy, positing that the penis (might be) mightier than the sword. I don't know that this is in fact true, and right now I'm probably less qualified than anybody to judge, but it's apparently mightier than the breast, because you can say "penis" on the message board.
Personally, I still think it's just that the mod's an ass-man.