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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Thinking about the Newsnight item on Silicone Breast Implants

I watched the Newsnight item about Silicone Breast Implants yesterday. In the introductory part Science Editor Susan Watts explained how the MHRA regulatory agency had been given information about the substandard implants made of industrial quality silicone, but had adopted the policy of taking no action until they heard of something actually going wrong.

Then the focus changed to Jeremy Paxman and Health Minister Anne Milton talking with a group of women who were in the unhappy position of having had the dodgy implants inserted and wishing that they hadn't. Most of them were keen to speak and to complain about not getting sufficient help to put matters right. Some told why they had chosen to have the implants in the first place. I was shocked to hear one woman explain that she was ashamed of her small breasts when she was out shopping! - Out shopping! - Ashamed? - Who on earth needs breast implants in order to go shopping? - I truly was shocked.

There is no need to go through the trauma/pain/expense/risk/mutilation of this surgery. A woman can, after all, wear a padded bra if she feels the need when dressed. And if she thinks she will appear more desirable with surgically enlarged breasts when naked then, in my opinion, she would do well to consider whether the people who value her for her measurements rather than for 'herself' are worth bothering about. Certainly not worth taking risks with her health, a person's most precious possession.

For many years women struggled in various ways and against great opposition and powerful prejudice to escape from being thought of primarily as sex objects and adjuncts to men, entitled to less regard and lower pay than men. "A woman's place was in the home/kitchen/bedroom/wrong." They struggled to achieve equal pay, equal educational and employment opportunities, parity of esteem, etc. and to be treated as men's equals. I am so sad that so many women now appear to be wanting to return to their subordinate positions as sex objects rather than individual people with minds. I frankly cannot understand the desire for surgically enlarged breasts, preposterously over-priced handbags, dangerously. totteringly high-heeled expensive monstrosities purporting to be shoes and weirdly-shaped and decorated fingernails. Why waste great chunks of precious life on this nonsense?