Here's something to consider: should breast cancer survivors who have
mastectomy be forced to wear bikini tops even when they no longer have
That's the issue concerning the officials at the Seattle Parks and Recreation department. They reportedly denied cancer survivor Jodi Jaecks from swimming topless in the city's public pools, even though she explained that she experiences extreme nerve pain when she wears swimsuits.
Jaecks and her supporters also point out that this wouldn't have been an
issue if she happened to be a transexxual, since they would wear a bathing suit of the gender he
or she is at the time of using a pool. Cienna Madrid of The Stranger (which has a graphic photo of Jaecks scars) shares a little more on this story:
Jaecks didn't think it would be a big deal. A bilateral mastectomy in 2011 left her as flat-chested as a child, and two thin scars now cut across her chest where her nipples once lay. There is simply nothing left to cover up.
Jaecks tried explaining to the Seattle Parks and Recreation officials that she suffers from nerve pain across her chest and neck, which is a common side effect of mastectomies. "It burns all the time—a pretty searing, intense pain," she says. Wearing post-mastectomy swimsuits, which often feature extra material for prosthetic breast forms, is simply too uncomfortable. Further, she is part of a growing population: Jaecks is one of roughly 1,200 women in this state annually who have their breasts removed and choose not to have reconstruction surgery.
But the parks department, which maintains the city's 10 public pools, insists that Jaecks is simply trying to be shocking and subversive.
"She made it clear she wanted to show her scars as a 'badge of courage' and wanted to use the pool to spread her message," says parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter.
The incident has since sparked major debate, with one breast surgery specialist named Dr. Patricia Dawson calling the policy both "stupid" and "incredibly misguided". She sums it up by saying, "This clearly reflects how politicized women's bodies and breasts are in our culture."