November 14, 2016
Some Readers Were Offended. Are You?
Re: “Now that’s support,” the Now, Nov. 3.
Close to 100 women who could not afford to buy a bra this month were helped by Supportive Start pop-up bra shop and Surrey Women’s Centre. Every woman was treated with dignity and respect and left properly fitted and a lot more comfortable. Among the women were those who had never owned a new bra before. It was a day of beauty.
The Now published a front-page story about “Bra Day” and showcased how one business and a small charity came together to meet a basic need. The story was accompanied by a picture of the organizers smiling and holding donated bras. (CLICK HERE to see the front page.)
Readers started contacting the newspaper with complaints. The article was offensive and “tasteless,” some readers claimed.
Offensive? Yes, living in poverty is offensive. Oh wait, you mean they found the photo of the bras offensive? Was it the silk? The straps? The colours?
In Western culture, women’s breasts are highly sexualized. When a woman’s body is broken down into parts, into objects that exist purely for sexual gratification, violence breeds. One Canadian woman is physically or sexually assaulted in this G8 country every minute.
I find that offensive.
To eradicate violence against women and girls we must appreciate all women – the space they take up, the bodies they inhabit, their beauty and their struggle to stay safe in the world. Women living in poverty are offended against every day. They are at higher risk for all forms of violence. They cannot afford food, clothing and shelter. A bra that fits is a luxury.
For 100 women, Supportive Start and Surrey Women Centre helped them fight the stigma of poverty and meet a basic need.
They did not have the privilege of feeling offended and neither should we.
Read the front page story and let us know what you think!
Surrey Women’s Centre