Jaecks is one of the approximately 3 other women on the entire planet besides me who declined to get “reconstruction” after breast cancer surgery. * Her boobs are a thing of the past, so why would she wear a goddam boulder holder? Wearing clothes when you intend to be underwater is kind of weird anyway, but for a person who lacks the sort of tissue that requires the support of spandex scaffolding, and who in fact asserts that such superfluous garments actually inflict pain on her scars, it’s flippin absurd.
But women, including 45-year-old androgynous lesbian women, are expected to perform femininity at all times, even when they have been effectively neutered by various cancer amputations, and even when it hurts. Our skitzo enpinkified survivor culture values pluckiness but requires capitulation. The imperative is ever to appease. Enforce/Embrace the gender binary lest civilization crumble!
Here’s how I put it, back in Aught-Eight:
The world will literally explode if the following two conflicting conditions are met: (a) a female appears in public topless, and (b) a female in public fails to produce mammary tissue upon inspection.
You see the catch? It’s not exactly a Catch-22; that catch comes later. This is more of a Catch-23. If you have mammary tissue, you have to cover it up. If you don’t have mammary tissue, you’re obliged to get some, then cover it up. If you don’t get some, you still have to cover it up.
To put it another way: you have to hide it in order to prove that you have it. If you can’t prove that you have it, you have to prove that you’re willing to fake having it.
It goes without saying that if you won’t fake having it by hiding what isn’t, you must be shunned.
Thus did Seattle shun Jodi Jaecks. Apparently they actually accused her of intentionally trying to “shock” people. Fuck. You know what’s shocking? 1 in 7 women get breast cancer, and nobody’s ever seen a post-op chest. Fuck. The nonsensical arbitrariness of social convention never ceases to cheese an aunt off.
Eventually, back in Seattle, the magnanimous Parks & Rec Superintendent relented somewhat on the compulsory tankini issue, reclassifying Jaecks as not so “alarming” after all. At present, Jaecks is permitted to go trunks-only, but only during designated adult swim periods. Protect the delicate youths from monstrous cancer-women lest their idyllic Grand Theft Auto-playin’ childhoods be irreparably damaged by a couple of scars on a middle-aged woman.
Anecdote: my young nieces Fin and Rotel have grown up fully cognizant of my boob scars. They know what cancer is, they know what surgery is, and I can assure the anxious public that despite this exposure they are 100% unfazed. They are way more interested in my tattoo, but that’s a scar for another day.
* “Reconstruction” is in quotation marks because the surgery to which it alludes does not actually reconstruct a functioning breast. The surgery, which is risky, painful, and has absolutely zero therapeutic value, con-structs a funbag. This allows the patient to resume her rightful rung on the discrimination ladder as she recuperates from the horrible disease that nearly killed her.