Boss jokes about mastectomy - what do you think?

Hi everyone

I was just wondering what you thought about the item in the newsblog yesterday about a lady called Janet Bryant whose boss made jokes about her breast surgery.

Why do people feel the need to make jokes about breast surgery and why do they think we will be amused by these jokes? I can’t find anything remotely amusing about it!

Maude xx

I agree it isn’t funny. It’s probably that whole thing of being embarrassed and making jokes or else complete insensitivity. I haven’t read about this - is this something he says in front of other people?
elinda x

Hi elinda

This was a woman boss! Go on the home page and click on the newsblog, you will be able to read the article on there. I am sure you will be as annoyed as I was when you read it!

Maude xx

I am beyond shocked that a woman could show such crass insensitivity to another. I know you can’t believe all you read but as the case for unfair dismissal and discrimination was upheld there was clearly evidence that this ‘taunting’ took place. Its just difficult to believe. Clearly that individual does not understand the meaning of the word empathy!


People feel they are able to make jokes about breasts because breasts in our culture are allegedly funny - Carry On movies and seaside postcards. Boobies, titties, bangers, honkers, hooters - it is all idiotic adolescent rubbish. I made the mistake of watching the awful boys-own club that is Mock the Week the other night where breasts were referred to as “tatty bojangles” - and all these tragic middle aged men guffawed and sniggered like 12 year olds. For god’s sakes …
I remember encountering a gang of blokes on a stag night on the tube and they were all wearing enormous fake plastic breasts and they were pretending to grope each other. Oh yeah fellers, hilarious.

This is the culture we live in I’m afraid - when Katie Price is hailed as some kind of icon because she had large breasts and then had them made even larger. And didn’t some other pointless celebrity just sell their implants on Ebay?
Is it any wonder people feel they can snigger and joke about anything to do with breasts.
Meanwhile women are cursed as disgusting if they try to breastfeed their children in public.

I’ve now actually read the newsblog and it is outrageous. It somehow feels even worse that it was a woman.

It reminds me in an odd way of when I was in hospital and 3 days post op and a woman came in for minor surgery and was put in the bed next to me. We got chatting and she asked what I’d had done and I said a double mastectomy. Her reply to this was ‘lucky you’. My jaw dropped and I said to her ‘I don’t think you’d feel very lucky if you had cancer’. She did apologise but said she thought her breasts were too big and had already had a reduction. What makes it worse was that she’d been a health care assistant. So much for empathy!
Elinda x

I have to say that I’m in broad agreement with your comments, msmolly(altho’ I do enjoy MTW, deliciously unPC); much of what goes on in our society regarding attitudes to breasts, breastfeeding and breast cancer is so twisted and cockeyed.

However, when I worked in an office I was the only woman in the dept and my male colleagues just couldn’t have been kinder. It probably helped that one had had a MIL with bc and lymphoedema and another had a wife with bc and lymphoedema, so there was lots of support and genuine understanding on their part.

And to echo alex’s comment - the least empathetic remarks and attitudes I have encountered have, sadly, usually come from within the medical profession.



The thing I find offensive is those awful American viral emails with lit candles for women who have died from BC, asking you to send to 10 other women. My sister is abroad and used to send these to me all the time, then she sent one which was cartoons reminding women to go for mammograms. Somebody else on here had this one last year, the cartoons feature ladies with squashed flat breast sticking out and their bosses/colleagues saying something like “can see you’ve been for a mammo”. At the time I received this I was in the process of undergoing counselling and had I been more fragile I reckon it could have put me back 6 months. As it was I was so angry I told her in no uncertain terms to stop sending me offensive stuff. Thankfully it stopped.

Then yesterday, after nothing for a year, she sent me one featuring a candle with the words “pray for a cure for cancer”. She is coming over on holiday in 3 weeks and I’m not sure I can be bothered seeing her TBH. The first week she is over here she is going to London to see a friend who has prostate cancer, yet when I was undergoing treatment for this she couldn’t be bothered seeing me, preferring to gad about with friends when she was here.

msmolly - hello. i think you have hit the nail on the head with this! i’m commenting because i was a ‘balshy’ breastfeeder. i’d breastfeed anywhere because i believe it is the most natural thing a woman can do for her baby… but society just doesn’t like it. did jordan breastfeed?!! doubt it.

I Know what you all mean. I know people feel awkward and don’t what to say and consequently say something stupid but the insensitivity some people show is shocking. Some friends of friends were talking about ‘Race for life’ when her boy friend said, he was glad he couldn’t take part because he could watch all the bouncing boobs from the side lines! Although he didn’t know my situation I was shocked that someone would make this comment about a race to support cancer especially as many of the people taking part have had breast cancer.