Yesterday we reported on a pretty controversial story about Jodi Jaecks, a breast cancer survivor who had a double mastectomy and wanted the right to swim topless at her local Seattle pool. At first she was denied due to her lack of “gender appropriate swimwear”. It was a decision that made a lot of people angry–and rightly so, this was nothing short of pure discrimination. But alas, there is some justice in this world. Jaecks has now been told that she can swim topless–assuming she complies with their rule.
Acting Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Christopher Williams told Jaecks that she can indeed swim topless at all city public pools, but only during adult lap swims.
In a news release, he stated:
Our original concern stems from our responsibility to accommodate the needs of all of our patrons. In this case I see nothing that might alarm the public.
Oh, that’s good that her post-cancer body won’t “alarm” the public. Because, you know, we should always be concerned about what other people think.
But does allowing her to swim topless only during adult swim really get to the heart of this issue? Isn’t that still hiding her from kids? Like, it’s OK for adults to see her body, but not our precious little darlings, who might learn a thing or two about cancer in the process. Jaecks could be a very good role model for kids on how to love our bodies the way they are–flaws and all. And, it could open up the discussion about cancer and the importance of taking care of your body and your health to reduce your chances of getting it (not that Jaecks didn’t take care of her health, because we all know cancer can strike just about anyone).
Too bad everyone doesn’t see it that way though. It was sad to see a few people comment yesterday who were narrow-minded about the whole thing.
I think it’s basic decency to cover up your sexual/ private parts in public. People who like to be naked should do so in the privacy of their own homes, and shut the blinds, please! Why should the rest of us have to act robotically, pretending that “we can’t see” those breasts, or else stare and point at them and make the naked person uncomfortable. Just put some decent clothes/ swimsuits on! There’s more freedom in simply being decently dressed. Then everyone can just get on with the job of swimming!
And JBenn73 added:
I would myself feel uncomfortable if I were to be at this facility with my husband and son and seen this woman in this situation. If you are more comfortable not wearing a shirt at home or in your own personal area, that is understandable, seeing you experience pain at times. However sometimes we have to show respect to other people and their families when we are in public. I believe the organization is looking out for the families and is correct by asking her to cover her top.
But Robin, perhaps, said it best:
Why should she have to wear a shirt just because somebody doesn’t want to have a conversation about cancer with their own kid?
Jaecks maintains that she is simply exercising her right to show her post-cancer body in public, without feeling the need to hide it or cover it up and says she did’t see “a need to fake having breasts.”
My ultimate goal is to change policy at beaches and pools, to increase people’s awareness of cancer and the realities of the human condition.
Good for you, Jodi!