Women’s Breastfeeding Case

When I first told her the story, I stood in the hot tub with the steam all around me. My voice was heard on the walls of the tiles. It seemed like a kind of baptism, my words referring to something that did not exist at all before speaking and that the name made me mine.

It was amazing feeling, looking at my breasts for the last time. There would be the same tissues, yes, and new nipples cut from the old one, but the breasts that I had used for many years longing for a different, their special weight, would disappear forever. In the operating room, the body is sacred only to its host. It came to me in secret, a strange feeling of holiness, as my surgeon squeezed and measured and scratched my breast with a mark on the morning of my surgery.

When I was stitched up at the age of 32, I did not feel anything — not physically or emotionally — until I stopped later and looked down at a metal tray fitted to my surgery bed, where the small earlobe of my ear was gray. I’m still asleep, like two pieces of chewed gum. “Oh,” the surgeon said. “I should not let you see those.” He rolled them up on a piece of green paper over the tray, which he folded and threw in a trash can. It attracted me to something, perhaps the core instinct of my body to keep it straight. I suddenly wished I could ask to keep them. On the morning of my breast surgery, I was glad that I would not have to see my discarded parts thrown in the trash.

I was also delighted for the sweet nurses, with their impeccably made-up faces and lilting voice. I was used to being in many women’s positions, but these were often full of women’s rights activists, skeptics and transgender and unmarried people. The doctor-surgeon’s office was shamelessly feminine and immersed in the delightful notion that everyone who entered was on the same page about beauty – how to define and make sure they wanted to. Each time I got off the elevator, I felt as if someone were stepping in. If they looked at my hairy legs, I would feel guilty, being exposed as Judas the defender of women’s rights in a long file.

I found it an unusual comfort opportunity. The open agreement prevented any tension in the atmosphere, and I found that I was not inclined to disagree with the doctor when he said things like, “They will be younger and younger,” or when one of the nurses pressed them. on my wife’s shoulder and promised, “You will love them!”

All that is to say that the culture of cosmetic surgery offices, and perhaps the industry as a whole, is in line with the perception of women of the second wave: a confirmation not only of the standards of patriarchy, but of the social structure of the patriarchy. I understand the temptation to extend this assessment to patients who choose to participate in the industry. But as I was writing this essay, I spoke to a number of self-proclaimed women advocates who did not feel any loss or regret about their surgery – from lifting thighs to abdomen to vaginoplasty. Above all, the feeling was there of victory and pleasure. It seems clear to me now that any women’s stance on beauty surgery that does not take into account women’s relationships with their own bodies is against them.

I would hate my body for years, I felt hidden and exposed to it, and made it the many actions that others wanted regardless of my desires. These accumulated loads had consumed priceless time and energy. For the most part, they had defined my relationship with me. All the years of treatment and recovery and writing and reading and conversations with friends had changed that. I no longer hated my body. My experience in the world no longer felt defined by my body shape. Transforming my body felt like an important way to complete the task. It was not, as some might think, rather a psychological change but rather a physical fulfillment of the one that has already taken place: the ritual of my remembrance of restoring my body, once and for all. I didn’t want it to be a subtle process.

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