By S. Crompvoets
An exam of surgical breast reconstruction which establishes a powerful hyperlink among, at the one hand, the non-public emotions and activities of girls with breast melanoma, and at the different, strong discourses and practices of the breast melanoma flow.
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Extra info for Breast Cancer and the Post-Surgical Body: Recovering the Self
29 Seen in these terms ‘sex’ is not simply what one has, or what one is, rather it is something that is repeatedly performed into existence in everyday gestures. 30 Language as discourse The humanities and social sciences have experienced a growing interest in language and discourse in the past three decades. 31 Discourse and the reality to which it pertains are no longer seen as separate things, rather discourse is seen as constitutive of what counts as reality. 32 The works of Emily Martin (1987) and Susan Sontag (1978, 1989) draw attention to the importance of language in the construction of women’s bodies in medicine.
Medical literature is legitimated by the authors clinical training or references to a ‘controlled’ trial and also in the assumption that women will want to ‘get back to normal’, that is, regain two breasts. The text is thus able to assert its authority using technical language and in distancing itself from the subject by writing in the third person. The questions such studies ask for example are as follows: What are the surgical management options available? How many days after surgery should the patient be discharged?
Through the objectifying male gaze). She argues that women, as lived bodies, are not ‘open’ and ‘unambiguous transcendences’ that move out to ‘master a world that belongs to us, a world constituted by our own intentions and projects’. 28 20 Breast Cancer and the Post-Surgical Body Following breast cancer surgery, and the objectifying process of breast cancer treatment, many women are expected to feel ‘physically handicapped’ not only because of a patriarchal society which exults in breasts, but also because in the world of breast cancer culture regaining symmetrical breastedness is taken as one and the same as regaining what is feminine.