breast-cancer-pink-ribbonBoobs, knockers, hooters, funbags, ta-tas -- we've got plenty of silly nicknames for the leading ladies in our lives. But apparently, when it comes to a serious issue like breast cancer awareness, not all monikers for the good ol' chesticles are well received.

Last weekend we shared the details on our "Save the Ta-tas" T-shirt design contest -- but we totally didn't expect backlash that ensued. What's so controversial about saving boobs, right?

Apparently a lot, at least when your campaign involves saving "ta-tas," a term that a couple of readers found was plain "demoralizing and insulting" in the context of a serious disease.

"I'm tired off all the inappropriate slogans like 'save the ta-tas,' 'feel your boobies,' 'save second base,' and 'save a life, grope your wife,'" says Erin. "They make me sick ... The MAIN point behind breast cancer awareness should be to save LIVES, not 'boobies'."

Our thinking is more in line with reader Jeff's: "People notice and support catchy slogans like "Save the Ta-tas" when they would probably overlook more generic 'Help End Breast Cancer'-type T-shirts," he says. The active nonprofit fundraiser also notes, "When something makes me smile or I find it cute as well as acceptable, that is the way to generate funds." And ultimately, raising money and awareness is the goal, right?

The argument's not over yet ...

pancake-boobsB wilson, whose sister passed away from breast cancer, says straight up: "I hate this shirt! It is saying that saving breasts is more important than the life they are attached to. Slogans like this are just as ignorant as the people that choose to wear them!"

PeggySue insists that "referring to an immature term for 'men's playthings'" takes the focus off saving lives. She throws in some slogan suggestions for men's colon cancer ("save the assholes!") and testicular cancer ("happy squirrels have healthy nuts"), adding: "Not so funny when we take the seriousness out of a horrible disease for a man, now is it?"

Actually, yes, we think it is. Is there a T-shirt printer out there taking this down? We have our wallets open ...

Seriously speaking though, is boob wordplay really so inappropriate? How do patients get through that life-changing an illness without the ability to take a pun alongside the pain?

Breast cancer survivor Jo Anne puts it simply: You can't. "I seriously doubt I would have made it. Through the removal of both breasts, reconstruction surgery, six months of chemo and more reconstruction surgery, my sense of humor kept me going."

Tell us what you think: Is using the term "ta-tas" totally insensitive and a disrespectful way of rallying attention around a serious cause? Or is it OK to encourage fighting the fight with a little tongue-in-cheek humor?

Remember, you can still enter your design for our breast cancer awareness T-shirt contest by Thursday, October 30! See full contest details here.