No more fucking Pink Things

I am the daughter of a breast cancer survivor. And I have just sworn never again to buy another “Pink for the Cure” (or whatever they call it) thing.

Not that I don’t love my pink long-sleeved Columbia t-shirt, or my pink lipsticks (all 11 of ’em), but this whole damn pink thing has got to end. Starting with that most odiously merchandise-heavy of Pink Things, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Yes, that’s right, you heard me. No more Komen Krap. No more of those lovely but insanely overpriced Lilly Pulitzer silk scarves. (Shameful confession: yes, I have one. And it cost me a bundle to get it shipped to Canada.) No more nothin’ from Susan G. Komen. Why?

Because the Komen Foundation doesn’t support women.

Yes, you read that right.

The Komen Foundation decided to withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood, just because the latter happens to provide abortions. Shocker — Planned Parenthood actually fully encompasses just what their name says! Oh noes! It lets women decide when and whether they want to be pregnant! Horrors!

And, for many women in the US who can’t afford anything else, Planned Parenthood actually happens to be their go-to place for not only birth control and abortions, but also cancer testing. Breast and cervical cancer, among others. You can get mammograms and Pap smears there. Shocker!

So when I heard that the incredibly rich, elitist, Republican-connected Komen Foundation had suddenly decided not to go on supporting PP, that was when I saw red. And said to hell with all that pink. After all, what good was the pink shit really doing? Was it raising awareness of breast cancer?

Kinda sorta…the Komen Foundation has been very diligent about getting the message out to buy, buy, buy “for the Cure”. They sure do talk a lot about breast cancer, yup. But not so much on ways to prevent it. The Komen Foundation has been suspiciously mum about Bisphenol A, for instance — a compound found in many plastics, and which has been proven to cause cancers, including those of the breast. Maybe that’s because a lot of their corporate “partners” happen to manufacture products laced with that same carcinogenic compound. Same goes for parabens, which are found in a lot of “For the Cure” pink cosmetics.

And then there’s the way the Komen Foundation has hijacked the whole notion of a search for cancer cures. They even sue smaller cancer charities who hold fundraisers “for the Cure”, leading to the impression that they have somehow wrested ownership of those common English words all to themselves. They actually waste their donors’ lovingly given monies on this.

In fact, I have to ask myself if they really care about finding a cure at all. Or if they’re not just about using us women, our boundless good intentions, our ardent desire to see an end to cancer, our love of our female friends and family members, even our fondness for all things pink, to move product. What a repulsive notion that is, eh? But it’s true: Pink-for-the-Cure has become a highly profitable industry unto itself, and there’s no rule that all proceeds have to go to cancer research, prevention or awareness. Just slap that ol’ pink ribbon on your stuff, and watch it fly off the store shelves, snapped up by bravely smiling women with heart-wrenching stories of loved ones who have survived breast cancer.

Or not.

No, there’s no cure for breast cancer yet, as I found out the hard way from talking with my mom. They talk about five- and ten-year survival rates, and remissions, but not cures. Unless you die from something else after a suitably long time, you can never really be pronounced Cured of Cancer.

And that’s what kills me. All this pink junk For the Cure, and where is the fucking Cure? I don’t see one, do you?

In fact, I don’t even see more than a half-hearted commitment on the part of Komen’s corporate partners to get rid of SOME of the carcinogens in their pink cancer merchandise. Not all. Just SOME.

SOME isn’t good enough.

But that’s just the way it is with rich organizations run by right-wingers, isn’t it? At the end of the day, it’s less about doing good than it is about selling “feel-good”. A woman may be dying painfully of breast cancer that’s metastasized to her lungs, her bones, her brain, but hey! Let’s all buy a pink teddybear, or silk scarf, or rhinestoned ribbon pin, or some other pink gimcrack-for-the-Cure, and that will make it all better!

Or we can be honest with ourselves and vow to stop buying those oh-so-guilt-trippy Pink Things, and focus instead on the search for real answers. And donate to organizations that don’t withdraw funding just to slut-shame women for making “wrong” choices. And do what we can by way of prevention. Avoid Bisphenol A. Avoid weedkillers that are known to cause cancer. (Yes, ladies, that Round-Up you sprayed on your dandelions last summer could be quietly killing you. Did it come with a pink ribbon on the label, I wonder?)

In short, we could just exercise our consumer clout in new and imaginative ways. We can boycott the Komen Foundation and its partners. We can and must clean up our environment, and demand better of the personal-care and household products we use. And we can and must hold cancer charities’ feet to the fire when it comes to how our money is spent.

After all, that Pink Shit won’t cure us of anything, except maybe a feeling of fullness about the wallet.

No more fucking Pink Things from now on.

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This entry was posted in Confessions of a Bad German, Environmentally Ill, Fetus Fetishists, If You REALLY Care, Isn't It Ironic?, Law-Law Land, She Blinded Me With Science, Uppity Wimmin. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to No more fucking Pink Things

  1. Hopefully, you’ll appreciate my pink background on my blog site. I just like the colour pink.

    I understand your frustration about seeing organizations and businesses use diseases in order to make money. It’s also upsetting that an organization which appears to support women in one sense will oppose support to women’s health such as abortions.

    I do give an example of the relationship between the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the food companies. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has the Health Check (TM) program where companies can submit food products for claims of good health. There is obviously a payment to Heart and Stroke for a successful claim. However, how many eggs can one eat while still maintaining good health? How much meat can one eat? How many tubs of margarine can one eat? There is nothing mentioned about genetically modified foods being rejected.

    http://www.healthcheck.org/page/products-overview

    I’m still reminded about the Seinfeld episode where anti-AIDS supporters were accosting Kramer for not wearing the AIDS ribbon.

  2. amystery says:

    I agree. the color pink has been “hijacked” for long enough. Save your money and give it personally to a breast (or any) cancer fighter. I’ve been growing tired of the Pink for the Cure machine and want to see more money go for research instead of feeding a political machine. I also want to know the salaries of the execs at Komen. It seems obvious that Handel situated herself at Komen with a hidden agenda. Not good.

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