Saturday, January 09, 2010

Why I Hate the Pink Ribbon

Ntodd's great post today reminds me of something I've been meaning to write for quite some time. I really hate that stupid pink ribbon scam, the walks, the fundraisers, the pink goodies. Its not that I'm some curmudeon who wants women to die of breast cancer--its a horrible way to die and as a woman, with daughters and everything, I'm totally opposed to the things that kill women. But lets get real-

In 2005 (the most recent year numbers are available)—
  • 186,467 women and 1,764 men were diagnosed with breast cancer.*†
  • 41,116 women and 375 men died from breast cancer.*†

In other words: fewer men and women died of breast cancer than died of the lack of health insurance in 2005. And yet, due to clever marketing and brilliant use of empathy and sentiment, the Susan G. Komen foundation has put breast cancer on the mattering map and we have no serious ground level organization fighting for a comprehensive national health care system. There are no walks, no support groups, no fundraisers, no lobbyists--nothing. But hop over to the Susan G. Komen foundation and you find this:

With survivors and activists in more than 120 cities and communities across the globe and more than 100 Komen Race for the Cure® events in the United States and internationally, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the most progressive grassroots organization fighting breast cancer today.

Thanks to survivors, volunteers and activists dedicated to the fight against breast cancer, the Komen Affiliate Network is the nation's largest private funder of community-based breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs.

and this:
There’s no time like the present to get passionately pink about breast cancer. Passionately Pink for the Cure is a fundraising program that inspires breast cancer advocacy and honors those affected by the disease. You’ll help raise awareness among your friends, family or co-workers; and help end breast cancer forever!

Register today at: we will make sure you have everything you need for your event including event day ideas, promotional posters and much more!
and this:

In 2008, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, with well over one million participants since 2005.
and this:

Shop for the cure.
I'm not trying to belittle what Susan Komen's sister did in her sister's memory, or the work and sweat and generosity of the people who found this a congenial and meaningful way to get involved in their communities and, as they saw it, help their families and neighbors. But why on earth is there nothing like this in a political sense for things as big and as important as climate change and national health care?


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