«

»

Sep 19 2006

Crunch For The Cure

What will happen to global consumerism if breast cancer is ever really cured? Luckily for SunChips, it seems unlikely that we’ll find out in the forseeable future.

crunchforthecure.jpg
Sun Chips bag with crass advertising slogan found, amid other Austin City Limits Music Festival garbage (you’d think they’d held the thing in my front yard) in the Twisty Driveway September 17, 2006. SunChips is a ‘proud supporter’ of the ignominious Komen Foundation. If you spend 39 cents to mail in the UPC code from this ‘specially marked pink ribbon bag’, SunChips will donate 25 cents to Komen. What a deal.

You guys think all I do is I lie around all day watching the Turner Classic Movie channel on cable. Well, I won’t lie to you. I do. Yesterday afternoon, for example, I soaked up a couple of noir exemplars (“Hud”and “Winchester 73″)* and was ready for more, but Stingray pried me up and toted me down to Polvo’s (where, claims S, in an unheard-of break with Tex-Mex culinary cliché, the veg tacos are seasoned with— holy shit—tamari). These old Hollywood flicks are in many ways a laff riot, and I absorb’em like a sponge. But even I draw the line when TCM is showing, as they did the other day, a feelgood “family comedy” like saccharine overdose “Angel In My Pocket”, starring Andy Griffith as a homespun Protestant minister in Whiteyland circa 1967; at such junctures, I whip out a book.

Recommended by a fellow blamer (you guys come in so handy sometimes) the book I whipped out to get me through the Andy Griffith interlude was Samantha King’s Pink Ribbons, Inc. What a page-turner. It concerns a subject I enjoy finding despicable, the “market-driven industry for [breast cancer] survivorship”. [It may or may not interest you to know, if you're just joining us, that my fascination for this topic is not merely academic; I was diagnosed exactly a year ago with stage 3 breast cancer.]

If you were to ask any space alien—who happened to be dropping by on its way to the Delta Quadrant—about breast cancer, it would undoubtedly tell you that, according to its personal observations, the primary symptom of the disease is a dramatically increased propensity to sprout pink teddy bears, pink visors, and pink rhinestone jewelry. Of course you and I know that infantilizing misogynist teddybear rhinestone pinkness, cancer-o-normative though it may seem, is actually just one of the most successful campaigns in the history of marketing gimmicks. Thanks to unprecedented support in terms of cash and selfless volunterrorism, breast cancer is currently the most popular disease in America.**

Under the noble auspices of charity, argues King in Pink Ribbons Inc, global corporations, politicians, and regressive white middle class American “family values” are all getting a big shot in the arm from the pink ribbon juggernaut. Corporations secure, with impunity, free publicity and a means to expand their market share via enlogoed “awareness” campaigns. Politicians support virtually unopposable “bipartisan” breast cancer funding initiatives as directed by behemoths like the massively influential and reactionary Komen Foundation and come out smelling like a rose. The rank and file, conditioned by now to believe that there’s no problem shopping can’t solve, are invited to feel virtuous and altruistic whenever they buy a Yoplait yogurt or a pink KitchenAid mixer.

But where’s the activism? The ostensible focus of all this pseudo-philanthropic pink jockeying is a kind of nebulous breast cancer “awareness,” rather than any serious effort at prevention or investigation into what actually causes breast cancer in the first place. Furthermore, once all this “awareness” has produced, via mammography outreach programs or self-exam propaganda (both masquerading as “prevention”), a positive diagnosis, there’s not any great push to secure treatment for underserved women.

In other words, when you think of a breast cancer “survivor” you don’t picture a poor black grandmother living in squalor without health insurance (and you certainly don’t imagine a woman who, because of sensible research efforts, never got cancer in the first place.) The Breast Cancer Brand woman is a pro-patriarchy white chick: middle-class, straight, virtuous, concerned with maintaining her femininity, and married with two above-average kids. Ordinarily she’d be content with her life as the unassuming, unpaid family caregiver, but she’s forced by circumstances to be plucky, brave, and heroic.

These circumstances, i.e. breast cancer, turn out to be, as King says, a lucky gift. In fact, breast cancer has given her such a marvelous opportunity for personal growth, she’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. We never hear about the dead women, of course, since their demise does nothing to reaffirm faith in the medical establishment, the government, patriarchy, the status quo, the Ford Motor Company, Avon cosmetics, or Hooters.

Observes King

The new version of individual responsibility allows women to get sick but not to die, and in circulating the ideal model of survivorship, succeeds in selling an enormous range of goods to consumers, raising millions of dollars for large nonprofits, and garnering votes for politicians eager to find an issue that positions them as prowomen but not profeminist. This model also helps maintain support for high-stakes [research], early detection, and cure-oriented research to the virtual exclusion of other avenues of exploration.

Thanks to the cancer industrial complex, now everyone can participate in marketing cheap crap to consumers, maintaining a “tyranny of cheerfulness,” and preserving the blue-eyed American family fantasy with its sentimentalized white nurturing mother centerpiece. It’s as easy as buying a bag of junk food.

Yeah, tell that to the walnut-sized tumor that my mammogram failed to notice. I guess I just wasn’t plucky enough.

__________________________________________
*In order to work up any enthusiasm for these, or any films made by and for proponents of patriarchy, the spinster aunt must confine her aesthet-o-meter to stuff like the quality of the cinematography; dwelling on feminist analyses of narrative or characterization merely fans the icy purgatorial flames of resentment. Not that I advocate blowing off critical readings of film, no no no. But let’s face it; in the context of broken-ankle-recuperational TV entertainment, there is no movie that does not turn on a paradigm of male dominance and contain a rape fantasy, or some version of virgin vs. whore, or both. In “Hud” Paul Newman tries to rape Patricia Neal, who tells him the next day on her way out of town that if he’d just waited a while longer, she’d have done him of her own volition because he looks so hot with his shirt off. In “Winchester” Shelley Winters plays an archetypal dance-hall gal with a heart-o-gold, who is of course kidnapped and abused by the villain before being rescued — and thereby claimed — by Jimmy Stewart, who refers to her always as “the girl.” Go patriarchy!

**Although, contrary to what the propaganda might suggest, and despite the enormous cute pink resources thrown at it, breast cancer treatment remains just as primitive and barbaric and unreliable as it was 30 years ago, and the incidence of the disease, far from declining, is actually increasing at an alarming rate. The figures almost seem to suggest that Komen et al, with their asinine walks “for the cure”, have devised an excellent means of encouraging breast cancer rather than curing it.

77 comments

18 pings

  1. DG

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    The whole pink ribbon phenomena has long mystified me. If there was some real research into the root causes of cancer or providing widespread access to quality healthcare (prevention, early detection, dealing with the disease, cure) for women, maybe I would understand. Instead a friend gives me a T-Shirt that says “Save the ta-tas” and I am supposed to believe that all is right in the world.

    As a good friend of mine said after attending a “breast cancer awareness” event. The manufacturing of all the crap produced by these companies to help increase awareness is probably putting enough toxins into the environment to cause everyone attending to get breast cancer.

  2. accordianchick

    Whew! Twisty returns. And I was beginning to think you didn’t love us any more. Did the Sun Chips come in the shape of pretty ribbons?

  3. Lalock

    “Volunterrorism.” Perfect.

    It really chaps my ass that once a woman has “survived” breast cancer, she is forevermore primarily identified (by self and others) as a breast cancer survivor. You know, I’ve survived car wrecks, viruses, bacterial infections and Neil Diamond concerts, but I don’t self-identify as a “survivor.”

    Crap. Now I have that awful Destiny’s Child song in my head. I gotta go over to YouTube and watch the “Too-Too-Tool” song.

  4. kreepyk

    God forbid we devote 10% of the money and energy that goes into this Pink Ribbon BS into getting persistant bioaccumulative toxins and synthetic hormone pollution out of our products.

    #@$%^& ing Patriarchy-Industrial- Schmaltz Complex!

  5. finnsmotel

    Medical science is no longer in the business of curing disease. We’re in the business of treating symptoms for profit. Pink ribbon parades are the NASCAR-style after-market of cancer.

    -finn

  6. Lizzy

    I love this post. Thank you.

    Makes me feel better when the last blog post I read about breast cancer was asking women to post photos of their breasts to raise money for breast cancer charities. May I quote:

    ‘You can post ‘em however you’re comfortable. [...] Nudity is always acceptable, especially with things like “another rack for research”‘.

    Maybe nobody thought of the objectify/donate overlap before this guy?

  7. Pony

    http://www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org/

    Please also click on the BCAction logo upper right.

  8. norbizness

    I don’t think that at all, I think you sometimes watch American Movie Classics until the first commercial gets shown and you get all pissed off because you forget they don’t do it commercial-free and shit.

    And Polvo’s used to be Seis Salsas, based on that salsa island in the middle. Times are tough and that’s why you only get four choices these days.

    And people with health insurance shouldn’t have been born in America if they don’t like it so much.

  9. srus433

    Don’t forget – the meatiest part of the Fight Against Breast Cancer is the word ‘breast’. Companies now have another link between their products and sex.

    I can’t state this as articulately as the article I read a few years back, and I generalize to make up for it, but
    *There is a larger-than-necessary emphasis on the “bikini” diseases – breast cancer and prostate cancer – as opposed to, say, skin cancer or lung cancer. (now about that cervial cancer – as long as that’s linked to bad girls, well, too bad for that cause)
    *The biggest killer of American women is heart disease – but prevention is primarily based on lifestyle changes (e.g. eating fewer McNuggets) that the patriarchy prefers you not make.
    *There is a culture in America of irrational fear, such as fear of flying but not a fear of driving, when more people are killed per mile of driving than flying. The reason is people are not afraid of what they [feel they] can control. Eating healthy and exercising are controllable but environmental pollution is not, so people are more afraid of what pollution causes, i.e. cancer.

  10. schmutzie

    A local mall had a show for breast cancer recently, and they kept calling out the names of women who had once had it and then clapping wildly to congratulate them for surviving. If you turn it around, what does that say about those who are presently struggling with it or have died from it? You’re a loser? And why is it breast cancer specifically that we celebrate? Why aren’t there balloon filled halls and self-congratulatory speeches and applause for people with cancer of the pancreatic or intestinal variety? Oh, right, boobs trump the pancreas as a sexy part of the public domain.

  11. Twisty

    King, if I’m reading her right, argues that as far as the pink ribbon army is concerned, the nation’s imperiled boobs are not so much sex symbols as they are symbols of wholesome American motherhood (which in turn equals Family Values). She points out that the breast cancer movement is often contrasted with the AIDS movement, where the latter stands out as the just punishment of the wanton and the lusty, and the former as “an ‘apple pie’ issue ‘blissfully without controversy’”‘.

    Of course, boobs-as-sex and boobs-as-mothers are just two sides of the same coin. Either way, boobs are owned by the state.

  12. kathy a

    the most popular disease in america! i’d be laughing if i didn’t hate cancer so much.

    so yeah — what about the people who lack insurance, the ones who don’t get diagnosed, or don’t get treated? what about the ones who don’t end up lucky survivors? what about the less popular diseases? where is the effort to provide everyone with treatment and support? because cancer sucks every which way, and not every cancer is pink.

    the same people who buy pink — purses, bears, pins, bike seats, sun chips, etc. — may well be the people who oppose universal health care coverage because it’s too expensive for the virtuous wealthy people, and who don’t bother calling a friend with a serious illness because it’s too depressing.

    ask anyone who’s had cancer in the family — so-called friends get too busy, pretend it’s not happening, respond to bad news with freakishly cheerful platitudes, disappear. those somewhat less dear can pronounce that the illness was deserved, that it was the ill person’s fault, or at the least, divine retribution.

    in the last few years, i watched my nephew and dad die of less sexy cancers. my dad died of a cancer extremely susceptible to blaming-the-patient — a type of skin cancer that is “95% curable!!” except for when it comes back in stealth, and is only diagnosed again at stage IV, which is incurable and awful and painful and horrible, no matter how upbeat its host. not sexy. not pink. not marketable. [and i submit that dad got skewered by his own patriarchy, abandoned in many ways for being so "weak" as to host this parasitic disease and die.]

  13. Luckynkl

    *There is a larger-than-necessary emphasis on the “bikini” diseases – breast cancer and prostate cancer – as opposed to, say, skin cancer or lung cancer. (now about that cervial cancer – as long as that’s linked to bad girls, well, too bad for that cause).

    Cervical and ovarian cancer has been linked to having sex with men. It is also interesting to note, not a single case of AIDs has ever been sexually transmitted between lesbians.

    Tho I’ve looked high and low, I just can’t seem to find any tv commericals or signs posted in bars or on the sides of cigarette packs or condoms that read:

    Warning! Having sex with men may be hazardous to your health! May cause pregnancy, cancer, AIDs, domestic violence, indentured servitude and murder! Please practice safe sex. Become a lesbian.

  14. Pony

    Reading list for this course will include:

    Patient No More: The Politics of Breast Cancer
    Sharon Batt
    (the scurillous Tamoxifen marketing story, among others of the noir genre)

    Illness as Metaphor
    Susan Sontag

    American Cancer Society: The World’s Wealthiest Non-Profit
    http://www.preventcancer.com/losing/acs/wealthiest_links.htm

    The CEO of the ACS earns $465 per annum.
    “There’s plenty of awareness. The question is, what do we do now?” Brenner said. “The answer has to be something other than to shop.”
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/243174_buyingpink03.html

  15. sockpuppet

    This is hands down the best thing I’ve ever read on the breast cancer industry.

  16. acm

    actually, I think that breast and prostate cancer have gotten a lot of attention lately because for so long they were the parts/diseases that shall not be named — i.e., we loved blood or liver cancers, but didn’t want to talk about (blush) those parts… now, of course, the enthusiasm to demystify those diseases may have swung the other way. but that’s not bad in itself. it’s the commodification that rankles…

  17. sockpuppet

    Well, and there is so much more of it than there used to be, too. My 25 year old daughter got it, got good treatment, and is now 31 years old. But why in hell did she get it in the first place? That’s what I would like to know!

  18. yankee transplant

    This is definitely the smartest breast cancer post I have read in ages. The whole pink ribbon industry sickens me. Thanks for being able to put this necessary information out there for us, Twisty.

  19. j

    Amen, Twisty!

    All of this pink fluff is condescending at best and utterly sinister at worst. If I see another fundraiser involving pink teddy bears, I’m going to throw up…my arms and sigh deeply.

  20. Vibrating Liz

    Awareness! Ha. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t run into some acquaintance who says, “Hey, I heard you’d been sick. What’s going on?” And I say, Yeah, I have lymphoma. “Whew!” exclaims the acquaintance inevitably. “Thank God! I heard a rumor that you might have cancer.” And I just stand there with a tumor the size of a grapefruit wedged between my lungs, a less than 30% chance of surviving for five years, no fucking health insurance, and my jaw sitting on the floor. No pink awareness teddy bears for me!

  21. langsuyar

    The net result of “Better Living Through Chemicals” that Dow and all the other major petro-chemical research firms trumpeted is increased cancer. These chemicals that everything is made of cause cancer. Period. Conclusive evidence for decades. But they claim “no one knew that the chemicals accumulate in the human body to toxic levels over time and never get processes out”. Bullshit.

    *sigh* Then you buy a pink teddy bear ribbon yogurt pin and that percentage of profit goes RIGHT BACK TO THE RESEARCH FIRMS THAT PRODUCED THE CHEMICALS THAT CAUSE CANCER IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    Its the biggest capitalist scheme in history! Make your dangerous products indispensible, put flame retardants in everything, spray DEET high and low for decades! Make sure a woman isn’t a woman unless she slathers every available skin surface with pigments, dyes, emollients, exfollients, moisturizers, and perfume all made from the chemicals you sell. THEN, when those chemicals start making her sick, SELL HER THE “CURE” THAT IS ACTUALLY JUST A DANGEROUS TREATMENT. But don’t stop producing the dangerous, cancer causing chemicals, because once she loses her tits, she’ll need even more make-up to fit the feminine mold!

    There. Its a capitalist, patriarchal cycle. Make profit off of chemicals, chemicals cause cancer, make profit off of treating cancer, rinse, repeat.

    There will be an article in the new National Geographic in which and average joe gets his blood tested for over 300 chemicals, many of them extremely dangerous in small amounts. Interesting results. Of course, Average Joe didn’t spend decades slathering on the beauty products or “ensuring proper hygene” of his girly bits or encasing his ta-tas in restrictive, high plastic content bras or… well… I guess my point is that Average Joe isn’t Average Jane because WOMEN get sold alot more chemicals in make-up– and not to mention that as primary domestic servant, most women have assloads more exposure to nasty cleaning chemicals…

    Christ, I could just fucking go on about this forever and I bloody well do when one of my friends buys a pink Avon umbrells, etc.

    Thanks for making a point about the infantilization and pathetic consumerism, Twisty.

  22. mel

    “Awareness! Ha. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t run into some acquaintance who says, “Hey, I heard you’d been sick. What’s going on?” And I say, Yeah, I have lymphoma. “Whew!” exclaims the acquaintance inevitably. “Thank God! I heard a rumor that you might have cancer.” And I just stand there with a tumor the size of a grapefruit wedged between my lungs, a less than 30% chance of surviving for five years, no fucking health insurance, and my jaw sitting on the floor. No pink awareness teddy bears for me!”

    OK, Liz, I didn’t know that, and I’m sorry to hear about it. I hope things work out for you. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  23. jess

    I’m delighted that you like the book. Made my night — justifies my nerdy self-important tendency to recommend readings to people. Blame on.

  24. redneckmother

    It’s about that time of the year, too, when all that pink shit starts popping up alongside the Halloween and Christmas merch. You know what I saw today at the mall?* Pink-beribboned bottled water. Titty water. But that’s not all. My 7-year-old son yanked my arm, pointed and said, “What the heck is that?” It was a 10-foot tall pink ribbon made entirely of balloons, standing in the middle of a display of new cards and SUVs. When I explained that it was to make people aware of breast cancer, he looked at me like I couldn’t possibly mean it.

    I’m going through another bad bout of sciatica. Won’t someone sell me a little angry red ribbon with a lightning bolt on it, to wear just above my ass?

    * Really, I was only at the mall for an eye appointment.

    And yes, Liz, so sorry to hear about your cancer. Keeping my claws crossed for you.

  25. cto

    I think this exchange from the web series “Boy George Michael Jackson Browne” sums up the goofiness of the “awareness” baloney: What Is That Ribbon? (troop ribbon, AIDS ribbon, pink ribbon, whatever).

  26. hartman

    Hi Twisty,

    A woman in my town has established a fantastically successful upscale magazine, mainly through the charisma of being a breast cancer survivor. Each issue of the magazine has two or three pages of little pictures – just big enough to recognize the people – of the local celebs and heirs at parties and charity fund-raising events of all kinds. The advertisers are all top drawer, and it looks like the magazine has a rule that your ads have to be aesthetically approved, or else you have to use their photographers, graphic designers, etc. to create your ad. There are always extensive amounts of clothes ads, with the local society matrons as models. Of course they are all hair-do’ed and lavishly made up, and then the upscale hair salons and makeup experts have ad space in the magazine. And cosmetic dentistry specialists and eyeglass-frame boutiques.

    In one issue, every single model was a proud and beaming breast cancer survivor. Of course the oncology specialists and various clinics etc. also advertise profusely too. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with any of this. Or not much, anyway. Only the things that you mention. In fact it’s uncanny, there you are in a different city thousands of miles away, but I could swear you have a copy of this glossy magazine in front of you. I don’t, on the other hand, swear to have read every issue. But I don’t remember the publication ever having run a photo of a chemotheraphy patient who said “fuck it” to the wigs and turbans, and just went around with a bare head. I don’t remember seeing any ads for prosthetic breasts or custom-made bras. There is such a thing as good taste, you know.

  27. Pony

    $8.5 million. The amount raised for the 2003 Toronto Weekend to End Breast Cancer.

    $45,000. The amount raised for the 2006 annual trail walk for Schizophrenia research in another large Canadian city.

    Schizophrenia is so uncool. What products would they sell.

  28. Aussie Liz

    Vibrating Liz, I have long been jealous of your cool name. Not jealous of the cancer, though. May it go grapefruit, orange, apple, mandarin, grape, grapeseed, gone.

  29. Ron Sullivan

    Vibrating Liz! Good to see ya! How ya… Well yeah, that. Hey, you might want to erase that link on your name so those sons of turds who set up the redirect from your old URL won’t get any more hits. Some of us are just reflexive optimists.

    And yeah, no pink teddy bears for you. Is that a bug or a feature?

  30. slade

    Corporate America’s goal is to sicken women and then heal those who can afford it. It is truly a cycle. Monsanto is at the top of my Hate List.

    No money is going to find the cause of the cancers….why? Well, they already know and can’t tell because then all of the Corporate Assholes would be sued & go bankrupt.

    I have always felt that hair spray was bad….ever since I was a little kid, I couldn’t stand to smell hair spray. My mom would have to spray outside or I would open an window. It actually hurt my lungs if I smelled it. And the same with Sweet N’ Low….if I opened a packet and got a whiff, it would hurt my lungs. Same with that Crystal Lite crap. Anyone else ever feel that? I just drink filtered water.

    Vibrating Liz…I am so sorry to hear about your illness. Rant, talk, blame, whatever whenever you want, OK?

  31. Betsy

    Oh my god, Liz. I’m so sorry.

  32. Betsy

    “advertisers are all top drawer, and it looks like the magazine has a rule that your ads have to be aesthetically approved, or else you have to use their photographers, graphic designers, etc. to create your ad. There are always extensive amounts of clothes ads, with the local society matrons as models. Of course they are all hair-do’ed and lavishly made up, and then the upscale hair salons and makeup experts have ad space in the magazine. And cosmetic dentistry specialists and eyeglass-frame boutiques.”

    We have a couple of those magazines around here. One is really just an ad rag. Well, I guess they both really are. But every time I come across this crap I just think, wow, what the hell could women accomplish if we were spending all that money on something productive? Forget research and philanthropy, even — what if women just put that all that make-up-hair-do-botox-eyeglass-boutique cash in their retirement accounts? or invested together in group health plans?

    Instead, the patriarchy has us scrambling for table scraps.

  33. SyntheticGenius

    Okay, so I’m a long time lurker and long time blamer but finally I feel I can contribute something useful.

    I am a graduate student in chemistry right now (hence my user name) so I get to hear a lot about the really crazy new research going on.

    But first:

    My specialty is Organic Chemistry, so my field has this laser-like focus on two major issues, carbon and cancer. I also want it noted that I do a lot of wet-work so I knowingly expose myself to carcinogens in quantities much, much, much higher than any kind of residual build up from food. (You think I’m exaggerating? My undergraduate research involved work in benzene and carbon-tetrachloride.) If you go into chemistry, you know the risks. What’s wierd is that chemists seem to die in two major bands: young and tragically to some sort of horrific catalyst and what seems like immortality. This is especially freaky if you consider that we now know that using benzene as a hand wash is a horrible idea.

    But back to the research —

    I agree that this pink ribbon business is a load of mime turds but saying things like “no money is going to find the cause of cancers” is untrue. Exceptionally so. It is true for industry, sure, but industry couldn’t research its way out of a paper bag. The real stuff is happening in academia because, let’s face it, industry can’t afford to take 25, 35 or even 45 year risks but academia can. If you want to support cancer research, support the academic research. This is hard to do directly with money, but doing things like supporting the science community helps.

    Wow, this got long.

    Okay, well heres a tantalizing tidbit about some unpublished research from my department. A professor in my department is trying to produce artificial lysosomes (lysosomes are little packets of digestive enzymes cells use to terminate themselves) filled with cell killing drugs that have these nifty markers on the outside to distinguish healthy cells from cancer cells. Word on the street is that the packets do distinguish between the cells and they already have a material that they can use that opens upon entry of the cell.

    Also, I know we hate Big Chemical, but someone needs to produce drugs and stuff. We just need to change their attitudes.

  34. KMTBERRY

    there’s not any great push to secure treatment for underserved women.

    Thank you. In SPITE of the fact that I read your blog like a demented groupie, I nevertheless suffered under the misapprehension that the Komen Foundation DID INDEED help defray the cost of treatment for uninsured and poor women. Silly Me !!!

    Honestly I should have known better than to fall for their public image.

    One of your commenters sent in an EXTREMELY HELPFUL group of articles about the CAUSES of breast cancer, esp. the role of plastics and pesticides. They KNOW what causes it….they would just rather make money off pesticides and plastics than eradicate the disease.

    Plus if your wife dies of breast cancer, you might get to remarry a young hottie. I guess. Honestly I would think the CEOs of such corporations would care more about their daughters and grandaughters than they, apparently, do.

  35. KMTBERRY

    OMIGOD HELLO !!! VIBRATING LIZ !!!

    I didn’t hear about your diagnosis until AFTER your blog went down. (I was out of town and had surgery afterwards. Am spending my time pretty much as Twisty is, except I don’t have cable)

    I HEARD that the healthcare you CAN get in LA is at least SOME. Here in Texas, if you have cancer and you don’t have insurance, they will literally tell you to go die and not to bother them anymore. (Happened to a friend of mine, a male). (He obliged). (Of cource, if you DID have insurance, they might decide to just not pay your claims, because you are powerless and sick. I have seen that too. I had a friend who had insurance, and they refused to pay his healthcare claims for brain cancer, becasue they found out he was GAY. He did not have AIDS, it was a Louisiana Petrochemical cancer. But they saw a loophole and they exploited it.)

    ARE you getting any healthcare?

    CAN we send you money?

    My email is kmtberry@austin.rr.com if you don’t want to reply publicly. I have been very worried about you, as I know how SHITTY the medical establishment usually is.

    In my fantasy world, maybe the fans of YOUR blog could get the readers of THEIR blogs to all send ten bucks, and if we could get FireDogLake or someone like that involved, maybe it would be enough for your treatment. I read that Feministing gets 300,000 hits a month. If we could get you a dollar for every hit, that would be enough!

  36. KMTBERRY

    Sorry to write so much, but HERE are the great links about what causes breast cancer (well a lot of them, not all) originally posted by PONY about 6 months ago. If anyone didn’t read them, read them NOW ! I was retarded until I read them.

  37. KMTBERRY

    Pony Says:
    July 24th, 2006 at 12:04 pm
    The concern is estrogen, xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens.

    But it’s not only carnivosity. The estrogens in plants are of concern too, particularly those in soy, and especially for women who have some cancers, are in peri or post menopause, either natually or surgically.

    You can look here for information about estrogen as a “hormone replacement” or “hormone therapy”:
    http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/whi/index.html

    Here about xenoestrogens, estrogens in the environment:
    http://www.fwhc.org/health/xeno.htm

    Here about phytoestrogens, estrogens in plants:
    http://envirocancer.cornell.edu/FactSheet/Diet/fs1.phyto.cfm

  38. Mar Iguana

    Vibrating Liz, I am so, so sorry.

  39. boomy

    Hell yeah. Amazing, great, fantastic post. I have an idiot cousin who told me she likes to wear pink because “it helps breat cancer.” Since then, I have been very suspicious of all things be-ribboned. But someone enlighten me: How is the Komen Foundation reactionary? I hadn’t heard this, and have participated in several of their walks/initiatives. My sense was always that they raised money for nebulous “research,” but also for free mamograms for poor women. Am I wrong?

  40. badkitty

    Too tired to join in the discussion, but I want to express my pleasure at your return, Twisty. Your blog was recommended to me by a friend when I was diagnosed with breast cancer about 6 weeks ago. Your blog and your boob archives have kept me sane in a pink-ribbon world. Thank you thank you thank you for posting your post-mastectomy photos. I am in the process of scheduling a double mastectomy and need to see the reality of it. Your feminist, p-blaming rants and the intelligent commentary from your followers repeatedly make my day. Why the HELL is everyone so content to just drape pink ribbons on the disease rather than searching for the cause. Never mind…. I know the answer.
    Thanks again and congrats on your mobility.

  41. Pony

    Hey KMTBerry. I’ve been at this for a long time. Since the late ’70s the medical profession’s callous use of women has been my feminist focus.

    I wonder if IBTP could sponsor a woman for the 2007 climb.

    Corset free climb to raise money for PREVENTION research.
    http://www.breastcancerfund.org/site/pp.asp?c=kwKXLdPaE&b=85494

  42. Pony

    You’ll have to read up on this boomy.

    http://www.bcam.qc.ca/news/13-1/pink.html
    “The fine print reveals that the company’s contribution per purchase is one cent, regardless of the amount charged. After BCA drew attention to the fact that a hundred transactions were needed to generate a single dollar for the Komen Foundation, the campaign ended.”

    The bad girls of breast cancer take on Komen:
    http://www.bcaction.org/Pages/TakeAction/ThePuzzleProject.html

  43. Pony

    Mammogams:

    http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab001877.html

    “The currently available reliable evidence does not show a survival benefit of mass screening for breast cancer (and the evidence is inconclusive for breast cancer mortality). Women, clinicians and policy makers should consider these findings carefully when they decide whether or not to attend or support screening programs.”

  44. curiousgirl

    Twisty,

    I found Barbara Ehrenreich’s amamzing article on this topic through your site a few days ago. I am linking to it here in case anyone missed it:

    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/extra-credit/welcome-to-cancerland/

    My stepmother died at age 44 after 8 Years of treatment for breast cancer. I hate the pink-ribbon affliction (as did she) for all the reasons you and barbara state. I hate most, though, the way that ‘survivorhood’ suggests my stepmother died young becuase she was insufficiently cheerful. At one point I recall her taking direct aim at the asinine notion, in response to a query from a family member:

    Querier: “How will you know when you’re cured?”

    Stepmom: “When I die of something else.”

  45. curiousgirl

    and by amazming, I meant amazing, though it may be a little amamzing, too.

  46. Twisty

    There are, boomy, other reasons to cast a suspicious eye on the Komen Foundation. Komen is almost singlehandedly responsible for the hugely inaccurate image of breast cancer sufferers as white middle class American ‘survivors’. It authored the moron infantilizing pink teddybear shit (as Barbara Ehrenreich said, nobody gives a dude with prostate cancer a baby blue Matchbox car). It is responsible for the widely-held and erroneous belief that breast cancer is ‘virtually curable these days.’ It’s in bed with corporations like AstraZeneca that make cancer drugs (like the blood-clot king Tamoxifen) in one lab and cancer-causing agents in another. It has, according to my girl Samantha King, actually lobbied against legislation that would improve treatment opportunities for poor women. Furthermore, there is no indication that Komen’s efforts have made the slightest dent in breast cancer mortality rates per capita. Furthermore, mammography, the ‘awareness’ of which seems to be the thrust of Komen’s efforts, is not ‘prevention’; it merely detects (if you are lucky) cancers that are already present. It’s nice to get a free mammogram, sure, but mammograms ‘miss’ an estimated 15% of tumors (like mine). Once a cancer has been found, all bets are off if you’re poor; don’t go looking to Komen for free chemo.

    The official Twisty posish on walks-for-the-cure is: don’t.

  47. boomy

    Thanks Pony. I read what you sent along, and while it is totally obvious that the Pink Kitchen Aid mixer is a load of bullshit (think before you pink has been on to them for a long time,) I still don’t see how the Komen foundation is so bad. Anyway, I’ll keep rooting around.

  48. boomy

    Thanks, Twisty. I didn’t see your post before I posted mine, we must have crossed wires.

  49. marachne

    One effort that does seem to makes sense is the Sister Study:

    “The Sister Study is the only long-term study of women aged 35 to 74 whose sister had breast cancer. It is a national study to learn how environment and genes affect the chances of getting breast cancer. In the next 3 years, 50,000 women whose sister had breast cancer, and who do not have breast cancer themselves will be asked to join the study. ”

    http://www.sisterstudy.org/English/index1.htm

    This is the first effort (certainly on this scale) to look at environmental effects as well as genetic predispositions. It is working very hard to be ethnically diverse and will be following people for 10 years. I signed up and was impressed by everything that was being looked at and the thoroughness of thier setup.

  50. kathy a

    vibrating liz — i’m sorry doesn’t begin to cover it. your jaw-dropping report makes me wish there was a “real life awareness” posse, charged with the duty of kicking idiots in the ass with information. such as: “aren’t you sweet?! lymphoma IS cancer. yeah, the potentially fatal kind!”

    and then when they say “omg, give me a call if i can help in any way!” the posse can sign them up for any number of useful things: providing health care, cooking dinner, letting you rant without pink-bear cheerfulness, getting political, running errands, being a human friend, etc. ok, a girl can dream…

    twisy, glad you are upright, eating tacos, and blaming hearty.

  51. Pony

    boomy you’re going to have to root around in the Breast Cancer Actions site for their page (with links to articles) on why Komen is just anohter patriarchal industry parasite feeding off women. If you google Komen and blast past the fluff, you’ll find lots of articles debunking their philosophy.

    Sorry, I had to work this morning, and it would have taken some time to pull it all together.

  52. Sara

    As recently as last year, I, too, absolutely believed the “Oh, breast cancer; pooh, pooh; no biggie anymore, at least not for most women” story. It was sickening to find out this is a lie. I imagine it was far more sickening for you.

    I thought of you (and all my friends and acquaintances with/currently surviving/already dead of breast cancer) today when I saw an ad for Astra Zeneca. It was cleverly disguised as a folksy “Honey, let’s talk and let me hug you” invitation, all woman to woman, and even included middle-class-looking black women with perfect makeup and a fake home-cooking attitude. Then at the end it said “Astra Zeneca” and the jig was up, at least for me.

    Breast Cancer Action needs to have a media presence this slick. We need to start an ad fund to de-ribbon America’s cancer consciousness, and the ads need to be as pervasive and persuasive as this. The purpose, of course, would not be to tell women, “You have BREAST CANCER?!? Oh, fuck, you’re so gonna die!” but rather to tell everyone to do what we’ve been talking about here, think before you pink and push for a real cure, and real information for real prevention, not some nasty-ass post-surgical cash cow for a drug company, plus multiple sales points for any other company that wants to co-market, say, cosmetics. Or SUVs.

    Insurance or no, cancer seriously sucks, and people who exploit the suckery for cash profit are The Ultimate Suck.

    Meanwhile, I am very, very happy to hear you have achieved ambulation, however, slow and creaky. Isn’t being able to get off your ass at will just the most fantastic thing in the whole world after you haven’t been able to do it for awhile? Oh, the things we take for granted!

    I have questions, too. First, Twisty, the walnut is gone now, right? I mean, this was the original cause of surgery, not something that’s shown up after you went through all that hackery, right? Goodness, I hope so.

    And Liz, what about that grapefruit? Is it coming out or getting shrunk or what? I think of you often and hope you’re getting treatment that will work. (And gee, your kid Finn sure is a nice boy. What a mensch. You are right to be proud of him. Good job.)

    Best wishes all around.

  53. kathy a

    badkitty — many thoughts for you. honest, when people say the “oh, call me if i can help” thing, you should sign them up for something you could use. some will flake, and some won’t — you’ll find out who you can rely on. [the best advice ever when i became a new mom was, accept all offers of help. the advice applies other places, too.]

    curiousgirl — your stepmom was awesome! i’m very sorry that you lost her, but she didn’t die for lack of insight or spunk. it was just the fucking damned cancer.

  54. flewellyn

    As someone who has lost family to breast cancer, I’m moved by your post to quote my mother, a Rabbi’s wife and schoolteacher, who died of the disease in 1999:

    “I so FUCKING hate those FUCKING pink ribbon pieces of SHIT! They do FUCK ALL for actual cancer research! It’s all about the fucking money and the gala awareness concerts with their fucking fashion models!”

    Yep, that was my mother. Elegant and classy all the way. :-)

  55. Pony

    badkitty tell us what your diagnosis was. please.

  56. Nia

    What annoys me the most is that all of this is happening in a country with a government that puts all sorts of obstacles in the way of stem cell research, because of course a handful of cells obtained from minute-old embryos deserve as much respect and veneration as the actual lives of actual human beings.

  57. jaye

    Twisty:

    When you are ready for some delicious film noir and Andy Griffin–yes hold on–with the ever more delicious Patricia O’Neal watch A Face in The Crowd.

    Hooters and the mention of said hellhole gives me instant migraine. Be mindful and warn me next time, please.

  58. Mar Iguana

    Oh yes, A Face In Th Crowd, one of my faves. It ain’t Mayberry. But, small correction, jaye, it’s Patricia Neal.

    Pretty current film actually, since it shows how a sleazy, good ol’ boy, silver-tongued asshole from the South gains political power and the machine that helps him.

  59. badkitty

    Pony – since you asked, i was first diagnosed w/ DCIS in one breast. i had a lumpectomy,& they found DCIS, LCIS and ILC in the post-surgical path. i have a very strong family history & am currently being tested for genetic mutations. the radiologists and oncologists have said they couldn’t see shit in my breasts because i’m premenopausal w/ very dense tissue & lobular cancers are apparently hard to find anyway. i’m not crazy about the idea of having more invasive tumors growing & not being able to find them until i can feel them. hence, the boobs shall be removed. i’m hoping like hell for clean path reports & a negative gene test (love ya, Twisty, but don’t really wish to follow in your footsteps, now that you can leave them again) so i can avoid chemo & keep my one remaining ovary.

    my mother, a survivor herself, offered me a pink ribbon upon my diagnosis. i politely declined and bought myself a FUCK CANCER tshirt. if people thought i was an angry dyke before this, they’d better look the fuck out now.

  60. saltyC

    Vibrating Liz, I’m glad to see you posting! You have a lot of support here. I wish you well.

  61. saltyC

    Lucky, to add to your warning label about sex with men:

    (from the Women’s Health Info link from Pony’s post via KMTBerry:)

    (sources of exposure to Estrogen that can cause breast cancer:)

    include prolonged use of oral contraceptives, the use of the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera and Norplant contraceptive silicone rods

  62. Pony

    I’m so sorry badkitty. Sorry you have to do this, and sorry we are more focussed on the science of space junk than the science of what causes breast cancer.

  63. Pony

    Sara Breast Cancer Action is a few hundred women with breast cancer themselves or who have a woman in their family who does/did.

    They have a very small budget because they take no money from pharmaceutical companies.

    The American Cancer Society on the other hand, has a massive budget that is mostly pharmaceutical money. Like most other disease non-profits, they’re really just an extension of the pharmaceutical marketing departments.

    Google “astroturf”.

  64. badkitty

    anyone seen the new mag “Beyond” ? aimed solely at (middle class white hetero culturally-brainwashed) women with breast cancer. saw it on the newstand last night – the “premier issue” & hopefully the last – & flipped thru it. never saw so much pink in my life, & had no idea that i had to buy so much crap to properly survive breast cancer.

  65. Pony

    Advertisers will stomp over each others backs to carry this. The magazine will be turning them away because they can handle only so many double-truck spreads per issue. Look for breast-cancer celebrity du jour on each cover, articles about how men can handle the pain, how to help your man get through this, how to really enjoy all the new porn to help him do that and what to buy to be feminine. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

    For everyone who has a pension, mutual funds: are they invested in pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals?

  66. teffie-phd

    Samatha King is a great researcher (she works at a neighbouring university and I’ve met her a few times). I’m glad you’re talking about her book.

    She’s saying some things that people don’t like to hear about their fundraising efforts and how they contribute to this whole pink-mania that just reinforces the patriarchy.

    I think I’ll go burn my pink ribbon running shoes now.

    No, I’m not making that up, I did one of those walks and got pink ribbon runners that show the world how selfless I am for raising money. Yuck.

  67. abecedarian

    I couldn’t stop thinking about this all damned day. I ranted and raved in my mind from the time I read this until the time I went to sleep last night.

    I’m tired of hollow gestures. Show me how to be an advocate for early detection. Show me how to be an activist to fight for proper legislation for research. Show me how to raise money/awareness rather than asking me to perform a token gesture that might make me feel good for 30 seconds but doesn’t really *do* anything. Show me how close they are to a cure. Now THAT would make me want to donate and do more advocating.

    Day 2. Still raving.

  68. earthfreak

    This is one of my major ranty-points. (I do have a few, now}

    Not only because it’s annoying and useless, but because:

    A) We already knoww pretty well how much pollution, and, as someone pointed out, stupid off-gassing plastic kitschy things promoting “breast cancer awareness” have to do with cancer. If we, as a society, were really interested in saving lives we would go to the source and clean up and plain old stop a whole bunch of polluting industries.

    B) I’m opposed to animal research, so I’m upset by the idea of funding it even if it DID work (and, pretty much, it doesn’t)

    C) – all the other stuff already mentioned – it’s a paltry amount of money (going to research anyway), it’s yet another tool of the patriarchy, it erases a whole bunch of folks who aren’t well-insured white soccer moms,

    ARGH!!!!!

    Pam

  69. Pony

    Sure poor women and women of colour can get breast cancer. {Sorry, redundancy). Do they have any money? No? Sorry, not invited to the party. The whole point of the breast cancer industry is the last word. Research for a cause would threaten so many careers, the astroturf support agencies would have to close their doors, sponge makers would have to go back to green, hell the stock market would probably crash.

  70. redcap

    You’ll be sad to know that this horrid Pink Ribbon phenomenon is not confined to the US. It’s taking over Australia as well. (When we’re not thinking about Steve Irwin being dead, of course.) In the past 24 hours, I’ve noticed pink-lidded bottled water made by Coca-Cola and Target-brand pink awareness T-shirts. Then there’s the “Pink Wish” version of our favourite chocolate biscuit, the Tim-Tam. (I’m not sure whether there’s a US equivalent to this, but it’s a couple of layers of chocolate-flavoured biscuit, sandwiched together with chocolate cream and coated in more chocolate. The Pink Wish version has gooey, glow-in-the-dark pink gear in the middle and looks more than a little alarming.) Then there’s the Bras Off For Breast Cancer Research appeal, but this seems slightly less sinister as it just encourages women to hand in their old bras and make a $2 donation. Ford knows what they’ll do with all those old woman-harnesses, of course. The local “survivor” groups also bug me more than they should,k particularly Survivors Abreast, a group of women who race dragon boats while wearing pink feather boas. It all strikes me as being so horribly cynical.

  71. Pony

    I think of them as the women’s auxiliary. Because really, they’re not the main event. That’s going on in the stockholder’s meetings.

  72. shannon

    WHOO-HOO Sammy King was Cole’s advisee. I will tell Cole straightaway that you dug the book.

  73. sarita

    This reminds me of something I saw —- I used to live a few blocks from the end of one of those 3 day walks for breast cancer awareness. Saw a lady, all decked out in pink visor, pink t shirt, pink crap all over her car….casually smoking a cigarette.

  74. Mar Iguana

    From Women’s eNews, Sept. 30, Cheers and Jeers:

    October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and instead of
    touting the wide array of commercial products that claim to
    raise funds for breast cancer, many organizations around the
    country have initiated campaigns to make breast cancer treatment
    and detection more affordable and to fund new technology and
    research for breast cancer patients. Of U.S. girls born today,
    13.2 percent will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their
    lifetime.

    Pretty in Pink, a nonprofit based in Raleigh, N.C., is helping
    low-income and uninsured breast cancer patients get free or
    discounted treatment, including chemotherapy, surgery and
    radiation, reported the Raleigh News and Observer Sept. 25.

    Tokyo-based Fujifilm partnered with the National Breast Cancer
    Foundation to create a Web site, Images of Health: Mammograms
    for a Million Moms, which encourages women to pledge to get a
    mammogram and fund screening programs for those in need. The Web
    site also explores digital mammography, which uses new detection
    technologies and computers to record, store and enhance the
    breast images.

    Breast Cancer Action has also launched the fifth year of its
    Think Before You Pink campaign, which urges consumers to ask
    critical questions about pink ribbon products and promotions
    before they participate in them. This year, the campaign is
    focusing on the amount of money being donated to breast cancer
    compared to the amount being spent on marketing and what
    companies are doing to ensure that its products are not
    contributing to the breast cancer epidemic.

    “By empowering consumers, we can work together to hold companies
    accountable to people affected by breast cancer,” said Barbara
    Brenner, executive director of Breast Cancer Action. “If
    shopping could prevent or cure breast cancer, we’d have done it
    by now. There are so many ways for people who care about this
    disease to get involved.”

  75. Pony

    “including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation,”

    I just felt a chill. Get yours now. It’s FREE.

    Barbara Brenner of Breast Cancer Action has had breast cancer twice. She rocks. The whole organization does.

  76. Pony

    An action against the breast cancer INDUSTRY: print and hand out during October.

    http://www.bcaction.org/PDF/NYTIMESAD.pdf

  77. Kerri

    Hello,
    My response is not to breast cancer but in regards to recovery from addiction, trauma, etc… I have been inspired by a feminist psychologist who has written books such as:
    -Women, Sex and Addiction. A Search for Love & Power
    -Many Roads, One Journey. Moving beyond the Twelve Steps
    -Yes, You Can! A guide to empowerment
    All of these books have inspired me to a life that I have never thought possible and I now have started two groups here in Calgary, Alberta Canada.
    I love Dr.Charlotte Kasl’s 16 steps especially Step Four where it states:
    “We examine our beliefs, addictions and dependent behavior in the context of living in a hierarchical, patriarchal culture.”
    Anyhow, I love this site and have learned alot from the truth being told here. I will certainly share this with other women in the group and thank you as you help me to see more on how patriarchy permeates everywhere in our current sick system.
    Thank you,
    Kerri

  1. Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » Links!

    [...] “Crunch for the Cure” at I Blame the Patriarchy [...]

  2. Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » “Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy”

    [...] Via Feministing and I Blame the Patriarchy. You can read an excerpt here. [...]

  3. I Got Yer Boobython Right Here at I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] Boobie-Thon, in case you don’t read Salon or Self, is a blogger-driven pink ribbon dealio. Readers send their homemade “rack shots” to Florida blogger Robyn Pollman’s boobiethon.com site. Then, for a $50 donation, boob-lovin’ voyeurs get to access the photos. The money goes to either Children’s Hospital Boston or the dreaded Komen Foundation. [...]

  4. The Worsted Witch » Blog Love: I Blame the Patriarchy

    [...] Says I Blame the Patriarchy: If you were to ask any space alien—who happened to be dropping by on its way to the Delta Quadrant—about breast cancer, it would undoubtedly tell you that, according to its personal observations, the primary symptom of the disease is a dramatically increased propensity to sprout pink teddy bears, pink visors, and pink rhinestone jewelry. Of course you and I know that infantilizing misogynist teddybear rhinestone pinkness, cancer-o-normative though it may seem, is actually just one of the most successful campaigns in the history of marketing gimmicks. Thanks to unprecedented support in terms of cash and selfless volunterrorism, breast cancer is currently the most popular disease in America. … [...]

  5. Citizen of the Month » Promotional Awareness

    [...] After I made my blog “pink” for Breast Awareness Month, I received a surprising email from someone who is against the whole concept of ”awareness” month.  It seems as if there are quite a few people out there who think corporations are using their support of breast cancer for their own profit and brand awareness.  Are yogurt brands really interested in breast cancer or are they just marketing to women?  But where’s the activism? The ostensible focus of all this pseudo-philanthropic pink jockeying is a kind of nebulous breast cancer ‘awareness’, rather than any serious effort at prevention or investigation into what actually causes breast cancer in the first place. Furthermore, once all this ‘awareness’ has produced, via mammography outreach programs or self-exam propaganda (both masquerading as ‘prevention’), a positive diagnosis, there’s not any great push to secure treatment for underserved women. [...]

  6. Feministe » Where’s My Black-n-Blue Ribbon?

    [...] At the risk of sounding as though I am trivializing breast cancer, it’s impossible not to notice which issue receives most of the awareness in October, and that it is coincidentally the issue involving fun bags. As Twisty noted earlier this month, breast cancer awareness does not equal breast cancer activism, and concern for healthy breasts does not equal concern for healthy women: I mean, from where I sit, breast cancer isn’t about boobs. It’s more about, oh I don’t know, death. [...]

  7. Blog: The Assertive Cancer Patient « Women’s Health News

    [...] It’s October–Time to Gag Me With Those Pink Ribbons – “Retailers right, left, and center are offering pink-themed merchandise, then donating a tiny share of the profits to cancer research. The reason the pink marketing campaign makes me so angry is that it encourages women to indulge in retail therapy while trivializing a very serious disease. This is not about raising money for cancer research; this is about companies trying to sell us stuff we don’t need, just to make a profit.” On a related note, Breast Cancer Action runs the Think Before You Pink campaign, which provides information on just this very topic. Time also covered this on Oct 11, as did Twisty. [...]

  8. Save the Boobies! « Homo Academicus

    [...] and urging people to feel like they are doing something by buying consumer goods. As said on I Blame the Patriarchy: If you were to ask any space alien—who happened to be dropping by on its way to the Delta [...]

  9. Manure at I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, but if their website is any indication, they appear to subscribe to a Crunch For the Cure/Komen style of product placement/nebulous “awareness”/plucky volunterrorism that really [...]

  10. Good news, bad news at I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] aged white women the golden opportunity to grow — into branded “awareness.” Breast Cancer Awareness the Brand, with its army of unpaid pink volunterrorists, sells, with unprecedented success, everything from [...]

  11. Blog: The Assertive Cancer Patient | Womenhealth

    [...] It’s October–Time to Gag Me With Those Pink Ribbons – “Retailers right, left, and center are offering pink-themed merchandise, then donating a tiny share of the profits to cancer research. The reason the pink marketing campaign makes me so angry is that it encourages women to indulge in retail therapy while trivializing a very serious disease. This is not about raising money for cancer research; this is about companies trying to sell us stuff we don’t need, just to make a profit.” On a related note, Breast Cancer Action runs the Think Before You Pink campaign, which provides information on just this very topic. Time also covered this on Oct 11, as did Twisty. [...]

  12. Pink Notions « Twisting & Transisting

    [...] The first is a commentary from I Blame the Patriarchy regarding “social marketing,” and the use of breast cancer “awareness” as a corporate marketing gimmick. This is something that’s been bothering me for a while now. I chalked up my disdain for all things pink (except for this layout, of course!) to the fact that it wasn’t my cancer getting the publicity. Why didn’t cervical cancer have a color attributed to it, and an catchy ad campaign? (This was before all the talk of the vaccines and “telling someone.”) I sure as hell never wanted to say anything about it, for fear of sounding insensitive to cancer patients/surviors of any kind. Anyway, turns out I’m not alone in finding all this pink do-goodedness suspect: The ostensible focus of all this pseudo-philanthropic pink jockeying is a kind of nebulous breast cancer ‘awareness’, rather than any serious effort at prevention or investigation into what actually causes breast cancer in the first place. Furthermore, once all this ‘awareness’ has produced, via mammography outreach programs or self-exam propaganda (both masquerading as ‘prevention’), a positive diagnosis, there’s not any great push to secure treatment for underserved women. (More on the “Crunch for the Cure.”) [...]

  13. Blog: The Assertive Cancer Patient | Vasecto Reversal | My Reversal Tips

    [...] It’s October–Time to Gag Me With Those Pink Ribbons – “Retailers right, left, and center are offering pink-themed merchandise, then donating a tiny share of the profits to cancer research. The reason the pink marketing campaign makes me so angry is that it encourages women to indulge in retail therapy while trivializing a very serious disease. This is not about raising money for cancer research; this is about companies trying to sell us stuff we don’t need, just to make a profit.” On a related note, Breast Cancer Action runs the Think Before You Pink campaign, which provides information on just this very topic. Time also covered this on Oct 11, as did Twisty. [...]

  14. In which I critique an article that critiques articles « Grumpy rumblings of the untenured

    [...] which have a far greater impact on far more women, in favor of trendy pink things that are funded by certain multimillion-dollar agencies.  (Certainly, mammograms for all! Yes! And genetic testing!  [...]

  15. Blog: The Assertive Cancer Patient | Health in life, women health, women's health articles

    [...] which provides information on just this very topic. Time also covered this on Oct 11, as did Twisty. Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment [...]

  16. Monday money: Be nice. (charitable giving) « Grumpy rumblings of the untenured

    [...] G. Komen foundation participates in Pinkwashing and is a big offender in what Twisty calls the Breast Cancer Brand Woman. Cancer is degrading enough [...]

  17. Giving Wisely in 2012 – tips for donating and volunteering

    [...] As one blogger put it, “The ostensible focus of all this pseudo-philanthropic pink jockeying is a kind of nebulous breast cancer “awareness,” rather than any serious effort at prevention or investigation into what actually causes breast cancer in the first place.” One of the comments on this blog post captures the issue well: “If there was some real research into the root causes of cancer or providing widespread access to quality healthcare (prevention, early detection, dealing with the disease, cure) for women, maybe I would understand. Instead a friend gives me a T-Shirt that says “Save the ta-tas” and I am supposed to believe that all is right in the world.” [...]

  18. Giving Wisely in 2012 – tips for donating and volunteering « Pursuit of Public Health

    [...] As one blogger put it, “The ostensible focus of all this pseudo-philanthropic pink jockeying is a kind of nebulous breast cancer “awareness,” rather than any serious effort at prevention or investigation into what actually causes breast cancer in the first place.” One of the comments on this blog post captures the issue well: “If there was some real research into the root causes of cancer or providing widespread access to quality healthcare (prevention, early detection, dealing with the disease, cure) for women, maybe I would understand. Instead a friend gives me a T-Shirt that says “Save the ta-tas” and I am supposed to believe that all is right in the world.” [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>