Oct 15 2010

It’s Gratuitious Erotica Month!

So much has happened since the last time I bothered to post that I’m just going to ignore it all and start here.

First it must be acknowledged that here at Spinster Aunt HQ we are suffering from Chilean Miner Fatigue. Yes, we’re as enchanted as the next aunt by the time-honored spectacle of extracting humans from holes in the ground, but in the name of all that’s tasteful we draw the line at traveling to the nearest Chilean embassy to hang teddy bears on the railing.

Teddy bears. That reminds me. It’s breast cancer awareness month! Awesome!

There is much patriarchy to blame when it comes to breast cancer awareness month. Such as Komen. Komen, as I have declaimed extensively, has brainwashed millions into believing that the act of buying pink crap turns them into selfless philanthropists. Snap out of it! All you are doing is buying pink crap. Komen is a patriarchy-replicating commerce facilitator. They do not reduce breast cancer occurrence. They do not reduce breast cancer deaths. All they do is hook up sanctimonious shopaholics with corporate leeches who want to shine up their tarnished public images.

One may also blame such vile entities as Estee Lauder, which bolsters its public image with gratuitous pornography (see photo). There is a bizarre connection in the public consciousness between hottt! cleavage and deadly breast tumors. Remember that “Boobython” freakshow? How many other cancers can be successfully advertised with sex? Can you picture an ad for prostate cancer featuring a delicate, manicured hand squishing a dude’s junk? It blows the lobe.

Of course Estee Lauder is a bleepin cosmetics company, a world leader in the woman-hating Beauty Industrial Complex. According to Cosmetics Database, Estee Lauder manufactures at least 120 products with moderate to high hazard ratings. But a little pink ribbon erotica making vague allusions to breast cancer solidarity makes it OK to poison their customers, I guess. “Prevent breast cancer one woman at a time” indeed. By burning her fucking Estee Lauder wrinkle cream!

One may also blame breast cancer awareness month as the month when Vagina-Americans are most likely to Shop/Walk/Eat Toxic Processed Yogurt For the Cure. If I see one more pink teddy bear, one more pink food processor, one more pink TV commercial where those chicks stop in the middle of their triathlon to lick yog-spunk off their pink Yoplait lids, put on your raincoats, girls, because I’m gonna bust another lobe. I have no wish to observe yogurt-coated tongues sticking out of models’ faces while being told that replicating this act will cause 10 cents to be donated to Komen. “Save lids to save lives” is the slogan. As though Komen, or Yoplait for that matter, saves lives.

“Avoid this crappy yogurt at all costs to save lives” is more like it.

Yoplait. You know what’s in a Yoplait yogurt? Me neither, because they decline, for some reason, to publish any ingredients on the website. Yoplait.com says only that Yoplait is good for your “health.” The website suggests, for example, that the vitamin D in a Yoplait yogurt is sufficient to ward off “bone fractures […] heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.”

Yoplait anecdote alert

A couple of months ago, when cruising the Super S grocery store in Dripping Springs, Texas for a head of iceberg lettuce, I bought a Yoplait yogurt called Yoplait® Whips!® Key Lime Pie. It was a ghoulish pastel green color most commonly found in My Little Unicorn play-sets. This “yogurt” had the sticky, fluffy texture of a sugary pond scum, and tasted like pure polyester syrup. The only way that creepy unnatural thing was gonna be good for me was if I threw it away instead of eating it. In fact, the best thing would have probably been be to load it onto a rocket and shoot it into the sun.

As the world’s leading expert on human nutrition, I suggest getting vitamin D the old-fashioned way: 15 minutes of sun. It’s free, it feels nice, and involves little-to-no FD&C Yellow No. 5.


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  1. Lady K

    There was a Facebook thing (aren’t there always Facebook things?) where young ladies were told to post in their status where they liked to put their purse when they entered the room – ie, “I like it on the floor,” with no explanation to those outside the loop (ie, men and people who don’t give a hoot about Facebook). Lemme tell ya, titillation ensued!

    I tried to explain to my friends who participated why this did absolutely nothing to raise breast cancer awareness, particularly when the nature of such statuses were INTENDED TO BE KEPT SECRET (secret = opposite of awareness, right?), not to mention that “awareness” is a crock unto itself (Holy shit, did you know that breast cancer is a thing? Crazy, right?!).

    But I don’t even carry a purse, so what good is my opinion?

  2. EmilyBites

    Welcome back Twisty! I thought breast cancer awareness month would rile you up. ‘Save the Tatas’? Give me strength. Have you see the latest breast cancer awareness meme, posting on facebook ‘where you like it’? Your purse, that is.

  3. EmilyBites

    Simultaneous posting giving you an idea of how horrible things have been! Save the boobs!

  4. janicen

    Seeing a new post here after such a long drought has been a balm, soothing my weary eyes. If the trend continues, by the next Breast Cancer Awareness month, I will succumb to pink-blindness. Pink is everywhere. Even the White House was pink yesterday. I can’t imagine what we will face next year.

    Welcome back, Jill.

  5. Jezebella

    The Hard Rock Casino on the Gulf Coast is celebrating “Pinktober” with the horrific tagline, “Without ta-tas, there’d be no rock-n-roll.” I get ill and angry every time I see the damn ad.

  6. Laurie

    Good to see you back in — or out of, actually — the saddle, Jill. My daughter who works at a feminist women’s health center told me all about the great Breast Cancer Action group out of San Francisco, and their fantastic Think Before You Pink campaign:

    Check it out here: http://bcaction.org/index.php?page=pink-ribbon

  7. Laurie

    I see that one of the BCA’s “history of the pink ribbon” link is broken, so here’s the direct link to the Think Before You Pink campaign site: http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/

  8. Level Best

    Speaking of extremely annoying, sexist Yoplait commercials, WHY is the current Heidi Klum commercial beginning with so-called “humming” on her part that sounds just like chimp sounds to the untrained ear? Has some evo-psychologist started moonlighting as a writer and slipped in some primal sounds to sell the product and to reinforce the animal nature of women? It takes considerably effort to top the tastelessness of the previous Yoplait commercial in which the woman sucked the yogurt container inside out in her gustatory passion (in the grocery store, before paying for it–isn’t that shoplifting?), but the Primal Woman spot is wallowing competitively for the lowest point of the bog.

  9. M

    Thanks Laurie – I was wanting something to back up my ‘no “awareness” through titillation needed here’ stance on the Godawful handbag thing.

  10. Satchel

    All they [Komen] do is hook up sanctimonious shopaholics with corporate leeches who want to shine up their tarnished public images.

    I feel like a withered houseplant who just got a long drink of water.

  11. yttik

    Welcome back, Jill.

    I was startled out of my pinkified daze by the latest Old Spice commercial the other night. It’s so over the top it made me laugh.


  12. Jill

    And nobody’s gonna snipe that “gratuitious” isn’t a word? Y’all do care!

  13. Stacey

    “Breast Cancer Awareness: because the problem with breast cancer is that nobody has heard of it.” Spare me.

    3 years ago I dyed part of my hair fuschia, and one of the things I hate about October is that people are always asking me if I did it for breast cancer. No, dammit, I did it because I like it — if I was doing something for breast cancer I would actually be DOING SOMETHING for breast cancer, not dying my fucking hair or updating my Facebook status.

  14. Farie

    Did you know that you can buy BPAtastic pink water bottles with a pink ribbon on them? To raise awareness, you see. The awareness is the most important part, because, according to industry scientists using estrogen-insensitive rats to test for the estrogenic effects of BPA, BPA is perfectly safe. Since we can all rest easy that there’s nothing we can do to actually prevent breast cancer, the wisest course of action is clearly to buy a lot of pink things.


  15. ruby

    Thank goodness we are not alone in eschewing the pink ribbon fleecing.

    Don’t Kick Me Out of the Vagina Club, but…

  16. nails

    I am about a week from starting my etsy. Maybe I should start a line of things to subvert komen ribbons. I hate those stupid things, and they are even posted around the hospital. I have a ton of tiny pink army men originally painted for such a purpose, I was going to take photos of a pinkified war though. I don’t know how well I could pull that off. I wonder if pink ribbons are copyrighted? I could embroider anti komen slogans on some if they aren’t. If they did…those guys are even meaner than previously suspected.

  17. rideandcook

    Yo, hope you’re having a good time with your new horse. Keep on riding, don’t let anything get in the way of that. Can’t stand all of the dopey yogurt adverts and health claims. Just eat some Fage Total every day and go outside and do something — that’s all it takes. Get on your horse — that’s what I’m gonna do as soon as the sun comes up tomorrow.

  18. nails

    oh my GOD. I was researching the komen foundation and found out that it wasn’t until last year that yoplait removed a cancer linked hormone from their yogurt, and they did so because the Breast Cancer Action group pressured them. You would think that if Komen gave a crap about cancer at all that they wouldn’t slap their logo on cancer causing products. It is lobe blowing.

  19. sargassosea

    Listening to NPR yesterday afternoon there was an (interesting?) discussion regarding the efficacy of mamograms. Woman host with three guests all men. It is as if there are no women experts on this subject, for Jill’s sake.

    Gunna keep my yap shut about the miner thing though, speaking of the necessity for raincoats!

  20. Eden

    Just the thing to read after that Facebook “I like it x” nonsense. Who isn’t aware of breast cancer these days? And the marketing that makes it seem that breasts are more important than actual women is just a bit creepy.

    Despite this, I have to admit that the idea of a mostly female organization dedicated to an issue that effects mostly women is a just little heartwarming (if frustrating with all the pinkness). If only that sisterhood and energy could somehow be turned into microlending, raising money for women’s shelters and/ or political action for women’s rights.

    Glad to have something this incisive to read after a long week.

  21. nakedthoughts

    While patriarchy blaming has occurred in you absence, none of it rivals the blaming I find here.

    Though deep in my soul I feel an urge to rant further on the topic in this space, most of my points have already been made.

  22. Owly

    To be fair to Yoplait, it is possible that the yogurt you purchased from Super S had been on the shelf since before I moved to Dripping Springs in 2001. Speaking of blown lobes, it’s a miracle that I have so much as a teaspoon of lobe left after living there for 5 years. I moved to Austin as fast as I could.

    Two breast cancer awareness experts descended upon the bar where I work to push their “I LOVE BOOBIES!” buttons on the regulars. They never once mentioned where the money would go, although I assume it was probably Komen. I mustered the nastiest look I could and criticized them within earshot but they were too busy with their charitable endeavors to notice. I was actively trying to pick a fight with them in my boobie-induced rage. At least only a handful of people bought it, and I’m pretty sure all of them were frat boys or hipsters.

    This is my first comment, by the way. Couldn’t hold back when you mentioned the big Drip. Sometimes I think this blog is one of the only things keeping me sane. Proud to have you in the area!

  23. Mrs. G.

    Thank you for always articulating so beautifully why I am so over pink ribbons. I thought I was just being an asshole.

  24. Bushfire

    Speaking of yogurt, has everyone seen Sarah Haskins’ yogurt episode of Target Women? It’s quite entertaining.

  25. redpeachmoon

    Blow a lobe indeed!! welcome back and thanks loads for the brilliant Komen expose/update! I am grinning from ear to ear. Missed you alot. How about the ‘eat pray love’ bullshite fest that’s getting Komenized like crazy too..?

  26. Zuzu

    Dang, I thought we had lost you completely, there. Glad to see your ‘pinons (that’s what we call opinions in New Mexico, get it? Pinons are nuts, see… oh, hell) When the type on your blog gets too tiny for my weary, grad-school readin’ eyes to handle, I just gaze at the awesome pictures of insects that you post. Thank you.

  27. meerkat

    Since I never ate it even before I went vegan, I can speculate that one ingredient in Yoplait is gelatin, a common ingredient in things that rightly ought not to have a texture that resembles gelatin, such as yogurt, and on at least one occasion bread.

  28. AileenWuornos


    Thank you again for raising my awareness, now I know for a fact that all the cosmetic companies whom I asked if they tested on animals were either stupid, lying, or both.


  29. Sewist

    The shilling of yogurt as a health/diet/woman food as always annoyed me to no end. That shit is half a molecule away from pudding, in fact pudding might have more protein. It’s not magic health-improving gold, it’s milk beaten to within a inch of it’s previous nutrition, pumped up with artificial sweeteners, colours, and texture enhancers. Cod forbid a person need some real yogurt to make tzatziki, it’s not to be found in a grocery store these days.

  30. Jill

    October 15, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    […] When the type on your blog gets too tiny for my weary, grad-school readin’ eyes to handle, I just gaze at the awesome pictures of insects that you post. Thank you.

    Well, you’re welcome, and I’m happy to have you gaze at my insects, but have you tried pressing “Command” “+” to enbiggen the font size? That’s what I do.

  31. skeptifem

    meerkat- the bacteria does the work of making yogurt gelatinous. Since they have to add the cultures to make the yogurt taste all sour (and they pimp the LIVE CULTURES thing really hard now that pro biotics are all the rage) it would be weird to have to add gelatin. I suppose it is possible though.

    There is a french cafe here that makes its own yogurt in little glass pots. Its fucking cool.

  32. Kelsey B.

    I can vouch for the fact that there is gelatin in some brands of yogurt. All of the big, nationally produced brands (such as Yoplait, Dannon, etc.) seem to contain gelatin, high fructose corn syrup, or both, which is just maddening. “Health food,” my ass.

  33. ThePinkDownUnder

    Here in Australia the best-selling brand of bottled water, Mount Franklin, has similarly jumped on the pink-insignia-equates-as-caring bandwagon by selling some of their bottles with pink lids, pink labels and the promise of donating a whopping one dollar per bottle bought. The catch, as the fine print of their obscure website eventually yields, is that the donation amount is capped at $100,000. So, while by all means it’s a good thing some money is being donated to breast cancer research, the reality is that the chances of your bottle itself contributing a whole dollar is completely meaningless. What’s more, I said they sell some of their bottles with pink colouring: they are sold cheek by jowl with the standard (you guessed it) blue sticker and lid. You know, so we guys don’t feel emasculated as we rejuvenate in public.

  34. Jill

    I don’t know what they put in those Yoplait “Whips!” dealios, but there is nothing yogurt-like in the least about that texture. It’s some kind of synthetic saccharine/styrofoam emulsion.

  35. Josquin

    I’m also so glad that you posted on the awful pink crap that’s been proliferating. I think that the Komen conglomerate had something to do with the highly “amusing” caption I heard about at a recent event:
    “Save Second Base”
    Isn’t that just clever and darling? I know MY concerns about breast cancer are nicely summed up by that phrase- heaven forbid any naughty cancer should mess with some dude’s groping pleasure!

  36. Josquin

    ps: Yoplait Whips taste like shit.

  37. nails

    Yeah I have no idea about the whips. I don’t eat anything diet-like, and haven’t for a couple of years. The commercials led me to believe that they were cups of yogurt that had a ton of air beaten into them, which made the yogurt a rip off in addition to being part of diet culture.

    I did eat those nasty drippy 60 calorie yogurts back in the day. I think they just spit in them to thin out the yogurt without adding calories.

  38. panoptical

    Welcome back, Twisty. The internets just aren’t the same without you.

    You can add “guys offering free breast exams” to your list of patriarchy to blame this month. Some guy in Florida went so far as to put up a sign: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/florida/news-article.aspx?storyid=170613

    Someone should really kick this guy’s ass… you know, to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

  39. michnele

    twisty, i’m so glad you’re back.
    you’re the best.
    i love your blog.

    i like being able to read about things that are important without crying or becoming a monster of revenge-seeking anger. you’re damn funny.

    patriarchy blaming. i love it.
    i don’t despair when i come here. i feel empowered.

  40. Suzan

    Oh Twisty, I just love “Beauty Industrial Complex”. that has to become a meme for how they peddle over priced crap using gender insecurity and the conditioned need to conform.

    I’m going to file that one away as a meme to describe some ideas I’ve had percolating since reading Juliet Schor’s book,
    “The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need”

    Glad to see you writing again!

  41. phio gistic

    Next time I see a “save the __________” (insert any number of insulting, infantilizing, hurrr-hurrr terms for breasts here) sticker, pin, poster or T-shirt, I shall stop the owner and ask for an address to mail them to if I find myself having a mastectomy.

    Then I will go around and promise never to Rock-n-Roll again or go to “second base” since women obviously have no value sans breasts.

  42. wiggles

    Holy crap has that cosmetics database shattered my delusions. Who knew Cetaphil was toxic. Dermatologists use that stuff, and recommend it highly to their patients.

  43. tinfoil hattie

    Someone should really kick this guy’s ass… you know, to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

    Ha ha ha haaaaaa ha … thank you!

  44. TwissB

    It became apparent that it’s Komen Your Breasts ‘R Our Business Month when I approached the Delta Airlines counter at the terminal in DC under a wierd cluster of pink balloons that I only realized were Komen fetiches after first taking them for twisted intestinal sections. On the plane, male flight attendants were wearing pink neckties, while the women attendants were sporting intensely pink scoop-neck tops which bore text in sparkles positioned over the employees’ breasts declaring Delta flies with Breast Cancer or some such inane slogan. Here’s just a taste of the Komen’s month o’fun and profit, Delta style:
    “Airlines support Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

    “Pink drinks… Delta and American offer an in-flight pink menu
    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, all over the country and the world, people are coming together to increase awareness and to raise funds to research its cause, prevention and cure.

    This year, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) celebrates its 25th year in rallying attention, and all over the world will host two and three-day walks, runs, and other celebratory efforts in the name of research, survival and cures.

    The travel industry is no stranger to BCAM, and two notable airlines – American Airlines and Delta Air Lines are making major impacts to support the cause as well.

    American Airlines backs Komen for the Cure by having their employees wear pink and donate money to Komen’s mission. It also offers a special pink menu for travelers that includes pink cookies and pink beverages. Ten percent of each item on the pink menu will be donated by Sodexo – the food and beverage supplier to raise breast cancer awareness.

    People who work at both American Airlines and American Eagle have begun competitions to see which groups can raise more money, and have organized an “American on Stage” talent show in Fort Worth which raised more than $4,000. All of the airline’s efforts have established more than $19,000.

    Delta Air Lines has also made their efforts clearly, most notably by its pink plane. The new Boeing 767-400 showcases a trademarked pink ribbon logo and plans to fly to Brazil, Italy, and Spain. Flight attendants and customer service agents will wear pink uniform pieces to support the cause all month long, and on board the plane, passengers can enjoy pink lemonade and pink jellybeans.

    In addition to the company’s efforts, Delta also allows its members and travelers to contribute through its iPhone application and Facebook page. Each time someone download’s Delta’s iPhone application or uses it to check it, the airline will donate Sky Miles to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Starting today, Facebook members can share their personal stories about breast cancer on Delta’s Facebook page by creating a “virtual” lemonade stand.”

    And that doesn’t include the pink plane with Melissa Etheridge serenading passengers: “ATLANTA, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) will kick off its fifth year of support for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) Sept. 29 by lighting the New York-JFK air traffic control tower in pink and honoring breast cancer survivors with a live in-flight performance by Hard Rock International PINKTOBER™ Ambassador Melissa Etheridge.
    Delta will be joined by Etheridge, BCRF, and representatives from The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at 5 p.m. EDT, Sept. 29 to light the exterior of the New York-JFK air traffic control tower in pink. Immediately following the lighting ceremony, Delta will host a charter flight for employee breast cancer survivors aboard its signature “pink plane” from JFK to Washington D.C.-Reagan National Airport. While in flight, Etheridge will perform a special acoustic rendition of her hit single “I Run for Life.”
    “It is inspiring to our employees and customers to become increasingly involved in raising awareness and funds for this important cause,” said Joanne Smith, senior vice president of In-Flight Service. “Launching this year’s breast cancer awareness campaign in New York continues our growing support and presence in the city. After ‘painting’ JFK’s control tower pink, having Melissa perform in-flight will be an emotional, heartwarming experience.”

    On my flight, one spiffy-looking attendant was warming the heart of a normal-bodied colleague who just wasn’t up to sashaying up and down the aisles as Spiffy was doing in her smoothly fitting pink top paired with slim-fit hipbone-hugging Levis, broad belt, necklace of big round pearls setting off her perfect tan, and waist-length dark hair. (I’ll email photographic documentation of all this pinkly wonderfulness to Jill.)

    I wonder if the pinl lemonade and pink cookies were reserved for 1st Class passengers, invisible behind the privacy curtain. We certainly didn’t see any back in steerage which was just as well for our over-pinked digestion.

    As a volunteer at a women’s organization, I listened to interns twittering over how cute it was for NFL players to wear pink armbands this month. They looked puzzled when I reminded tham that 1) men like breasts and 2) men know what “in the pink” refers to.

    Happy BCAM every one!

  45. Lady K

    Is there a medical reason why breast cancer is not referred to as “mammarian cancer” ? That seems more appropriate, or at least more latin.

  46. Sewist

    Full fat yogurt does not need/have gelatin or carageenan, it’s very thick naturally. Without it, reduced/fat free yogurt would be very thin – not at all spoonable.

  47. DancesWithCats

    Every brand of yogurt that my local grocery stores carry contains gelatin. (There are exactly three grocery stores here and one of those is Wal-Mart.) Wait, no, there’s one kind of Greek yogurt that doesn’t have it. But that’s fat-free. All the rest have gelatin.

    It boggles my mind that Yoplait Lite has high fructose corn syrup in it. My normally health-conscious boss keeps bringing that to our breakfast meetings. I just can’t force myself to choke it down. I think even the Weight Watchers yogurt has HFCS. That’s ri-goddamn-diculous.

    Did any of you Facebook users see status updates from dudes with such cleverness as “I like it with her own money in it” or “I like it anywhere as long as I don’t have to hold it”?

  48. skeptifem

    Lady K- There are lots of kinds of breast cancer and there are huge strings of words for all of em. Its not always in the mammary tissue, many are in the lymph nodes near the breasts so its hard to make a blanket term. Breast cancer works as well as anything else.

    Re: Pink Drinks. Are these pink drinks alcoholic?

  49. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    What’s worse, I’m unable to vent my pink ribbon rage upon those of my friends who’ve been afflicted with the disease. They think the pink poo-poo purveyors are saintly and will not hear anything to the contrary. My obstreperal lobe is darkly throbbing an ominous blackish-purple, threatening to blow at any second. October should be over soon.

  50. Cthandhs

    If companies really wanted to do something honest about breast cancer, they wouldn’t show big, perfectly sculpted, healthy boobs on their ads. How about ads that show it’s ok to get a lump-ectomy or a mastectomy and still be a beautiful, awesome woman. All the boob porn does is say “Watch out, if you get breast cancer, your perfect mammarys may not be so perfect any more.” Like that’s going to make someone feel good about getting surgery. I propose Breast Cancer Treatment Month, where we show pictures of women with mastectomies having awesome lives after surgery.

  51. Pansuit Sally

    Does anyone know of any manufacturer of brown t-shirts that say “Save the Poop Chutes”? Because I would really like one.

  52. Ashley

    Seriously, so glad you brought this up. I was so confused when i saw all the “i like it on the ___” status updates. I hate how everything to do with women’s cancers has to be overtly sexualized so men think it’s hawwwt.

  53. Genevieve

    MAN do I ever hate the whole “sexy mammogram/breast exam” thing. When I was with my ex, whenever I’d go to my yearly gyno exams at Planned Parenthood, he’d always make some annoyingly “ain’t-I-so-cute” comment about if I got “turned on” when the CNP felt for breast lumps. GAH. Trying to prevent disease here! It’s not a cause for titillation! But I think that all of these “save the ta-tas/second base/rock and roll” campaigns, as well as all of the sexy boobie pictures like that one above contribute to this kind of an attitude–anything that could be wrong with a woman’s body can’t really by serious except for how it effects men.

  54. Cycles

    I’m going to make my own damn yogurt and save the lids to put on top of more delicious homemade yogurt.


  55. Beth Partin

    The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is currently taking on Estee Lauder.

  56. Yankee Transferred

    This is classic Twisty. The stuff we’ve come to know and love. The whole idea of buying pink crap and wearing a stupid ribbon to fix anything is so annoying.
    Thank you for bringing brains back to the blogosphere.

  57. RIChris

    ALL women are naturally aware of breast cancer, the insult is the assumption that we wouldn’t be.

  58. Ames

    Went to Lunafest last night – women’s film fest – and found they raise money for the Breast Cancer Fund, which is all about finding, exposing, and stopping environmental causes of breast cancer. They also have a campaign to change October from BC Awareness Month to BC Prevention month. Perhaps they are the anti-consuming-pink-crap-we-don’t-need-for-the-cause org.

  59. Jill

    I don’t think the insult is so much that women are unaware of breast cancer, it’s the false conclusion that “awareness” — particularly on the level of buying and consuming pink crap — can prevent anyone from getting cancer.

    Breast cancer month is just one big honking episode of PTSD for me. Surprise surprise, 20 years of Komen failed to prevent me from getting breast cancer. So I get to relive the whole fucking thing every time some chick on the radio tells her “I found a lump!” story.

  60. tinfoil hattie

    I agree, Jill – it’s the old “You must not have been paying attention!” or “You must have eaten green cheese!” or “You must have too much ‘negativity’ in your life!” admonishment. It’s somehow your fault if you got cancer! But hey, just hope you get the pretty, pink, girly cancer! Breast-y cancer! Yay! ‘Cause we’ll all eat yogurt for ya!

  61. Katherine


    Pretty much everywhere cosmetic companies are allowed to claim that a product “has not been tested on animals” as long as all the chemicals in it have been tested before that product, or if the testing on that product was done by another company.

    Obviously every chemical that is to be used on people should be tested prior to use (which usually means it needs to be tested on animals – testing chemicals on poor people is worse) but the search for more, better products to make everyone more P2K compliant is unneccessary.

  62. Josquin

    Cthandhs: Yes!

  63. Vibrating_Liz

    All this pinkified “awareness” also fails to address the whole “what’s the point of finding out you have cancer if you don’t have insurance and can’t afford to pay for treatment anyway” syndrome.

  64. Genevieve

    Vibrating_Liz–Yes. Prevent breast (and other) cancer(s) by instating real universal health care. Otherwise people who don’t have the money/insurance aren’t going to go to the doctor in time to possibly detect it, and if something’s wrong they aren’t going to get it treated.

  65. Larkspur

    I once signed a petition and accepted some literature from a nice man outside the Safeway. His purpose was to raise awareness about prostate cancer. He was not an MRA-style complainer about how breast cancer gets all the attention, men are so oppressed blah blah blah. He was just out there trying to raise awareness.

    I haven’t seen any prostate cancer screening PSAs lately. The ones I recall from several years ago simply portrayed older men talking to the camera about how getting tested wasn’t such a big deal, but it could save your life. No blue bunting or free doodad give-aways. Just information from one adult to another. Also? No standard stock photos of guys bending over, with a sound-track of examination gloves being snapped. Not like the stock footage of a half-draped woman raising her arm and leaning into the tit-wringer. Because men are people. Women are commodities. Breasts are public property. Women are unmen who must be tantalized and bribed with shiny objects, because logic and women are unmixy things.

    I don’t believe in god or an afterlife – except when it serves to splain stuff to myself, or when I feel like it. Susan Komen was a real live woman who got breast cancer and died from it. I can’t help it: I have this feeling that somewhere, she is very pissed off.

    Which means I have to go round up the information about something called the Empona Foundation (it may be a local group) the purpose of which is to make mammograms available to women who might not otherwise be able to afford them.

    Meanwhile: Oh, Molly Ivins, I love you and miss you. (What the heck; I am temporarily believing in an afterlife, why not say howdy.)

  66. Jill

    October 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    […] I have to go round up the information about something called the Empona Foundation (it may be a local group) the purpose of which is to make mammograms available to women who might not otherwise be able to afford them.

    I know nothing about the foundation in question, but it is cold comfort to women living in penury to be told they have cancer via a free mammogram, only to discover that there is, as is usually the case, no free treatment to follow. “Sorry, you have a deadly disease that you can’t get rid of without $125,000. Next patient!”

  67. Speedbudget

    Pantsuit Sally wins. If I had some clip art of a colon (not the grammatical kind) that T-shirt would be made and sold with profits going to a nonprofit specializing in helping women afford the care required after their mammogram.

  68. Larkspur

    Yes, Jill, I know. But getting a diagnosis may make one eligible for Medicare. Or maybe the co-pay for the mammogram is burdensome, but getting a free mammogram with an “all clear” result saves money she needs to fix the car. Or if further treatment is necessary, she can take the films to her stupid craven insurance company, and commence to fight her battle with breast cancer and her insurance company.

    And I assumed that the Foundation would have some rudimentary information to direct the unwealthy woman to other possible sources of care, and that they wouldn’t just say, “Ooh, big weird growth – here, look! You should prolly do something about it. Buh-bye.”

    It any case, this particular point is moot. I rounded up the Empona Foundation information and it is apparently no longer active.

  69. phio gistic

    Oh I saw the cover of the latest issue of “Wired” magazine on a news stand this weekend. Unsurprisingly, being a magazine about technology, it had a giant pair of naked disembodied breasts on it. Apparently illustrating this story

    It’s about using stem cells technology for breast augmentation. Since breasts “aren’t very necessary” (except for selling magazines), they can be used to experiment with this new technology to rush it into mass-money-making status without all those pesky decades of research and regulation. As they put it, “a strategic way to move the patented technology out of rats and into people as soon as possible.”

  70. DancesWithCats

    This weekend I saw a bag of Purina cat food with pink Komen-y stuff emblazoned all over it.

    Cat food.


  71. nails

    October 19, 2010 at 11:39 am

    “ALL women are naturally aware of breast cancer, the insult is the assumption that we wouldn’t be.

    After working int he medical industry… no, not everyone is. There are some really uneducated folks about, who weren’t privileged with basic health information. Immigrant women fall into this category… along with some who don’t know what causes pregnancy. So yeah. Yer privilege is showing (not like I knew before I encountered it personally, but still).

  72. nails

    I should say *some* immigrant women. Sorry. I wasn’t trying to generalize.

  73. AvengingGerbil

    Fifteen minutes of sun? Chance would be a fine thing. Haven’t seen actual rays since, ooh, October, and now the rain has set in for the winter. Which bit of the patriarchy can I blame for living in England?

    Glad the blaming is back – sorry to be late to the party!

  74. Plastische Chirurgie

    I couldn’t agree more with you Jill! Natural is always the way to go, and 15 minutes or so of soaking under the morning sun wouldn’t hurt at all. Though as always, never forget your skin products, as it might not look pretty if you forget to put on sunblock or what not!

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