07 January 2010

Ribbons and Bows

As a rule, I don't wear ribbons or rubber bracelets, or poppies, or crosses, or much else that says anything about my beliefs, support, or alliances (aside from sassy t-shirts). I also don't generally play along with the other sheep when asked to "copy and paste this into your status update" so when status updates among my Facebook friends started showing up as a single word that was a colour, I was suspicious. When it was revealed to be viral marketing for "awareness of breast cancer" I was irked.

If you have lived in the Western Hemisphere at any point during the past two decades and you are not already aware of The Cause, please raise your hand.

Yeah. That's what I thought.

Problem is that most of these campaigns, they don't do much. Maybe they help some people feel better but not everyone (thank you Anne for that link). For example, I am the kind of person who gets angrier when someone tells me to "turn that frown upside down" and I am pretty sure that should I ever fall prey to breast cancer, a pink ribbon is going to mean jackshit to me.

I am not anti-research (though I may be anti-pinktarian -- thank you, Chair, for that term) but I am really tired of the constant focus on boobs (and let's be clear, it is boobs society is fixated on; no one talks about men who get breast cancer) -- lots of body parts can fall prey to cancer.

And while I am at it, please, for my daughter's sake, lay off all the pink. I don't care what anyone thinks, wiping one's ass with pink toilet paper is not helping anyone.



Ada Saab said...

I stand by my thinking that this research has been taken over by corporations and there will never be a cure because of that.

Cheryl said...

Ah, yes. I still owe you a pink tin foil hat. ;)

(Of course the part of me that watches documentaries like The Corporation believes you are right and society is deluded.)

Anne said...

Call me a cynic, but I still think a lot of this is just exploiting emotions to make money, and in some cases, sell more crap. Certainly many of the pink branded products are things people buy every day, and would most likely buy whether or not the little pink ribbon is there. But some of the things aren't really necessary, and it's either "feeling good" or guilt that causes some people to buy them.

The lack of acknowledgement of men bothers me a great deal. I have a male FB friend with fibromyalgia, and the same thing happens in that awareness campaign. Everything is geared towards women.


Note the slightly darker shade of pink used for this campaign, as well as a butterfly. Why not black and yellow, because chronic pain makes you angry, and a wasp because it's a mean insect, just like firomyalgia is mean?!!

Let's stop sugar coating this stuff!

Mike DeWolfe said...

What tore it for me was when I saw a girl in an aisle of ornaments. She saw a breast cancer ornament and squealed, "Oooh! Breast Cancer!"
PINK fills the space usually occupied by dolls, power drinks and sports teams.
And, I totally agree that the research is more for its own sake more than to find a solid set of treatments.