Thursday, October 01, 2015

it's october!

I'm fine and I know I owe an update but I could't let this month pass without sharing some the best that's out there when it comes to writing about pink ribbons.

To begin, here's one from Breast Cancer Action (thanks to Kate for drawing my attention to this one).

The post is by Jeanette Koncikowski. Here's an excerpt. 

"When I start talking about my concerns about the pink ribbon, people often ask me what my problem is (not in that seriously inquisitive kinda way, but in the seriously, you are taking issue with THIS?! kinda way). They equate questioning this symbol with a lack of support for women living with and who have died from breast cancer. My problem is that pink is a color and not a cure. The pink ribbon has been corrupted. Corporations, not community, have become the primary promoters of the pink ribbon. Corporations are exploiting our collective generosity and concern for breast cancer patients to make a profit. Many of these companies are not transparent about which breast cancer charities or research, if any, are benefiting from our purchases.  Other companies are pinkwashing, claiming to care about breast cancer (often evidenced by placing a pink ribbon on a product) even though their product actually increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer! There are also countless pink ribbon promotions that degrade women by objectifying their breasts and bodies. Campaigns focusing on saving the boobies, the ta-tas, and second base send the message to women with breast cancer that saving your breasts is more important than saving your life." 
The first sentence of the paragraph of above really resonates with me. Most people who buy pink ribbon stuff just want to show there support. I really don't want to diminish that. It's just that there are better ways of doing that and the author does a pretty good job of explaining why.

There is so much more awareness about Pinktober and pinkwashing than there was when I first started thinking about these things in 2006. Is there any good writing you'd like to share? Please post links in the comments section!

3 comments:

Vrindah Neerunjun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vrindah Neerunjun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vrindah Neerunjun said...

Your blog post contains strong arguments against Pink Ribbon. Many people think that the pink ribbon is the first symbol of breast cancer but the origins of the pink ribbon come from an activist Charlotte Haley whose mother and sister battled breast cancer. “Haley pinned the ribbons onto cards she sent to the National Cancer Institute, urging them to increase their budget allocation for cancer prevention” (Lieber 2014). Well then the notion of Pink ribbon actually initiated in 1991 during the ‘Race for Cure’ event in New York City by the Breast Cancer Advocacy group, Susan G. Komen. The basic purpose of distributing the pink ribbons were merely to encourage people in participating and as well as creating awareness. But the pink ribbon concept has dramatically become the ‘big idea’ for many brands including the Breast Cancer Advocacy Group and KFC. The increasing number of pink products such KFC pink-bucket of fried chicken is fascinating and many people feel that these products are misleading. Most brands are printing the pink ribbons on their product for brand promotion, increasing sales of their products despites the potential health risks. Raising money by misusing breast cancer awareness and engaging in partnership with corporations that are actually contributing to the disease is clearly Pink-washing. Pink Ribbon was a powerful symbol to raise global awareness and during Breast Cancer awareness Month in October, people wore the pink ribbons to honor survivors, victims who lost their life to breast cancer and all together increase the support in fighting against breast cancer. It was meaningful regardless the origins but now it’s like the Breast Cancer awareness month has become a holiday for people.