(Image from Consensys )
I am very grateful for all of the positive outcomes of the pink ribbon campaign. For example, I know I’m not alone. Additionally, when I discuss my diagnosis, generally people aren’t acting as though they are super uncomfortable. The pink ribbon sticker in the back of a car brought me to tears when I saw it one day as I driving to a medical appointment for breast cancer. I was so sorry that someone else may have had to endure the same treatments I did, and I also felt a kinship.
I had tremendous mixed feelings last year as I walked around Salem Health and was confronted with life sized cut outs of women that had meassages about breast cancer. Many of these were statistics about factors that people do not have control over. While I think information is generally a helpful thing, these troubled me. (They disappeared at the end of October, so they were part of an awareness campaign.)
I have some problems with the pink tide that rises in October. It seems like a marketing bonanza for many companies, which feels exploitative. Consumers may assume that buying a product with a pink ribbon means a donation will be made toward a breast cancer organization, but that’s not always true. Another example is from several years ago, there were popular pink wrist bands touting “I love boobies”, which the boys in my class could point to and claim to support breast cancer awareness. I’m still dubious.
My final comment (for today) is that I want to avoid being reduced to a pink ribbon or a single issue, which I fear can happen when bumper sticker politics take over a complex issue.