I have to keep reminding myself – pink ribbons aren’t the problem. There are plenty of good things being done to help people with breast cancer through the sale of pink ribbon merchandise, or fun runs swathed in pink tulle.
But – it isn’t all good! Pinkwashing is a real thing, and it makes me mad. It is not safe to assume that pink ribbon merchandise is actually helping anything.
Another thing that makes me mad – misleading statistics. Last month, while driving my mom’s car around my hometown, I kept hearing the same radio ad claiming a “100% cure rate” for breast cancer. I think they were advertising mammograms. The fine print? Or in this case, the quickly, softly spoken disclaimer? Five years. Breast cancer is curable 100% – for five years. After that, well, no one wants to talk about that. (I guess I should explain that I was in town to visit my sister, who, at almost her five year breast cancer anniversary, was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Without that detail, I probably just sound like someone with intense anger management issues.)
I’ve done a little poking around, and it seems like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is doing a great job in terms of funding research. I want to support research, and today is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. I might need to add a “fuck awareness” charm to my shop, too. Because awareness without action is just … pointless.
Which brings me to MY point. I’m adding a “fuck cancer” key chain to my Etsy shop, and I’m donating 100% of proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 100% means for every $20 key chain purchased, I donate $20 to BCRF. I’m not a Girl Scout trying to get to camp, so by all means, please donate to BCRF or another group directly if you’re so inclined.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I’m going to donate for the rest of 2015, at which point I’ll see if I can’t keep up, or if there is no interest. I have no idea what will happen. But it feels better to do something than to keep hearing myself complain about ineffective fundraisers. I’m even tying up my key chains with pink ribbons.
Serious and cute are not mutually exclusive.