It’s not often you get to use the word brouhaha in a sentence.
As a current breast cancer patient I am sure I’m benefitting from Susan G. Komen, so I have been feeling a bit hypocritical about my rants over the past couple of days. I’m not flipflopping on my position, however. I still feel they were wrong and I’m still happy that Planned Parenthood got so much support in response. I’m still not sure how wrapping cancer up in a pretty pink bow helps anyone and I felt that way long before my own diagnosis.
If using pink kitchen gadgets and festooning yourself in pink ribbons makes you feel like you are doing something, that’s great. If a small portion of what you spend on those items actually goes into breast cancer research, even better. Pink handguns? really?
I’ve never understood how packaging artery clogging fried chicken in pink buckets and wrapping products made with cancer causing chemicals in pink bubble wrap exactly helped breast cancer patients. I bet it did help the companies who directly or indirectly cause cancer feel better about themselves (and make a lot of money off a public who can’t seem to see beyond the pink). I am not disputing the Susan Komen foundation has done a lot for breast cancer awareness. Have they done a lot to find a cure? I have no idea. My cynical side tells me there is no money in a cure.
If anything this whole cluster has reminded me to look really carefully at where funds go (and don’t go) before donating to any organization based on an emotional reaction. That’s not a bad thing.
Susan G Komen has reversed their decision to defund Planned Parenthood. That is really good news and kudos to all that stood up for Planned Parenthood, the top officials at SGK who resigned, the senators who called on them to put politics aside and do the right thing, the bloggers, and everyone who lit up facebook and twitter to spread the word. It pays to make your voice heard. What’s not so good news is the scrutiny they have put themselves under, not to mention the distrust that many now feel toward them. Some betrayals are hard to get over and I don’t think they will be able to pinkwash this anytime soon.
My new gravatar depicts perfectly how I felt when I read the following blog last night http://ihavebreastcancerblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/shame-shame-shame-on-susan-g-komen/ and how angry I still feel with the Susan G Komen foundation. While I’ve never been a fan of the ribbon, I have been a fan of any organization that works hard to raise money for cancer research and supports early detection screenings. Not just breast cancer, but for all cancer. However, no cancer seems to get as much press as breast cancer. Not even children’s cancer and that has always troubled me. When October rolls around and the whole world turns pink I wonder if people affected by other types of cancer feel any resentment? I think I would in their shoes. But I digress.. the reason for this rant is the fact that the foundation, who has been providing funding to Planned Parenthood, has pulled that funding based on the personal ideology of their new VP of public policy, a one Karen Handel who actually once ran for Governor of Georgia on a platform of defunding Planned Parenthood. I have to wonder if she took this job soley to fulfill her own twisted agenda. And I also have to wonder why the rest of the organization is going along with it. The monies given to Planned Parenthood by SGK were for early breast cancer detection. Not for abortions. Not for birth control. But to provide women who might otherwise have no way to get it, breast cancer screening. I don’t care what your political or religious views are and I won’t bore you with mine, but I am sick to death of women’s healthcare being held hostage by the rantings of extremists. Conservatives don’t want the government to pay for healthcare, yet they want to dictate how nonprofits handle their funding? It’s crazy making. In the future when asked to sponsor someone in the “walk for a cure” I will politely decline and make a donation to Planned Parenthood instead. Join me?
And now I am putting to rest my ribbon. I can support breast cancer research without festooning myself and my house in pink ribbons. You can too.