Tag Archives: activism

When Favorite Brands Go to the Dark Side

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WacoalThe issue first came up a couple of years ago, actually, but I really didn’t have time to deal with it then. It was just weeks before my son’s bar mitzvah and I was in dire need of a pair of black jeans. I headed to the store, tried on half a dozen pair hoping to find one that would not require tailoring (yeah, right) and choose one. Phew!

As I sat in the dressing room waiting for the tailor to pin the jeans I saw it. It had actually been tucked in a back pocket so I missed it at first. The tag. NYDJ had jumped onto the pink bandwagon and become a Komen supporter. Ouch.

Don’t tell anyone, but I bought the jeans.

Fast forward. I’ve been inundated with work – professional and volunteer – and trying desperately to catch up lately. (It’s one of a few reasons I haven’t been blogging much, so thanks for your understanding). Well, as luck would have it, tonight I finished a major project and I wanted to kicked back!

Hello, RealSimple. Just me, the couch and the glossy pages ripe and ready to get me ready for fall. Yahoo!

Flipping through the fall fashion pages, page 81 to be exact, BAM! Wacol has a full page, pink ad. That’s fine, no worries. Until I read the small print: Wacoal is a proud sponsor of Susan G. Komen. My condolences, Wacoal, but Susan is dead, and I will venture to guess YOU are sponsoring Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and THEY are not one of my favorite charities.

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Who Owns Our Genes?

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Such was the case heard at the Supreme Court this morning. I was honored to be asked to speak by rally organizer Breast Cancer Action. My remarks are here:

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Cleaning out the Cobwebs

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I must admit, I have been neglectful of late and it’s gotten a bit dusty around here. As it is wont to do, life took over. The cobwebs aren’t just virtual, though – they are metaphorical as well; it’s pretty dang dusty inside me head of late! So here’s a quick update of what’s been keeping me busy:

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The Stolen Color From My Rainbow

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ImageI’ve been pondering this post for about nine months, since October, when our concerns with “pinkwashing” peak each year. That is when it first occurred to me that I resent giving up pink. Today’s release of the new film Pink Ribbons, Inc. prompted my return to the subject. (I already have my tickets for tonight’s showing at the Laemmle.)

I have never been a huge fan of pink. Too girly, maybe or too cheerful for my “take no prisoners” and follow no rules self. But that does not change the fact that pink should be mine to reject, not “theirs” to take away. The color has been usurped by the cause marketing world as a vehicle for selling products, most of which do nothing to impact breast cancer.

As the movie explains, the ribbon didn’t even start out as pink in the first place. It began in the early ‘90s as a peach ribbon, created by Charlotte Haley, whose grandmother, sister and daughter all had breast cancer. Ms. Haley used handmade ribbons to bring awareness to the lack of funds directed toward breast cancer prevention by NCI. She is rumored, ironically, to have rejected Estee Lauder when they approached her about co-opting the ribbon as a broader symbol of anything but her personal awareness campaign. Enter pink…

In the breast cancer world pink may be the most divisive thing of all! Some love it, some hate it, but no one seems to be quiet about it. The division doesn’t help us! We, the breast cancer community, must come together. We must give up the pink war. We must use the vast resources at our disposal to strategically focus on curing breast cancer. We need to prevent disease. We need better treatment. We need prevent metastasis. And we need to prevent people from dying. We don’t need pink.

A few weeks ago I came home with new pajamas. As I was putting them away husband noticed and said, “But they’re pink…” Yes, they were pink! Why shouldn’t they be? I want the beauty of my rainbow back, in all its colors!

National Breast Cancer Coalition

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There are countless breast cancer “charities” out there…from beheamoth organziations of international scope, to local support centers active in our various communities. NBCC is of particiular note as a stand-out national advocacy organization supporting an agenda of finding a cure, and I proudly join them next month as we work to move that agenda forward! In addition to Joy’s wonderful overview of NBCC, there are some valuable & important links to related projects and efforts.

NATIONAL BREAST CANCER COALITION
–by Joy Simha, NBCC Executive Committee

At The National Breast Cancer Coalition every bit of business we do begins with a moment of silence (MOS) to remember an incredible breast cancer advocate who has died since our last gathering. The MOS grounds us and reminds us about why we are there. And every day as I sit down to my desk to write, I look at the faces of all the women I know who have died of breast cancer. I also, in some cases, look at the faces of their children, because I know that I want to end breast cancer because they are without their mothers. Read the rest of this entry

Not Funding Mammograms for the Cure

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In a thinly veiled move that defies explanation, Susan G Komen For the Cure has chosen to pull the plug on mammograms for low-income and/or underinsured women. What might their next step “for a Cure” be?

Slate on Komen     Jezebel on Komen

There IS Something You Can Do…

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The outpouring of love and support, from both my in-person and online communities has been so profound and I simply don’t have words for how touched I have been. Many have asked if there’s anything they can do. For the moment, we need your thoughts and prayers as we all find our “new normal.” But there is one thing you could do for me….

I’ve blogged before about the importance of research and the need to fill clinical trials, and as many of you know I spent my summer working on my first scientific peer review panel for the Department of Defense. And there is one certainty…we cannot cure this disease without evidence-based scientific research. And we cannot complete research studies without subjects. So if you’d like to do something for me (which is really for all of us), please follow this link now to the Love/Avon Army of Women site and sign up. All women are eligible, irrespective of breast cancer history. In signing up you are committing to read periodic emails about breast cancer studies. (You won’t be eligible for most of them.) You are not committing to participate in anything! If you’re eligible you will get more information to help you decide if you’d like to participate. Some studies are involved, and others require you swab your cheek. Your information is only shared with researchers once you indicate interest. It’s always up to you, but you just might be a part of the cure!