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October 14, 2009

As well as being October, the month when I can begin to intermittently turn on the heating again, it is breast cancer awareness month– wahay for those pink ribbons.

Kate Harding has written a great article about this campaign entitled Breast Cancer Is A Disease, Not A Marketing Opportunity, pointing out the commercial draw for manufacturers who actually do very little for the campaign.  The Assertive Cancer Patient on her blog (wearing a t-shirt embolden with the phrase Fuck Awareness, Find a Cure), links to Pink ribbon overkill which details how companies ‘are exploiting breast cancer awareness month by selling pink products’ .

Think Before You Pink campaigns against companies financially using the pink motif and those who use it whilst selling products linked to the disease:

Pinkwasher: (pink’-wah-sher) noun. A company that purports to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribboned product, but manufactures products that are linked to the disease.

Think I’m being tight and minimising breast cancer, and it’s awareness?  LaShaune Johnson doesn’t, who says “I cringe when I see that stuff. I feel like they’re taking advantage of people who are suffering and want a sense of belonging.” .  Neither does Jeanne Sather, who says:

For those of us with breast cancer, it’s like getting hit in the face,” says Sather. “The companies are making money off my disease — even if they’re giving an amount to charity, they’re making so much more in profit.”

And if you have never heard of Prostate Ken, make sure you click into Sather’s blog.  It’s an education.

October is also Domestic Violence Month – but dv isn’t as sexy as talking about tits so don’t expect to hear much about that.  Or all the other killers of women – y’know, the ones that kill many more women like heart disease, poverty et al. 

Refuge have launched an Early Warning Signs campaign, using the tagline every week another two women escape domestic violence signifying that every week two more women are murdered as a result of ‘domestic’ violence. (And I’m not going to comment on their use of pink).

Every week, another two women escape domestic violence.

 According to the Home Office, two women in England and Wales are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week.

 At Refuge, we’ve learned in our 37 years that what starts as a slap or shove can escalate into a pattern of frequent brutal beatings, and can even lead to death.

 We’ve learned that far from being about losing control, domestic violence is actually about men taking control. And we’ve learned that emotional abuse can do a huge amount of harm.

  Forewarned is forearmed, so Refuge would like to alert you to some of the early warning signs of domestic violence.

  • Is the man in your life charming one minute and terrifyingly aggressive the next?

 • Is he excessively jealous and possessive?

 • Is he stopping you from seeing your family and friends?

• Is he constantly criticizing you and putting you down in public?

 • Does he control your money?

 • Does he tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, what to think?

 • Does he pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to?

 • Are you starting to walk on eggshells to avoid making him angry?


Don’t ignore the early warning signs.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. polly permalink
    October 14, 2009 19:33

    Hey about half those early warning signs are descriptions of managers’ behaviour at work. But anyway my brother just got diagnosed with prostate cancer and it seems there isn’t a sandwich I can buy to raise awareness? Why the hell not?

  2. October 14, 2009 19:37

    Totally manager behaviour 🙂

    Sorry to hear about your brother, I hope he is ok.

    You obviously haven’t seen this site, and before you link in, guess the colour of prostate cancer awareness goods?

  3. polly permalink
    October 14, 2009 22:23

    My sister in law is a cancer counsellor for a living, so I guess he’s in the best hands.

  4. polly permalink
    October 14, 2009 22:26

    But isn’t it strange we never see mention of prostates in M&S. Not light and frothy and pink, you see, like breasts. You’re not meant to really take boobies seriously…..

  5. BCAction permalink
    April 21, 2010 20:00

    What the Cluck? Tell KFC and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to stop pinkwashing!
    With their “Buckets for the Cure” campaign, KFC and Susan G. Komen for the Cure are telling us to buy buckets of unhealthy food to cure a disease that kills women. When a company purports to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribboned product, but manufactures products that are linked to the disease, we call that pinkwashing. Make no mistake–every pink bucket purchase will do more to benefit KFC’s bottom line than it will to cure breast cancer. Join us in telling KFC and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to rethink this pinkwashing partnership.

    Breast Cancer Action

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