Friday, October 21, 2011

"And your little dog, too": Teal Strikes Back!

The Wicked Witch of the West: In Teal!

On doing a little digging, I discovered that I am far from the only one who has become sick and tired of the pink juggernaut that passes for "breast cancer awareness". I've included a link to an article by Gayle Sulik (which has links to other excellent commentaries) that explores, in incredible depth, the deeper financial issues of this modern-day marketing phenomenon. All this has led me to wonder what percentage of our donations actually end up funding breast cancer research.

The pink crusade has become wildly popular, saucy and "sexy" (not to mention headspinningly ubiquitous). In the name of being provocative, the movement is starting to use terms like "boobs" to show how unstuffy they are, how cool, and how they champion banishing the stigma around the disease. 

(Ovaries in teal!)
The assumption is that everyone is OK with this. But wait just a second. Does anyone think older women, grandmothers maybe, or even great-grandmothers (as I some day hope to be) would like their breasts referred to as "boobies"? What about going in for your mammogram and having the technician say to you, "OK, just put your booby in here"? It's ludicrous, and unfunny, and downright disrespectful. But if we dare to say anything about it, we violate the Pink Ribbon Code: we're just no fun! Don't we believe in the Cause?

I am beginning to read stories about women having surgery for ovarian cancer who discover that none of the hospital staff knows anything about the anti-ovarian-cancer crusade. They have no idea what the teal toenails are all about, or that the campaign even has a colour, let alone what that colour is. If someone sees a ribbon in teal, they assume it's a breast cancer ribbon that somehow came out in "the wrong colour".

Cross-section of ovarian thingammy in teal!

At this point I am beginnning to wonder if I should dress up as a giant ovary for Halloween and scare the living shit out of everyone. Take that, you pinko capitalist hypocrites!  Get your big ol' pink boobies out of my face!

No, seriously. I'm going as a witch this year (typecasting, obviously) and have been looking for makeup. Maybe I can mix blue and green together. Somebody has got to DO something so that this less-sexy but deadlier woman's cancer can get the attention and the funds that it deserves.

Flip-flop feet. . . IN TEAL!

(Post-post script. I just thought of this. Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, whose rather sappy book Women who Run with the Wolves was on bestseller lists for about four years, came up with a fantastic female equivalent for the male term machismo: ovarios.

I wonder why it never caught on.)

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