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“Think Pink” campaign is a reminder of the powerful impact of breast cancer

Arts and Entertainment Editor

Published: Friday, November 5, 2010

Updated: Friday, November 5, 2010 14:11


There was the Boston Tea Party and Great Awakening of the 1700s, the California gold rush and Women’s Suffrage advocation that shook the 1800s and Civil Rights campaign of the 20th century. I believe it’s safe to say that America is a nation of constant movement. And to say that the Think Pink mentality of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month is “too much” is like telling Elizabeth Cady Stanton that the Declaration of Sentiments was just overdoing it.

  The argument in last week’s  breast cancer editorial was made that the purple ribbons of domestic violence are undercut by the pink ribbons of breast cancer all vying for recognition in the same month. When an MSNBC correspondent reported just last week that 70 percent of Palestinian women suffer from some form of late stage breast cancer, it’s not very difficult to determine which issue deserves priority.

  The Domestic Violence Resource Center’s national analysis reports for 2010 determine that, “One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime,” while recent studies on report that, “More than 1 in 4 cancers in women (about 28 percent) are breast cancer.” Health issues are simply more imminent, and while there is a tiny margin for error in specifying what determines a domestic violence case, cancer leaves no room for the imagination.

  Not only is it true and understood that women have had a long and hard history trying to claim their due equality, but in arguing for equality of recognition of the two ribbons, it’s important to note that dual, seemingly often equally important social reforms lie just underneath the larger ones- even in our nations history. Are we to forget that while the Civil Rights movement raged on, Caeser Chavez was fighting for the same brand of equality? The same idea applies. Because media focus and attention are hot on the pink trail doesn’t mean that domestic violence, Down Syndrome Awareness, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Antidepressant Death Awareness or Gay and Lesbian History month doesn’t matter. October shares observances with well over 20 other health and domestic awareness campaigns including the few just listed.

  The unrest is understood. October is also HIV/AIDS Awareness month, a disease, which, according to the 2009 Unites States Center for Disease Control reports, affects over 33.2 million people worldwide. You would think the red would overshadow the pink. And yet, it doesn’t. But this doesn’t mean that AIDS is less important it just means that the campaign is not as large and not because of the “sexualization” of breast cancer.

  We gain knowledge and influence through media, but we cannot allow media and slogans like “Beer 4 boobs” or “Get into Bed for a Cure” – as noted by Hard Rock Hotels- cloud our judgment and dictate our affections to turn us away from the breast cancer movement. The people who construct and respond to ads like that are only one portion of a population. An “I love my tatas” T-shirt suggests that the pink the campaign is an all-inclusive movement willing to umbrella the many the characters that breast cancer effects- even if you get do get your awareness alongside a cold one- capitalist aims or not, cancer is cancer.

  October is for women still at arms around the country and the world against this disease. On July 25 of this year I lost my grandmother to this same cancer. And it’s nice to have a reminder on a yogurt lid, or in the wrist bands of my favorite football teams, or pink balloons at breast cancer awareness festivals. For women around the world, third generation Palestinian women whose mother’s mother fought the same battle, for families who lost their beloved ladies and to scientists doing their utmost, pink is for the survivors, the loved ones and the memories. Our society is not perfect, and I make no argument in its favor.

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