Sink the Pink? Or Rethink?

During October in America, the world seems awash in pink breast cancer awareness ribbons.

Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?

By Jason Meredith from Louisville, KY, US (Breast Cancer Awareness) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Okay, so nobody would argue that being AWARE of the possibility of breast cancer, and taking care of one’s body, including checking the breasts for lumps and changes, is a bad thing. Because of years of repetition, most people I know, seeing those pink ribbons, think of breast cancer.

And pretty everyone I know, knows someone who has had breast cancer.

Many have survived and thrived.
     Like me!

Some fought valiantly, and sadly, #fuckingcancer won.
Like my mother, like my friend Pat, like too many women and men.

Some are still fighting #fuckingcancer, and side effects from surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or other medications.

In passing, may I introduce you to two of my favorite breast cancer warrior goddesses: sex educator Ericka Hart (Follow her on Instagram), and entrepreneur Emily Hopper, of Empowerhaus.

And some of the people I know love the pink ribbons. Love love love them, it gives them hope, makes them feel they are not alone in this battle or experience, plus almost everyone looks good in pink.

Others I know loathe the pink ribbons, just as passionately. It makes them feel isolated and left out, especially those who were not blessed with Cancer Lite, as I was. Like, everyone has developed an unreal expectation of a perfunctory battle with this disease, followed by a positive outcome. Shave your head, then go run a 5k, right?

My surgery and treatment, while I had my bad moments, physically and emotionally, which I wrote about in Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘N Roll, and a Tiara, is not the brutal, painful, horrific experience some of my friends have and are experiencing. I feel some survivors’ guilt over that, although logically, it would not make them feel any less ravaged if I’d been ravaged, too.

And I can wholeheartedly agree, that way too many companies engage in pinkwashing. Slap a pink ribbon on a candy bar, a can of soup, a brand of tires, and companies may actually enjoy a boost in sales, because people believe if they buy a can of soup with a pink ribbon on it, they are helping fight breast cancer. In actuality, little to none of the purchase price of merchandise wearing a pink ribbon, actually goes to breast cancer research.

And yet, I like the pink ribbons. I chose to brand my book with pink, to offset that wonderful picture by Nick Holmes.

Because it wouldn’t be right if I repeatedly didn’t flog my book here, you can get a copy, electronic or paperback, here:

I’m not going to unbrand my book, nor guilt myself for liking pink, or pink ribbons. I don’t want people to ever feel pressured to wear the pink, or NOT wear the pink. To have breast reconstruction, or to go flat. We should all make choices that are right for us. Yet at the same time, I don’t want to forget, in this month of breast cancer awareness, that it ain’t all pretty pink ribbons and Skittles, for far too many women and men who have or had this disease.

If you’d like to donate to the fight against breast cancer, a good way of sorting out companies who actually help, is through Charity Navigator.

In other news:

I’ll be guesting on Susan Berger’s blog, tomorrow (Tuesday Oct 16 2018), and giving away a copy of this memoir.

I’ll also be doing a Facebook takeover party, on Wednesday, Oct 17 2018, 7 pm Pacific, where we’ll be playing some online games and chatting live, and I will also be giving away gift certificates. To join in, 1) Login to Facebook, then
2) Join this group ( ), and
3) head over there at 7 pm this Wednesday Oct 17, Pacific Time.

Hope to see you around the Interwebs, at Susan’s or Christine’s, later this week.

Your thoughts on pink ribbons?

One Reply to “Sink the Pink? Or Rethink?”

  1. I am all about the Pink! As a 16 year survivor my breast cancer experience, a very sucky one but I am still alive so there is that, changed my life. I left my high power high stress job and started my own company. There is no Pink Fatigue when you live it!

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