"A diagnosis of breast cancer is a health crisis for a woman; however breast cancer is more often portrayed as a cosmetic crisis."
"One is victimized not by a disease, but by its cosmetic consequences: the threat of a desexualized body."
Those words can be found in the research of Lisa R. Rubin and Molly Tannenbaum in a study they published in March of 2011 in a quarterly newsletter. They are members of the Society for the Psychology of Women. They are both working in NYC. I found out about their research by way of South Africa.
"Does That Make Me A Woman?" can be found online at Sage Publications. The focus of the article is the manner in which we make the choice regarding reconstructive surgery post mastectomy. While the researchers were focused on the lesbian and bisexual community, they realized the decisions and their underlying reasons were common among all women. In other words, Society. And yes, the Pink Ribbon.
Last night, there was another shake up at Komen. Nancy Brinker is stepping down at CEO. So are a few other top people whose names, frankly, mean nothing to me. Is this damage control thanks to the latest black mark against their skewed statistics? Probably. I seem to recall they had more than one PR firm on retainer. My guess? The guys who are in charge of keeping Komen on a short leash with a low profile suggested this pre-emptive strike. I'm jaded. I'll be the first to admit that to anyone. People, especially those in very high places, don't just step down. And really, is this a true shake-up? One can hope but again, it doesn't matter.
What matters to me? This is a disease, damn it..... My friend, Donna has a great suggestion for dealing with those who persist in making breast cancer into some sort of a game. She has the charts from the CDC for cancer incidence and cancer deaths. Pass the charts around at these events where there is a festive atmosphere.
Kel is a mets patient who has the first links to the Komen "shake up" on her blog. Donna is a mets patient with lots of insight and great observation. Ann is a mets patient with lots of snark and she was the first one who found this little gem of an event. Cupcakes for Breast Cancer. It was blogged about a few times. Alli's version is here. I left a comment underneath the news article. Of course, those of us who tried to politely point out this was not a great idea (nor, for that matter were any of us happy with the $3.00 donation to Komen) were once again accused of sitting on the sidelines just waiting to hurl hate. I don't sit on the sidelines. I ACT on what I know to be the right thing.
This is wrong....
The bottom line? Really???? Java Jugs, Tangerine TaTa's, Mango Melons.... Come ON. Surely I'm not the only one with a sophomorically perverse mind. I can see how this could get very much like a Girls Gone Wild thing using the cupcakes to ... never mind......... I just want to know this. Would it be okay to have a similar cupcake extravaganza for testicular cancer? Yeah....Didn't think so.....
It all boils down to this. The mets patients are staining the ribbon because they are ruining the whole illusion of hope thing. The REST of us? The blood on that ribbon is a direct result of every one of us who isn't willing to open up our mouths. There's no need to be bold or brash or brazen or militant. If one person in the vicinity of that bakery can walk in that door, ever so quietly and look down at her chest and then at those cupcakes and THEN into the eyes of just one of the party animals and in a tiny voice simply say, "This hurts me," maybe ONE person will be made wiser. Or, if they have a heart, they will think twice and maybe even feel badly. Or not. But your words will remain with that one person. No need to roar or make a scene. Using our little voices, we may start to turn this tide.
Who's up for the challenge? Cupcake Social. Midland, Michigan. Saturday. The Gourmet Cupcake Shoppe on S. Saginaw Road. I'm not looking to hurt the woman who's heart is clearly in the right place. How about just making regular old cupcakes and sending the money to a worthy cause within the community. A quick google search turned up a non-profit facility where this money might be sent. The donor gets to designate which program gets the money...... Be community minded.
Each one of us can do one small thing. Together, we can be part of a grand change. First, we have to get on the same page and start getting others to understand it's really not okay to walk around eating Jugs or TaTa's or Hooters. It's GREAT to eat cupcakes. And it's great to send money to an organization where you know exactly what will be done with that money.
I don't think this is so far fetched. I'm Fearless. Anyone care to stand beside me? It's all in the little things.