I find myself repelled by the color pink anymore. It’s basically been appropriated by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to represent research on breast cancer, and it’s as if daubing pink paint on something suddenly makes it an accomplishment in cancer research.
So we had pink drill bits. Fracking for the cure!
Pink fighter jets! Strafing and bombing for the cure!
They cut support for Planned Parenthood! Who needs mammograms and education when you’ve got drill bits and bullets?
Susan G. Komen has long held deep ties with right wing groups. Now we learn that another aspect of those ties is that they have scheduled major fund raising events at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.
Komen has held their annual “Perfect Pink Party” at Mar-a-Lago since 2011, and Trump has attended throughout the years. The AP reported today that the party is still planned for January 2017, and that the organization won’t make a final decision about whether to go ahead — or cancel and lose the deposit — until after October. Komen spokesperson Andrea Rader declined to comment beyond the AP story.
The AP also reported that two alleged instances of Trump touching women inappropriately occurred at Mar-a-Lago.
There’s also this little gem.
Nancy Brinker, who is the founder and chair of Global Strategy for the Komen Foundation [but who is currently on leave] endorsed Trump earlier this year.
Trump’s support among women is dismally low — this is a thug who thinks women need to be punished for getting an abortion — and yet Komen doesn’t think this is enough of a problem that they should distance themselves from him.
I’ll never donate to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and I don’t see how they can stop their slide into irrelevance at this rate. I’m just waiting for the Republicans to slap a coat of pink paint on their logo to show that they are pro-woman. It’s the least they could do.
Why not go the whole hog, & paint D T RUMP pink all over? But he’d still be a nasty bit of work. Colouring him pink ain’t gonna change that.
Because his radioactive mutant orangeness would shine through the pink and turn him an even more hideous shade of salmon.
Orange is the new pink.
Because Republican money can’t cure cancer?
I mean, I agree with the idea that Komen siphons money from useful research into useless “education” and “awareness” activities. But I can’t agree with the idea that right wing support for a good cause makes it a bad cause. I wouldn’t stop donating to Doctors Without Borders no matter how much funding they got from right wing sources.
I am a breast cancer survivor and I hate pink. I was a supporter of the Susan Komen Foundation until Nancy Brinker pulled that stunt with Planned Parenthood. I wrote and told them in no uncertain terms to remove me from all fundraising lists and that I would never donate to them again. I find other ways to support the cause. It is disgusting that an organization that purports to support women would have leadership approval (it has to be more than just Nancy Brinker–I would think a board would have to approve such a move) to “defund Planned Parenthood”. Now disgusting support of Trump! and Maralago ??(I refuse to use the hyphens). Appalling.
I hate the pink with one exception–I have to say I like it when the NFL players wear it in October–they were early adopters and it made a statement from strong men–I know you don’t like the football PZ but I can’t help it!
Uh, this isn’t about them getting donations from right-wing people/groups, it’s about them endorsing right wing candidates (and paying them to have a party on their property), cutting off cancer screening funds to Planned Parenthood because of right-wing pressure, and generally being anti-woman. That’s setting entirely aside the whole bit about how effectively they use their money.
There are myriad other ways to support breast cancer research etc. I don’t care who gives the money. But removing support from Planned Parenthood is indicative of leadership with an agenda other than the health of all women–including pregnant women with breast cancer.
Pierce R. Butler says
Where does Elon Musk stand on all this?
Does he have a plan (yet) to turn Mars pink?
consciousness razor says
Does it help that it also carried rockets, missiles and bombs…? But of course that model is retired. What you get instead is an expensive (and temporarily pink) hunk of garbage at a museum; and the higher purpose it serves is to remind people of bullets, rockets, missiles and bombs (oh, and curing cancer until the end of the month).
Although it is totally incongruent with cancer research, like all sorts of other pink crap, they’re apparently not trying to make you think about it in a coherent way, by associating it with things that might prompt you to do something constructive about the problem. They seem to think it’s worthwhile to saturate your visual field with an obnoxious color, in as many arbitrary places as they can put it. I’m pretty sure it’s pointless when my barista was wearing a pink hat recently, since as far as I can tell the only difference it made is that I noticed it was a pink hat.
Not enough of a problem? A large number of conservative women think that’s good, and like you’ve pointed out it’s clear that’s the group they’re trying to satisfy.
I agree about the (now reversed) defunding of Planned Parenthood (and the current refusal to fund stem cell research). Making bad use of funds is always a reason not to donate to a charity.
I really hate, however, the idea that charities should refuse potential sources of funds – whether that be corporate donors or people based on their politics.
@6, Komen didn’t endorse Trump, a former board member did. Even if she were a current board member, why does being pro-Trump prevent you being anti-cancer?
consciousness razor says
The foundation is not “the cause.” It’s a foundation. And nobody’s saying “support” from the right wing makes it so, unless such “right wing support” is conditional on things like ensuring they don’t support breast cancer screenings performed at a Planned Parenthood. That happens to be something that’s a big part of the cause, yet not the work of this particular foundation, which I guess is one more reason not to confuse the two.
Poor Susan G. Komen. Getting it from the right because they still support PP and getting it from the left because they once threatened to quit doing so.
I continue to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation because among other things, through their community grants they provide services to underserved groups (little non-research activities like providing transportation and child-care services for poor women who couldn’t otherwise obtain their treatments).
consciousness razor says
Why, exactly? If they were offered money from a bank robber or a drug cartel or a terrorist group, you’re saying they simply shouldn’t refuse any funds? Pretty sure the IRS disagrees with that. And I’d question its status as a legitimate charity that is trying to do some good for society — not only the highly-specific good that it might (wrongly) prioritize over every other concern, but all manner of generally good things that we have a reason to actually support. If your charity blows all sorts of shit up in the process of fixing one super-special thing, I’m going to say you’re doing it fucking wrong and that we shouldn’t support you.
Why is this supposed to depend on a private, voluntary charity anyway? Why would it be the end of the world if they don’t get their funding from anybody and everybody? It certainly wouldn’t be, if the public decides to do it themselves.
Isilzha Mir says
Reminds me of a publicity stunt Hibbing Taconite pulled a couple years ago. A pink bucket for one of their mining trucks got paraded down the street. They probably paid more for the paint to make it pink than the $5000 they donated to a local clinic to pay for cancer screenings for local women.
Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- says
You’re wrong. If charities like this were merely about supporting a cause, you wouldn’t see damn pink fighter planes. Those charities are basically a way to buy good publicity, often more cheaply than anything else. So when a charity accepts money from unethical sources, they lend their good image to those sources.
Fighter planes kill people, but hey, let’s turn them pink and pretend they are a force of good! And let’s not even get me started on fracking drills. Fracking is toxic and probably going to directly cause quite a lot of cancer, but thanks to pinkwashing, if you oppose fracking you are against curing cancer, you want those women to die, why do you hate women?
I don’t suppose most people over here in England have ever heard of Komen but we have just as much sickly pink slapped on anything to do with breast cancer charities. I am so sick of it that I stopped giving anything to breast cancer charities several y ears ago.
Rob Grigjanis says
I highly recommend the film Pink Ribbons, Inc.
And so on.
“find myself repelled by the color pink anymore”
Including this one?
I wonder if any of the gun companies currently trying to market to women with pink guns and accessories are offering money from sales of said products to breast cancer charities.
Trump saying women need to be punished for getting abortions is only a gaffe as in a politician accidentally telling the truth: if you ban abortions, you punish women who get abortions. Theres no way not to do that.
It’s an excellent reason *not* to ban abortion.
Off-topic suggestion for PZ: blog about the Nobel Laureates–70 of them–who have endorsed Hillary for POTUS in an open letter.
A friend of mine who has metastatic breast cancer (she spent a year complaining of pain, and the docs essentially told her it was all in her head–way to go medical profession!) was ranting about this very thing yesterday. I quote, “How are pink windshield wipers going to help me?”
Consciousness razor @9:
Please, it’s an antique. Everything else is true, and I admit to some discomfort with still holding my love of fast jets from boyhood balanced by the knowledge of what they’re designed to do. It helps a little to know that the Grumman F9F-8 Cougar didn’t have much of a combat history, as these things go; but still.
I signed up just to comment on this. For anyone who still needs convincing that Komen is bad, please take a look at this site: http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org
ck, the Irate Lump says
Gosh, it sounds so petty when you put it that way. But to put it that way, you had to ignore all the other objections the left has had with the Susan G. Komen foundation. These other objection include, but are not limited to, the things PZ mentioned, the pink-washing of companies known to produce products that raise the risk of cancer (like KFC’s food which is high in saturated fat), the fact that ever shrinking sliver of their fundraising actually goes to cancer research, etc. You know, little, irrelevant stuff like that.
@26 ck, the Irate Lump
Most of it is irrelevant.
By what fucking rationale are those irrelevant when assessing how support-worthy a foundation is?
Saganite, a haunter of demons says
Code Pink are still doing great work. It’s not like Susan G. Komen has a monopoly on the colour.
“Pink House” by The Leather Nun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqvUM2UskH0&list=PL703A23CEE4258EBC
Reagan-era song, same goddamn politicians.
On the subject of pink, I suggest you watch that old Marilyn Manson video as an antidote to Komen et al. Sorry, forgot the title.’
— — — — — —
Pink (the one born in Pennsylvania) is not too bad.
But mostly, I like this: Leather Nun https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leather_Nun
“When I wake up, I feel like I am going to die
Rambo Reagan is forcing me to eat the American pie”
— — — — — — —
“are basically a way to buy good publicity”
true, but there is no sharp ethical line, money from tobacco companies are obviously earned through cancer inducing business, but what about the gray zones?
Nearly all corporate donations have an element of PR.
Susan G Komen spends over 80% of the money they raise on the services they provide. Research, education and facilitating access to screening and treatment programs. Personally I don’t much care that a lot of their money doesn’t go to research because in terms of saving lives their other activities are at least as important. As far as taking money from companies that produce products that raise the risk of cancer – I don’t care about that either. If charities were to attempt to vet every donation they received and only accept those from people or corporations that they deemed morally righteous, they’d have no budget available for services. Besides, I like KFC.
Reginald Selkirk says
Can you tell me whether the multitudinous ads they run promoting themselves are classified as “education” or “fund-raising”?
Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- says
By now, chris 61 is really providing a service. If you want to know if you’re wrong on an issue, look at what she says and go for the opposite.
Johnny Vector says
Well if we’re gonna start linking to songs, I gotta do Carbon Leaf’s Pink.
And yeah, I have better places to spend my charitable giving. And I’m less likely to buy something that’s been all pinked up.
Oh, wait, this is the chris 61 that JAQ’s off about abortion and tries to disprove the bodily autonomy argument. Their position makes far more sense now.
Dark Jaguar says
I can agree here, and go one step further.
I mean, it’s important, and research needs to continue, but I’m not sure that there’s anything that separates the breast from the rest. As an aside, promising to run a certain number of miles to raise funds has always seemed like complete madness from a chaos god to me. “Hey stranger, I’m going to run x miles and then you pay me for it. You could just give me money, and I could stay home and NOT run some ridiculous amount, but apparently we are but pawns for your sick amusement and you won’t give out money unless we put on some mad pageant.” I mean, I don’t get it. I can’t use a “ran mile” of someone’s. It’s not a commodity. I’d rather just give the money without some bizarre ritual attached to it.
I’m cool with the color pink in general though. Much like rainbows, I don’t think they’ve been completely taken over by one concept, they’re just being used by it, and that’s fine.
It’s also interesting how many people are under the assumption that the problem with the foundation is who the foundation accepts money from, and not the fact that pink-washing is used to morally advocate for and soften the image of really, really shitty things.
Because imperialism, predatory marketing that disproportionately affects people of color and the poor, environmental destruction, and institutional misogyny are all cool once you spray paint them pink and give a cursory donation!
Last I heard, the Komen Foundation doesn’t fund *research*. It funds “awareness”. so it’s all money down a rat hole.
Anyone want to propose a good alternative?
Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- says
Well, we could regulate and tax shitty things and fund research with this so that once we get results they are ours to use and not some company’s that will let you die unless you can pay for it.
I use charity navigator to find better charities. If you’re specifically looking for a breast cancer charity, here’s their full list, a couple of which got 4/4 stars:
I support legalized abortion (and PP), fetal stem cell research and Hillary Clinton. I believe in climate change and evolution and don’t believe in god(s) or homeopathy. Are you seriously proposing that everyone should become pro-life, pro-Trump, religious science-deniers just to take positions opposite to mine?
Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says
Are you admitting you take contrary positions just to play devils advocate? I believe there is a term for that.
Is there some foolproof way of telling a pro-lifer from someone who is merely playing “devil’s advocate” for the pro-life position for years now? Because at the moment they seem indiscernible.
@45 & @46
As difficult as this may be for you to wrap your minds around, there is nothing contrarian about thinking choice is a good idea (which I do) but body autonomy is a bad argument in favor of it (which I also do). it’s like thinking not killing people is a good idea but “because God says so” is a bad argument in favor of it.
Rest assured, I have no desire to retread the argument with you, seeing as you’ve been proven hilariously wrong repeatedly over the span of, what a dozen or so thunderdrome threads and related posts?
I retract my criticism of your standards – I no longer care about your opinion of the matter.
I too am overcome with hilarity because nothing has been ‘proved’ exceptNever mind. Explaining the joke would just spoil it.
I don’t know. Are we aware of breast cancer yet?
What if that pink drill bit makes someone suddenly aware that breast cancer exists, like they’ve forgotten their whole life, but they see something pink and go “Oh! Breast tissues can undergo spontaneous mutations that lead to unexpected and rapid reproduction, endangering the lives of women!”
Because that’s what pink things do.