Why I Won't Wear Pink In October

Today I put the bright pink cover on my miche bag.  I checked the calendar first, to be sure it was November, and that it is once again safe for me to wear pink.

I know it practically makes me anti american, but I will not wear pink in October.  I will not buy pink duct tape, or pink shopping bags.  Even when the pink flatiron with the ribbon on it goes on 75% clearance, I'll  pay more for a non pink version - it bothers me that much. 

I avoided an entire town for the month of October, because they were "painting the valley pink" for October.  All of the stores were decked out in pink, one with bras used outside as a "humorous"  display.  I didn't research how much of their profits they were donating to any sort of cancer research or support - but my guess would be that it's awfully close to 0%.  

Because that's the second lie in all of this pink.  That by buying pink, you are supporting something - research, or mammograms, or something.  (Amazingly, most people have no idea what they are even contributing towards - and not all cancer research money is spent equally. )
"Get your very own FREE Think Before You Pink® Toolkit containing all the information and tools you need to deepen your understanding of the politics of breast cancer and help others learn the truth about breast cancer and pink ribbon marketing. - See more at: http://www.bcaction.org/2013/09/10/pinktober-alert/#sthash.OW6EHYUl.dpuf"

But the first lie, the one that annoys me the most, is that wearing pink shows support, or promotes awareness.

High school football teams all across the area have a "pink out" night.  Some of the cheer squads spend around $100 for pink uniforms & poms just for that night.  The football players wear pink socks and pink arm bands.  Pink balloons & streamers decorate the stadiums.

How does this make one single person more "aware" of breast cancer?  I do know of one local High School that fundraised before their pink out night, then at half time presented a check to a non profit cancer society.  Kudos to them.  That kind of action I can get behind. 

"People go around showing off their new pink swag like they're the bee's knees, but ask them what the symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer are, or if they've heard of triple negative breast cancer, or lymphedema, and you'll get a blank stare and a change of subject. Thinking you are becoming more aware is a hell of a lot different than actually being more aware. " http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seporah-raizer/cancer-messed-with-the-wr_2_b_4202781.html
Pink socks on my football player?  Pink pom poms and shirts where none of the proceeds go towards anything at all?  That annoys, and baffles me.  One mom told me it's because "so many of the boys know someone who has suffered from breast cancer and they want to show their support".  Ok...  Then how about on a Saturday they mow the families grass, rake the leaves, buy her a meal and deliver it, wash her car...  We are teaching our children that saying we support something shows our support, when we should be teaching them the actions that actually are helpful and supportive.

"The monthlong celebration of breast cancer awareness, now known as "Pinktober," kicked off last week when the mailman delivered our family's copy of Sports Illustrated for Kids. On the cover was a pink-clad NFL-er promoting -- along with everyone else -- breast cancer awareness month, or BCAM.   We have reached the happy point where Pinktober now targets a demographic group of 11.5- year-old boys with a vague "awareness" message."  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-reid/poverty-breast-cancer_b_997417.html

What might be enlightening, for pink out nights, ONLY those directly effected by breast cancer wear pink.  If your mother, aunt, sister, or cousin has breast cancer, wear the pink socks, or pink t-shirt.  One night of the year, not all month.  

And think about that a minute please.  Veterans Day is one day.  Pinktober is 31 days.  Please, let that sink in.  

Do a google search on "Pinktober" and you will find story after story after story from women who are suffering from breast cancer and shudder to see the color pink.  It doesn't support them.  It annoys them.  It hurts them.  It embarrasses them.  Those who are proud to wear pink are often, intentionally or unintentionally  completely self centered.  "Look at me!  I'm wearing pink!  I donated 2 cents to some random charity I know nothing about so I can wear this pink shirt and you all will know how much I care!"  

"A friend shared with me what happened at the beginning of the Kansas City Chiefs game.  Here's the video in all it's non-glory (assuming you can get through the 30 second commercial at the front end).  Forty-nine...yes 49 planes flew over Arrowhead Stadium spewing pink smoke.  kctv5.com/video I watch that video, and I just have to wonder -- How many mammograms that would have paid for???" 

And the 3rd lie..  Breasts are the most important thing about women.  "Save the tatas".  We'd never hear "Save the testicles", now would we?  There's no month devoted to some color for colon cancer, or testicular cancer, or even, pediatric cancers.  (I can't imagine a local business displaying jock straps the way they displayed bras this month) An entire month, year after year, devoted to breast cancer.  Not human trafficking, not support for our Veterans, not even cancer in general.   

The most ridiculous "support" advertisement I saw on facebook this year was "free the tatas!"  A day to go bra-less, to "show support".  Uhm..  avoiding the obvious disrespect for women who have just had mastectomy's due to this illness you are "showing support for" - isn't going bra-less an obvious physical sign of LACK of support?  I'm assuming some man came up with this idea, in order to get his co-workers and female friends to take off their bras.  What amazes me is how many women I know who spread this around facebook.

So, so, so well written.. share this instead of the graphic below!
Look at the Ad. Not the half naked woman, READ what it says above it.  This was all over facebook this month.  "Support Breast Cancer".  Not support awareness, not support research - support breast cancer.   Oh yes, aren't we all very "aware"...  

Next October, instead of wearing Pink, send this article to your girlfriends:

Schedule your mammogram, and nag your friends to schedule theirs.

Or don't wait.  Share it now.  Because breast cancer, contrary to popular belief, is not an October disease, and wearing pink will not stop it.