I read this Vox article two years ago about pinkwashing and it stuck with me since. I noticed that there was suddenly pink and pink ribbon merchandise EVERYWHERE.
I noticed the same thing during Pride. Rainbows as far as the eye can see.
This October I want to take more conscious action. I have two goals: (1) to make a donation to a local group working to help BIPOC access breast cancer treatment and (2) to educate myself better on what breast cancer actually is, how it works, and the challenges patients face.
I just purchased a copy of Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Diaries. A new Penguin Classics edition was just released. I read Lorde’s Sister Outsider earlier this year and it changed my life. I expect nothing less from The Cancer Diaries. I hope reading this book will keep me focused on the actual people. People with breast cancer who are jumping through the three ring circus that is American healthcare to get treatment and live. I do not want to focus my attention or money on corporations who think “breast cancer pink” is the new way to sell everything.
In the last year, I’ve become more sensitive to feminist language and themes in (or absent from) popular culture. I’m preparing to participate in a panel later this month at #ACES2016 about feminist language and when I saw this commercial for Ariel — called Tide in the U.S. — I was floored.
I almost cried at my desk. After the series of disasters that Super Bowl 50 commercials were, this was pure delight. This video was especially powerful because it was a man, recognizing his complicity and making a CHANGE in his BEHAVIOR. ALL ON HIS OWN! *Muppet arms*
I came across the term weak ties in Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompson. Weak ties are people within your network, social or physical real, who are not your close friends. Thompson says,”In a world of status updates, tangential, seemingly minor ties become part of your social fabric. And they can bring in some extremely useful information.”
Reading about this made me think about my trip to London this past summer. It was wonderful, btw, and I can’t wait for an opportunity to return, but a huge part of that is due in no small part to my connection with an associate who was studying abroad in London at the same time.
I posted on Facebook that I planned to make an impromptu trip to London at the end of my own study abroad trip to Ireland. My “weak tie,” a former teammate from undergrad saw the post and responded, saying that he would be in London at the same time I was planning to go there. It was to most serendipitous thing!
Speaking of missing journalism, I was first introduced to World AIDS Day when fulfilling the last journalism requirement for my bachelors. I did a Storify of activities in the D.C. area throughout the day. Writing the story and compiling the Storify attached me to cause. It has been close to my heart for several years now.