Alright you guys, here’s my third concern with how Komen operates that they’d need to change in order to get my support. I’m going to go with a metaphor on this one that will probably piss a lot of people off, but honestly, it’s how I feel when I see Komen pinkwashing carcinogenic products.
I live in a neighborhood in Seattle that’s near a major street called Aurora. If you’ve never been to Seattle or aren’t familiar with our city’s layout, Seattle is a long narrow city that’s wedged between Puget Sound (ocean water) on the west, and Lake Washington on the east. Aurora is one of the major north-south routes through the city, and was in fact the major highway for the city before Interstate 5 was constructed. You may have heard recently about a horrible accident that happend on the Aurora Bridge, which passes over the ship canal that connects Lake Washington with Puget Sound.
Like a lot of those old highways around America, it had a lot of roadside motels along it that turned, well, pretty skeevy after the interstates were built. Think rent-by-the-hour places, or in today’s era, rent by the week if you’re a pimp and you need a place for your prostitutes to turn tricks. And so the place where you pick up a cheap prostitute in Seattle is along Aurora-prostitutes who will take money from anyone, no matter how dirty.
You see where I’m going with this. Komen is the Aurora prostitute of the breast cancer world, because they’ll take money from anyone, no matter how dirty it is. Are you a fracking company putting known carcinogens into your fracking wells? Don’t worry, just paint your drill bits pink and make a donation to Komen and everyone will think you’re helping cure breast cancer. Did you get sued for allegedly putting carcinogens in your fried chicken, and now need a PR boost? Sell your artery-clogging food in pink buckets and claim you support women’s health.
There are some who will say, “Who cares? All the money is going to a good cause, so who cares where it comes from?” Well, first, I’d direct you back to Part 2 of this series about the way Komen spends its dirty money in completely unhelpful ways, and second, I care. I care when an organization that claims to be trying to end breast cancer goes around enabling the companies that are putting cancer-causing chemicals into our environment. I can’t support an organization that engages in such blatant hypocrisy.
I hope Komen will rethink who it partners with, and how its actions are harming women rather helping them. Because when you lay down with dogs, you’re bound to get fleas. Or syphilis.