Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pink Eye


In my real life I have just spent the last two weeks covering Tropical Storm Irene damage, and terrible tragic flooding in New York and Pennsylvania.

So perhaps I am not in the right frame of mind to write this post.

But I just read this and find myself deeply torn.

Most of the bloggers I respect want off the pink ribbon wagon with a vengeance. Heck even the mighty Peggy Orenstein feels that way.

Don't get me wrong, I get pink cringe too. Especially on the NFL players for some reason. Oh, and that pink bubble wrap. And worst of all the pink Walgreen's cap.

So here is my flip side.

A few months ago a attended a benefit for a woman with metastatic breast cancer. I was kind of surprised because there were pink ribbons everywhere.

They seemed to give her comfort, something that was unexpected because most of the MBC bloggers I know would have gagged.

Heck, they even had stuff from the kind of tacky and oh-so-controversial defenders of the first amendment the "Keep a Breast Foundation".

Go figure.

Perhaps this woman who has had breast cancer for 15 years, and lives in a rural area didn't get the memo that pink has "jumped the shark."

When Deb designed our logo, our pink ribbon symbolized a woman looking for community. And that community seems to now be having a bit of a culture war.

When I first dreamed up this website it was not to have a bully pulpit. It was for unity. One place that you could check out bloggers, charities, and even a little peek at pop culture.

So I am going to admit a couple things.

I have a team in this years American Cancer Society's Making Strides walk. Though my cause of choice is really the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, I did want to do something to participate in a community event.

My friend who is co-team leader made a very fancy logo for our team, and it is a great big pink ribbon.

With our names on it.

I gulped and decided to see it for what it is, a bold and touching show of support for my two-year cancerversary.

I guess what I am saying is that I can still put on rose-colored glasses and see the good in pink. The fact that is an instantly recognizable symbol, and radiates hope to a lot of women.

So now I am gonna go out on a big pink limb for Save the Ta-Ta's.

Before I had BC, all I saw in the movement was a big sad scary pink haze. Honestly even as a reporter I kinda covered my ears and went "la-la-la" when it came to the subject of breast cancer.

For me, the tart humor of the "Ta-Ta's" t-shirts is just the sort of thing that would have cut through the fear.

I am listed as one of their blogging buddies.

When I was going through radiation they sent me a big box of t-shirts. I begged them not to, as a journalist, we really avoid anything that smacks of conflict of interest.

But to be honest, their nice soft shirts and tanks were about all I could wear towards the end of treatment.

Their humor helped me and my husband get through a tough time. I wore their "Kiss me I'm a survivor" shirt to my first fund-raising walk. When I was feeling really cranky, my black "Bad-ass Ta-Ta's" shirt cracked up a nurse or two.

It also bought me some street cred in the Northeast Wisconsin biker community, but that's another story.

So where does that leave me. Am I out of touch? Pink-washed? Passe?

Why do I find myself feeling that I need to hide my tolerance for a pink ribbon from the smartest women online?

After a week of looking at muddy water, a pink ribbon just doesn't look so bad.

Image from


  1. There do seem to be two sides to everything, and there are two camps of thought: Pink and anti-pink.

    The key is that we all have to define our own realities and whatever helps us cope, well, helps us cope.

    Thank you for your candor, and I'm so glad you are doing OK.

  2. Thanks for your thought Beth. You always know the right thing to say. I am all against the abuse of pink, I think there is a world of difference in home-grown pink and corporate pink, but I don't feel the need (yet) for a pink out.

  3. well it does not matter if you are sad or happy for write an article that we are gonna be here reading it because you are the voice of thousands of woman around the world and thanks for express yourself