The timing couldn’t be better (or worse, depending on your perspective) for this film. In the wake of Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s politically-motivated withdrawal (and now reinstatement) of funding to Planned Parenthood for breast screening exams for low income women, today is the film release of Pink Ribbons, a documentary about the corporate machinery and motivations behind the pink ribbon breast cancer campaign.
It is very difficult to criticize a group that devotes itself to raising funds to fight a deadly cancer. That said – and speaking as the husband of a woman with advanced primary peritoneal (ovarian) cancer – Komen’s ham-fisted promotional events have crushed awareness of other cancers in women, including ovarian, which is the 5th leading killer of women.
I’m glad that they’ve raised awareness about the terrible scourge that is breast cancer, but it would be helpful if they could rise to being more than a one-trick pony. Many women with gynecologic cancers in Elaine’s circle have had a “What are we? Chopped liver?” response. All women (and all men) with terrible health conditions deserve our attention, our compassion and our best efforts toward cures.
Hopefully (though not probably), the alignment of the Komen political debacle and this movie’s release will provide a long-overdue curtain opening and raise awareness about how things really are.