Thinking About Rachel, Always Resisting Pinkwashing

Posted on The Cancer Culture Chronicles Facebook Page on May 13, 2011.

Posted on The Cancer Culture Chronicles Facebook Page on May 13, 2011.

Rachel Cheetham Moro, blogger at The Cancer Culture Chronicles posted the photo above in May 2011, of a collection of ironic pink products she received after winning the coveted MAAM (Mammogramatically Challenged And / Or Also Metsters) Award. The satirical award category, created by Katherine O’Brien, blogger at I Hate Breast Cancer, honors disruptive bloggers who daringly challenge the pink status quo. Rachel, still blogging under her pen name Anna Rachnel, won O’Brien’s J.K. Rowling Howler MAMM Award in recognition of her pithy and poignant commentary about the outrageous myths and products circulating in pink ribbon culture.

J.K. Rowling Howler MAAM Award 

Winner: Anna Rachnel

Representative Post: Pink TownNew Normal

Nominators: Self, Being Sarah, Nancy’s Point, Bringing up Goliath, and The Liberation of Persephone

Anna Rachnel makes us howl with laughter and outrage simultaneously. “Your blog posts make me laugh out loud, make me shout out to my computer screen saying ‘YES, YES!’ and also get me thinking,” writes nominator Being Sarah. “Thank you for smashing the myth of the pink popular culture of the breast cancer world.”

Anna, you are inspiration with every respiration. Please be upstanding and repeat after me: “Today, I am a MAAM!”

Rachel’s Award prize was a box full of representative pink ribbon flair, those very items she railed against in her disruptive blog. Pleased with her award, Rachel posted a photograph of her winnings on her Facebook page along with the comment, “Feeling really crappy today and rethinking my anti-anti-nausea medication stance, and look what turned up in the mail, my MAMM Award!” I laughed out loud that day, took a screenshot, and had no idea I would be posting it in Rachel’s memory less than 1 1/2 years later. Rachel died of metastatic breast cancer on February 6th, 2012.

I wouldn’t have seen Rachel’s Pinkwashing photo if I hadn’t been ritualistically cleaning out my screenshots folder. I laughed, again, when I saw it. Then I cried. My dear friend, Rachel, now a statistic, yet never a statistic, always my friend, and the best reason I can think of to resist and rethink the pink status quo.

Many of us are thinking about you this Pinktober, Rachel Cheetham Moro, and wishing you were still here.

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* GAYLE IN THE MEDIA *

"Seeing clearly through the pink haze" Toronto Sun

*Sad face*: Being happy does not help you live longer" New Scientist

How should we address breast cancer when norms continually change? The Guardian

Your Fun 'No Bra Day' Photos Are Overshadowing Terminal Breast Cancer Patients Broadly

Backlash against “pinkwashing” of breast cancer awareness campaigns BMJ

Breast Cancer to Rise 50 Percent by 2030? Hey, Not So Fast! Health News Review

Breast Cancer: The Flaws in the Cause iafrica.com

How to Make the Biggest Impact With Your Breast Cancer Donations Money

The Very Pink, Very Controversial Business of Breast Cancer Awareness Racked

NFL, Pink Ribbons Not Enough to Win over Women CNN

3 Questions We Need to Answer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month Chronicle of Philanthropy

The problem with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Women's Health Magazine

Pink Ribbon Envy: Living with an Uncool Cancer The Nib

A Year After Bombings, Some Say 'Boston Strong' Has Gone Overboard NPR, All Things Considered

Canadian Mammogram Study KCRW, NPR Affiliate

Time to Debunk the Mammography Myth CNN

Breast Cancer: Awareness, Activism & Pinkwashing NPR Charlotte

Buying Pink Al Jazeera's The Stream Watch »

The Pink Backlash Orlando Sentinel

Why Jolie's Test Costs So Much CNN

Preventative Mastectomies: Disease and Deception BlogTalkRadio

Angelina Jolie and the 'Breast Cancer Gene' KCRW

Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer The New York Times Magazine.

The Story Behind the Pink Ribbon Campaign Sisters Talk Radio

WISH Interview Women's International Summit for Health

Making Cancer About The Patient, Not The Body Part CBS Pittsburgh

Sexy breast cancer campaigns anger many patients USA Today

The perils of pink The Daily

Komen pink campaign creates breast-cancer blues for some Dallas Morning News

A yellow flag for the NFL's pink New York Daily

Gayle Sulik named #7 in SharecareNow’s Top 10 Online Influencers in Breast Cancer

Breast cancer cancer causes so easily derailed Philly Inquirer

Komen Charity Under Microscope for Funding, Science Reuters

The Fight Against Cancer - And Abortion? Salon.com

Susan G. Komen For the Cure defunds Planned Parenthood. In Deep with Angie Coiro

Amid Breast Cancer Month, Is there Pink Fatigue? NPR's All Things Considered

How is Breast Cancer Culture Undermining Women's Health? America’s Radio News Network

Pink Ribbon Culture and Breast Cancer The Kojo Nnamdi Show

The Big Business of Breast Cancer
Marie Claire

Does Breast Cancer Awareness Month Crowd Out Other Diseases? Slate

Pink Inc. Has Many Starting to See Red The Sacramento Bee

Get Your Pink Off Ottawa Citizen

Komen Pink Ribbons Raise Green and Questions USA Today

** MORE MEDIA LINKS **
** MORE RADIO INTERVIEWS **