International Women's Day, and the WISH Summit

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Women’s International Summit for Health (WISH) kicks off tomorrow (March 8th). In its fourth and final year, the 2013 WISH summit features interviews and writings from leading experts on breast cancer, sex and hormones, diet and detox, love and luck, money, mystery, mothering and even the secrets of women’s self-defense. This entire series is FREE, and you can download the MP3s of interviews between Tera Warner and her guests.

And guess what? I’m one of the guests!

WISH republished two of my articles: (1) WISH Summit Guest Dr. Gayle Sulik on Breast Cancer and the Environment and (2) Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud: Untying Breast Cancer’s Pink Ribbons.

In our phone interview Tera asked me about the history of the pink ribbon, what’s transpired in the last 30 years in breast cancer, where we’re headed, what people can do, why I’m so passionate about changing the breast cancer paradigm, and lastly, what my WISH is for women.

Tera: What is your WISH for women?

Gayle: Pink ribbon culture — because it’s become so focused on the fun, the triumphant, the sexy and consumption-oriented approach to awareness — actually diminishes our ability to be honest and empathetic. It sugarcoats in such a way that the full range of experiences, which includes suffering, becomes hidden. And when all of these experiences are hidden it creates separation and isolation. It brings the idea of personal empowerment and lifestyle to the forefront to such a degree that sometimes we tend to look only after ourselves and our personal needs, our personal hopes and dreams and the people who are closest to us in our lives. We can forget that there is a whole other world of experience. We can forget that there is a whole lot of suffering out there too.

And that’s the basis of my WISH. That we will be brave enough to take a real look, a heartfelt look at the full realities of cancer. The good. The bad. The ugly. The suffering. And that we’ll be loving enough to ourselves and to each other that we will be willing to step into that suffering. That we will create deeper connections with each other and a safe space to ask critical questions, so we can think about what’s working; think about what’s not working; and then take action. Because if we’re just contentious — “Go pink, or go home!” — we’re never going to get anywhere. I think if we step into the suffering and really look at what people are dealing with, then that’s the bridge to realizing that we can be compassionate, empathetic, and critical at the same time. Because the critical part is not out of malice. It’s out of making it better.

That’s what the people I work with are all about. That’s where I’m at with it. That’s my wish. And thank you for asking.

It was an open and honest conversation that I hope you will find useful.

Here is a link to the interview.

Register for free access to the WISH 40 days and 40 nights of wisdom for women and listen to any and all of these powerful and at times playful conversations. There is nothing you need to do but watch your inbox for an announcement about how to access the calls. Every new call will be broadcast on the SAME page at 8pm Eastern every night, and you will receive the link for the call.

And check out these resources for International Women’s Day.

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"women urged to get screened because it might save their lives. But that’s only 1 possible outcome, and it’s the least likely one" @cragcrest

“Pink Ribbon Blues”

Paperback includes a new Introduction on fundraising controversies and a color insert with images of, and reactions to, the pinking of breast cancer (2012).

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"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

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?

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