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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