The Politics of Pink, Plus Recap

WISH ReThinkPinkSummit 2014-02-01 at 9.18.39 AM

Breast cancer used to be a tragedy, something that was not okay. There was no glory, or honor, or cuteness. Now, thanks to the commercialization of the cause, the disease has been glorified, a girly version of the hero’s journey. Run the race, wear the T-shirt, buy the teddy bear. And if you’re one of the survivors, you may even get your name printed on the back of a bucket of deep fried chicken.

It’s about time someone started to untie the pink ribbon, take the cuteness out of cancer, and start doing something to give women back their health and their dignity.

Here to help make it happen at the Rethink Pink Summit is the author of “Pink Ribbon Blues,” Gayle Sulik.

Cancer is not a ribbon, a screening test, or a leisure activity. It is not a sassy t-shirt, a proclamation of survivorship, or a gift worth giving. It is …a disease process that ignites what is all too often a cycle of medical surveillance and interventions…For too many, it will be the eventual cause of death…They deserve better than this, and so do we.

– Gayle Sulik

Gayle Sulik’s Interview » (mp3)

What Listeners Said:

“Dr. Sulik’s thoughts on the value of practicing “critical compassion” and/or “compassionate criticism” were PROFOUND and echo my own feelings about our willingness to look deeply, truthfully and critically at suffering and its causes so we can truly begin to heal. So many of us have been taught not to question, so instead we make excuses or defer out of politeness or as a sign of respect – which only diminishes our ability to be respectfully DISCERNING. Thanks so much for the reminder.”

“I was one of the many that got sucked into believing we were helping breast cancer by buying pink ribbon products – I still remember when Avon starting selling pink ribbon pins. Thank you for telling the true story of the ribbon.”

“Thank you Dr. Gayle for speaking the truth. What you promote is a refreshing breath of truth that shall be part of uplifting us all out of this fairytale land of phoney support to one of in-depth analyzing, responding to, clearing the pathway for preventive measures that truly address the issues.”

For more information about the Rethink Pink Summit, click here.

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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