Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Think Pink - Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Internationally, October is breast cancer awareness, and Zonta is there.

One of my fellow Club members said the other day that everyone she knows, knows someone who has faced breast cancer.

For me, it was my mother. As she is still alive some 30 years on, everything went successfully for her!

I have worked with a man who had breast cancer in both "breasts" (not really the time for a man boob joke - and I am resisting the temptation to post a link to the Seinfeld episode where Kramer and George's dad invent the "man-sierre")

I have a number of topics to post this month leading up to the International Breast Cancer Day on October 24.

I am going to open with a controversial topic: pinkwashing. I have covered this before, but in 2011 we have a new development.

But first I wonder if you watched the Gruen Planet tonight? For my non-Australian readers, GP is a comedy styled, panel discussion show about the advertising industry, and GP did a session on "pinktober" - the pinking of products in the name of 'cause related marketing'. Is it helping or just cashing in??

I thought the panel gave the topic a good run around the kitchen table - I was impressed that they discussed a range of perspectives and not just fell into the 'bad, large multinationals taking advantage of the advocates'.

Have a look at the show and see for yourself. (I am hoping to replace this with just the pinktober piece eventually - for now you'll have to get to 21:50 mins to see the piece.)

This show gave me a new lead - there is a new Canadian film to be released in 2012 : Pink Ribbons Inc. The film asks the overarching question: "Each year, millions of dollars are raised in the name of breast cancer, but where does this money go and what does it actually achieve?"

It is not my intention to bash fundraising although sometimes I have my doubts - much like the raised eyebrows in the Gruen Planet clip. Not having seen the whole film I can't comment but I will be watching for it's release. I have a belief that everyone shares the same positive intentions: who ever gives a dollar and all the organisations involved in breast cancer - all want to help and assist the situation. In the GP clip discussions are opened with an important line: "first, it's worth separating breast cancer from the actual "pink" extravaganza". And I think that articulates my personal starting point too.

I feel more secure than ever that my club has made the right decision to donate directly to the breast cancer research at John Curtin School of Medical Research at Australian National University; and that the Zonta Breast Cancer Cushion project is useful, necessary and impactful - whilst being a totally transparent project - every single cent raised, every single hour spent goes direct to the woman in her moment of need.

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