I’m a Bad Person: the Pink Edition

the pink noThank goodness October is over! In general, it isn’t a bad month per se. There are fun things that happen like the Chicago Marathon, Halloween and of course some people really enjoy the month because it is their birthday month. In general it isn’t so bad. However, in the past few years, I have come to loathe October. All because of the color pink. By itself, pink isn’t such a bad color, but given how it has been twisted, etc., I despise the color. And this led me to be viewed as a bad person last month.

As I have said in a prior post, sometimes I am an awful person. And when I decide to be one. I go full on bad. Now that October is over and I will not be overly assaulted with pink, it now is a good time to explain why I hate pink and why you should probably be offended more by it as well.

In case you’ve lived under a rock and are unaware, October is also known as being breast cancer awareness month. Just that title says something to me and not positively. Pink is the color for breast cancer or I should say breast cancer awareness. My annoyance has a lot to with money and because there is an assumption that people are kind of stupid. Additionally it is just annoying because we let the stupid prevail in this matter. 

First, the concept of “cancer awareness” is beyond ridiculous to me. Do we really think people are unaware of cancer? More importantly that cancer is bad? If that is the case, then of course we should raise awareness of cancer. But everyone already knows this.

But, we need to make women aware of doing self exams and getting suspicious lumps found in their breasts checked out. Again, I’m pretty sure women are aware of these things. If you think that they are not doing it because they are unaware, I’d like to sell you some great beach front property in downstate Illinois. People mostly don’t get things checked out due to fear of illness or because you know they don’t have insurance / money to pay for the testing needed to confirm or deny suspicions.

So, if we could get off the whole stupid awareness thing, that would be great. Now, if you are trying to raise awareness of something that the average dumb idiot in this country doesn’t know about, then that is a different story. But cancer awareness, in particular breast cancer awareness is not one of those things. Though, if you are raising awareness of breast cancer in men we can talk.

Speaking of men and breast cancer, that is yet another reason to hate the color. Breast cancer has been so “pinkified” that if a man is actually dealing with breast cancer because HE has it, I can only imagine how isolated he must feel. All talk of breast cancer is about women and in the feminine color of pink. Yes, I know more women than men end up with the disease, however, the focus that is placed upon it being a “woman” thing really is appalling when there are guys who need support just as much as the ladies. I was actually quite impressed a few years ago when the tv show Nip / Tuck had a story line where one of the main characters, Christian Troy, was dealing with having breast cancer. In fact it is the only show I know of that dealt with it. Granted the show was ridiculous, but at least they showed that it is a disease that men can get as well as women.

Of course, the biggest problem of “breast cancer awareness” leads to the money. While people are busy “raising awareness” of breast cancer, they are usually doing it for purposes of raising money to go to awareness campaigns. You know what that really is? It is a way for someone else to make money off you’re sympathy for feeling and believing that cancer is bad.

The biggest example of this is the NFL. Every October, you will be watching football games and you will see the league hawking its wares in pink. And they promise you they will donate a portion of the net proceeds from each sale of the pink garb to breast cancer awareness and research. I hope you pay attention to the word “net” as it is an important word letting you know that what you spend is not all going to the “noble” cause of breast cancer. Think about your paycheck and the gross amount you make versus the net / take home portion. Make you feel better buying that crap now???

You, being the do-gooder you think you are, will purchase this crap. And lest you think it isn’t, it is because NO SPORTS TEAM SHOULD SELL PINK SHIT UNLESS THE TEAM COLORS ARE PINK. Otherwise, they are just pandering to women. Anyway, do you know how much of the money the NFL, this MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR business gives toward those noble goals? Not much. Not much at all. In fact, according to various articles, the NFL has only given roughly five percent of the money it has raised to the lofty stated goals. I don’t know about you, but for a MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS, that is pretty pathetic. Especially when you consider that they are all about trying to “raise awareness” (again, see the stupidity in this??) of cancer, particularly breast cancer. I’m not saying that businesses are not allowed to make money. But when they do it off the sympathy of others, it is beyond shameful.

Before you start thinking that I truly have no heart and I have not seen how breast cancer affects people, think again. I have had friends who have been diagnosed and beat it as well as family members. So I get the devastation a diagnosis can bring to people. But the fact that organizations like the NFL are profiting from an illness should make you angry.

Don’t get me wrong. There are organizations out there who do actually raise money to help people who are dealing with breast cancer and they are not profiting off of your do-gooderness. And I hope you will support those organizations as opposed to helping a multi-billion dollar business make more money.

Now that I have talked about the profiteering that happens in October, there is another group I feel really awful for during the month of October. That is the group of people who are suffering with breast cancer who know they will not be a survivor. Imagine you get a diagnosis of breast cancer. And you learn that it is stage four or end stage. In other words, the diagnosis you have gotten is that you need to make the most of your remaining days because you will not live much longer.

Some might think those who get that diagnosis got it because they were “unaware” of checking their breasts to make sure they catch things early. But sometimes, just sometimes it is because that person has been unfortunate enough to have gotten a very aggressive form of the disease. Or maybe they beat it once before but now it is has returned with a vengeance to kill.

Now imagine that an entire month of your life is dedicated to people celebrating those who beat the disease because they fought hard to beat it. As if those who have been diagnosed with a very aggressive form chose not to fight.

To this group of people I want to say I am sorry that we as a society are so focused on celebrating the “fighters” / “survivors” because I know you are fighting every day as well. Sadly, you just happen to be up against insurmountable odds. I know you’re doing all you can, but the way society acts, we’d never know you are doing anything or tried to do anything.

All of that going on, in addition to seeing buildings change their lights to pink, brands selling specially marked items with pink just makes me sick during the month of October. Instead of seeing it as a way to do something positive, it now just represents to me a money grab by those who are trying to make a buck off the ill. And it disgusts me. And in the eyes of those who fail to see how wrong the money grab and ignoring of others is, makes me a bad person.

Frankly, I’m ok with being viewed as a bad person in October. Maybe more people eventually will see that it is wrong to profit off sick people and start to truly support those organizations who are not trying to make a buck off of a stupid cancer awareness campaign. And maybe, just maybe those multi-billion dollar businesses will start to actually be honest in their “October endeavors” and either give more or just say to the consuming public, “hey, we’re just making a dollar off your stupid generosity.”

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