Part of what gets lost in the fog around the Komen for the Cure controversy is that the Komen money doesn't just fund an organization that's Movement Conservative at its core.
The Komen money also funds an pro-corporate effort to minimize awareness of environmental causes of breast cancer, and to send as little money into environmental research as possible.
As I wrote earlier (quoting and commenting on Barbara Ehrenreich's great essay on the subject):
Breast cancer really is different from any other health care charityHere's Ehrenreich from elsewhere in the same essay (my emphasis):
Breast cancer has a unique place among the country's charity "opportunities." For example, here Ehrenreich considers breast cancer's causes, noting that only 10% of breast cancers are gene-based, and looks at (1) the studies of environmental factors, (2) the issue of feminism, and (3) corp-friendly orgs like Komen:[E]mphasis on possible ecological factors, which is not shared by groups such as Komen and the American Cancer Society, puts the feminist breast-cancer activists in league with other, frequently rambunctious, social movements -- environmental and anticorporate.... and ...as Cindy Pearson, director of the National Women's Health Network, the organizational progeny of the Women's Health Movement, puts it more caustically: "Breast cancer provides a way of doing something for women, without being feminist."Smart. Can you see the corporate compromises shaping up? No ecology please, if you want our bucks. Some of us have pollution "issues." And feminist-free, thank you very much. Wouldn't want to offend Mr. Limbaugh, whom we may also sponsor.
[B]reast cancer has blossomed from wallflower to the most popular girl at the corporate charity prom. While AIDS goes begging and low-rent diseases like tuberculosis have no friends at all, breast cancer has been able to count on Revlon, Avon, Ford, Tiffany, Pier 1, Estee Lauder, Ralph Lauren, Lee Jeans, Saks Fifth Avenue, JC Penney, Boston Market, Wilson athletic gear -- and I apologize to those I've omitted.Are you catching the cosmetics makers (or do I need to bold the bolding)?
What would be the corporate interest of, say, Estée Lauder, in funding a cancer charity that's (1) anti-feminist; (2) gives only 24% of its intake to research; (3) downplays the environmental (in this case, chemical) causes of the disease?
Remember, corps want only money; it's the law. Cosmetics companies like Estée Lauder, Avon and Revlon will naturally have these corporate interests (among others):
▪ Eliminate threats to profits represented by environmentalists
▪ Increase profit by playing the role of lover of women's health and well-being
If you're a company that profits from painting a faceful of chemicals on women's skin, loyal Bushie–led Komen is just right for you. Doubt it? Read that list of corporate interests again.
If Komen for the Cure didn't already exist, the cosmetic industry's lobbying firm would invent it.
Which leads me to a film about all this — Pink Ribbons, Inc. Here's the trailer:
From the Pink Ribbons, Inc. info page:
“We used to march in the streets; now we run for a cure.” Barbara Ehrenreich, author and social critic.For screening info, click here.
Breast cancer has become the poster child of corporate cause-related marketing campaigns. Countless women and men walk, bike, climb and shop for the cure. 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?
PINK RIBBONS, INC. is a feature documentary that shows how the devastating reality of breast cancer, which marketing experts have labeled a “dream cause,” has been hijacked by a shiny, pink story of success.
More later; I don't want to let this die until Komen is cured of its own disease — MoveCon infiltration.
Update: As this commenter points out, the above-named cosmetics companies is no longer on Komen's funders list. This could be for several reasons — Komen's list could be a subset of their funders (more on this shortly), or they may have stopped their funding sometime after Ms. Ehrenreich wrote about them. I have every confidence that Barbara Ehrenreich's information was correct at the time of publication and for some period after that.